“Beat Street” and its predecessor, “Wild Style,” were the two films that introduced the art of rap and the hip-hop lifestyle to foreign countries like Germany. However, some used the film as an example of chaotic conditions in a capitalist society. The film is based on the life of real New York-based graffiti artists and rappers. One of the main characters, “Spit,” is based on the life of graffiti artist CAP MPC, whose story was captured in a 1984 documentary called “Style Wars.”
While the movie featured the music and breakin’ lifestyles of New York’s finest rappers, street dancers and graffiti artists, the artwork in “Beat Street” was done predominately by professional set decorators.
“Beat Street” opened at the box office on June 8, 1984 and closed its opening weekend with $5.2 million. Overall the film has grossed $16.6 million. “Beat Street” opened the door for the popularity of films in the rap genre like “Breakin” (1984), “Krush Groove” (1985), “House Party” (1990) and many others featuring contemporary rappers.