From books and TV shows to Bawno, we love pretty much everything that the ego trip crew does. Last month they presented the second installment of Under The Influence of ego trip, a monthly NYC film series co-curated by Andreas Vingaard and featuring a selection of carefully-chosen documentaries from the early hip-hop era, which are being screened at the Maysles Institute in Harlem.

The third and final screening is tomorrow night (Thursday, March 25) at 7:30 p.m., and it features two more rare-but-essential movies, Public Enemy and LL Cool J Live in Europe and Big Fun In The Big Town, as well as special guest appearances by Director Bram van Splunteren, rap legend Schoolly-D, and former Def Jam Records and Rush Productions Director of Publicity Bill Adler (who also makes a cameo in Big Fun). To find out why these two documentary gems are worth checking out, we asked the ego trip guys to break down each movie and explain why they chose to bring it to the people. See ego trip's take on each movie below...

PUBLIC ENEMY AND LL COOL J LIVE IN EUROPE (1987, Europe)
Screening Thursday 3/25/10 in NYC: CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS

EGO TRIP'S TAKE: When ego trip's main Danish homeslice/co-curator Andreas Vingaard approached the Monkey Academy about putting together this documentary film festival, little did we realize what a maniac Dress Boogie was (and is) on the rare footage front. While we at et naturally prided ourselves on being somewhat familiar with filmed chronicles of hip-hop's history, Andreas brought things to a whole 'notha level with his celluloid suggestions. One such lost gem is Public Enemy and LL Cool J Live in Europe, a prime peek at two of Def Jam's signature acts in performance in Denmark back in '87. Besides plenty of coverage of Chuck and Flav spitting early classics like "Miuzi Weighs a Ton," and James Todd Smith stepping out of that legendary giant radio stage set, this bad boy includes some equally cool interviews with the show's headliners — and its attendees. Keep an eye out for the two giddy dudes respectively rockin' the S1Ws-ish black beret and head-to-toe Adidas gear — that's actually future big-time producers Soulshock and DJ Cutfather, who'd go on to craft mega-hits for the likes of 2Pac, Whitney Houston, Kylie Minogue, Jamelia and others. It doesn't even matter that their segment isn't subtitled in English. Hip-hop love is never lost in translation.

BIG FUN IN THE BIG TOWN (1986, Directed by Bram van Splunteren)
Screening Thursday 3/25/10 in NYC: CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS

EGO TRIP'S TAKE: There ain't much that's truly dependable in life. But if you ever want to experience something can't-miss/surefire/absolutely, positively, completely and utterly reliable, sit your favorite Golden Era rap fiend friend down with Big Fun In the Big Town for the first time — and watch said friend's head explode. Ka-blow! Because that's just how mind-blowing-ly, face-melting-ly, redekulously fresh this thing is. Shot entirely in Gotham in 1986, director Bram van Splunteren's film is the essential mid-80s hip-hop doc. Loaded with absurdly rare performance and interview footage of a plethora of vital artists and figures (e.g. Mr. Magic and Marley Marl, MC Shan, Grandmaster Flash, Biz Markie and Roxanne Shanté, Russell Simmons, the Last Poets et al), it magnificently captures a special time in rap's history. A time when the genre was selling millions and gaining fans like wildfire, yet its biggest stars were still shockingly accessible, exceedingly proud spokespersons for the music. Thus we're privy to such magic moments as DMC freestyling over "Funky Drummer" as the tune blasts from his Caddy parked outside Def Jam's original Elizabeth Street HQ; Run and the late, great Jam Master Jay in the studio producing forgotten protégé Papa Ron; a visit with LL at his grandma's house in Queens; Doug E. Fresh impeccably human beat box-ing Kraftwerk's "Tour de France" on a Harlem street corner; and most prophetically, Schoolly-D backstage at famed venue Latin Quarter, wondering aloud if rap can stay raw the way he likes it, or if it'll go the way of rock n' roll and get all "pretty" and corny. Well... we all know how that story ends. But at least there'll always be Big Fun In The Big Town.

More Info On The Under The Influence of ego trip Series:

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE COMPLEX MOVIE POSTS!