New York City: 1990. It wasn’t the booming metropolis we know it as today. It was still slogging through the crime-riddled hangover of the ’70s and ’80s, and the Giuliani-era Renaissance was still four years away. But there was one bright spot amidst the rough and tumble madness: the rising hip-hop movement that would give birth to some of the greatest acts the world has ever seen. When it came to hip-hop in the early ’90s, New York was the place to be.
This is the subject of VH1’s newest original movie, The Breaks, which focuses on three friends trying to break into hip-hop in a city that offers just as much risk as it does reward. Written, directed, and produced by The Wire and Homeland alum Seith Mann, the film also features Mack Wilds, Afton Williamson, Antoine Harris, David Call, Wood Harris, and Method Man. The Breaks features original music by DJ Premier and the soundtrack features classics from De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and more. Premiering Monday, Jan. 4, at 9/8c, it’s sure to be one of the most talked about TV experiences of the winter.
To celebrate the incredible new project, Complex and VH1 recently hosted The Breaks House Party at Webster Hall. Starting at 10 p.m., the event went deep into the night—as any good house party should. The packed house of guests sipped on cocktails and listened to the spinning mastery of DJ Red Alert, while taking photos with Mack Wilds himself.
At around midnight, guests were ushered into the Grand Ballroom to continue the night’s festivities. Sporting complimentary The Breaks beanies, guests watched as two huge projector screens showed clips from the film. Then, around 2 a.m., it was time for the evening’s main event: a performance by the legendary Funk Master Flex. Flex was soon joined on stage by Mack Wilds, who performed three songs, much to the delight of all the ladies who were in the house. The Breaks star Afton Williamson also attended the party, as did DJ Camillo, Siimba Liives Long, and Red Alert.
All in all, it was a pretty sick house party, and definitely honored the spirit of NYC’s hip-hop culture—one which would have never been the same without those crucial years in the early ’90s.
Be sure to tune in on Monday, Jan. 4, at 9/8c when The Breaks premieres, only on VH1!