Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The man behind Beat Steet...and the Jane Fonda connection!

Hip Hop: break dancing, rap music and graffiti is a book published in 1984 by Steven Hager, the first journalist to publish the words "hip hop" in his Village Voice cover story!

I lost out to another old skool hip hop fan on eBay, but that set me off on a journey! What else has Hager published? (See below.) How much is the "Hip Hop" book worth? (Depends. Mint and signed from Hager himself will set you back $300! But, 'v.good' condition can go for $100+ online.) And why is this so hot? It's a hot piece of hip hop history featuring all the 'Founding Fathers' of hip hop.

This article in Jay Quan's "The Foundation" website laid out the importance of Steven Hager's role in hip hop. Oh, an that Jane Fonda and Beat Street connection!? :)

"I wrote a script called: 'The Perfect Beat.' I took it to Jane Fonda's production company in New York. I was hoping to find some politically aware company that would let out a truthful picture of the origins of hip hop. They passed on it, but one of Fonda's executives tried to get me to sign a contract giving her rights over the property for like $500.

Then I went to Harry Belafonte. Harry wanted to make a nice movie that really didn't touch the dark side or show the violent and nasty aspects of life in the South Bronx. Harry bought my script, then threw it out the window and replaced it with a limp and bogus storyline signifying nothing, only kept a few of my character's names. They gave me 'story credit', but in reality, there's nothing in the story of Beat Street that resembles my story at all.
My film was closer to Boyz in the Hood than the dream world they came up with."
Hager carried on with his downtown Manhattan obsession when he published his next book, "Art After Midnight," in 1986 where he coined the phrase "Global East Village" during his "examination of the New York club scene and its influence on artists, primarily Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.

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