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Review: VH1 – #TheBreaks

The BreaksBy Tierra Anderson
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Last night, VH1 premiered its new film The Breaks, which tells the story of three friends who have united through their unspeakable love for hip hop. Nikki Jones (Afton Williamson), DeeVee (Mack Wilds), and David (David Call) are all ambitious individuals trying to make their mark.

Working in the music industry while overcoming rejection, sexism, and violence, they give it their all. The film is inspired by The Payback: The History of the business of Hip Hop. This story was written, directed, and produced by Seth Mann (“The Wire” and “Breaking Bad”).

The film takes place in the summer of 1990 in Brooklyn, NY, where it captures the journey of the three friends trying to break into the music industry. First, there is Nikki ,an aspiring young woman, with a passion for hip hop is determined to get her career started through a position at Foray Management, promised by Barry Foray (Wood Harris).

Nikki is a George Washington graduate, who turned down her chance at law school to work at Foray Management. She deals with fighting to be taken serious for her drive and love for music, not being given opportunities because she is physically attractive. One of her biggest struggles during the early parts of the film.

Then, there is David, a privileged George Washington University graduate and also Nikki’s boyfriend, is an employee at a radio station, with hopes of being a Program Director. David is pushing for the his boss to become open to playing hip hop on the airwaves. With constant rejection from his boss, David fights to get him to realize that hip hop is changing the face of America and deserves to be acknowledged just as much as other genres of music.

Along the way, David drops hip hop knowledge, by staying true to his love for hip hop music.

DeeVee is an upcoming DJ and producer, who is looking to find the next big artist in hip hop. Dealing with the stress of labels not wanting to hear his artists and lack of support of his father (Method Man), DeeVee is determined to find the next big artist that has touched a mic. DeeVee heads back to his old neighborhood in a Brooklyn projects to find that gritty and raw talent that hip hop needs, enduring violence from gang members to reach those he believes has potential to be a leader in the hip hop game.

From the beginning to end, these three friends are striving to make their way into the music industry by any means necessary and will stop at nothing to make their dreams a reality. Thanks to DJ Premier, who is an executive music producer the film includes some of the of the most legendary hits including “Me, Myself and I” by De La Soul, “Top Billin” by Audio Two and Bonita Applebaum by A Tribe Called Quest.

The film focuses on three perspectives of how hip hop is changing everyday but they all believe that it should definitely be heard through its rare form. The story shows you the pressure that an artists receives from a label in trying to put out a hit record, the influence of hip hop and discovering new talent. “The Breaks” is a hip hop inspired film that tells the story of how hip hop is the most influential genre of music in the world and its power to captivate the minds of listeners.

Rating: 7/10

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