The first time audiences saw Chris Rock on the silver screen was in the 1985 film Krush Groove. Rock had but a bit part in the legendary hip hop movie and his name wasn’t even mentioned in the credits, yet it was the beginning of what has shaped to be a long-standing, successful career. At the time, the comedian got his hands on a copy of the Krush Groove soundtrack that featured artists like Chaka Khan, Kurtis Blow, LL Cool J, and The Fat Boys. Rock was familiar with all of the artists listed, except for this group called Beastie Boys.
From that moment forward, Rock was a fan of New York City’s alternative hip hop group, and he paid homage to them and another iconic collective by writing the foreword for the new photo book Together Forever: The Run-DMC and Beastie Boys Photographs. Famed photographer Glen E. Friedman shares his images of both the group’s rise to fame, and he called on Rock to pen the introduction.
“People always get caught up in what these two iconic groups stood for, but can we just step back for a moment and say, who gives a f*ck? They were good!” Rock said. “They made amazing records!…Rap parallels punk rock: Destroy everything that came before it and borrow little bits to help you get there. Bring it full circle: it helps us understand how and why these two groups did what they did, and why Glen E. brings us into the picture deeper than anyone and brings it all together. Forever. These photographs inspire and excite us to this day.”
The comedian mentions in his foreword that prior to his bustling stand-up and film careers, Rock was spinning jams on the ones and twos. “I was a DJ way before I told jokes,” he wrote. “Run-DMC’s ‘Sucker M.C.’s’ taught me a lot about controlling the audience. I learned things about control and timing from playing the record at block parties that I use to this day.” Rest in peace to Jam Master Jay and MCA.