The Neon celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with ‘Beat Street’ screening, lecture



The Neon in downtown Dayton will host a screening of the classic film “Beat Street” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The event will feature a special lecture from producer, musician and hip-hop historian TL Cross.

“Beat Street” is considered one of hip-hop’s most important and influential movies. Produced by Harry Belafonte and directed by Stan Lathan, who has won three Emmys for directing and executive producing Dave Chappelle’s comedy specials, this film arrived on the heels of “Breakin’” in the summer of 1984.

Synopsis: “When rapper-DJ Kenny (Guy Davis) meets cultured jazz artist Tracy (Rae Dawn Chong), he is so inspired by her dedication that he vows to use his talents to escape the ghetto. But when his friend, a gifted graffiti artist, is killed in a tragic accident, Kenny comes face to face with the high price of artistic passion.” This “gritty, streetwise musical” (LA Herald-Examiner) features a who’s who of the movement’s early stars.



TL Cross is a cultural historian, TV personality, musician, platinum songwriter and producer, narrator and educator. Growing up in the Jamaica section of Queens, New York, he has experienced a lot throughout his life and career. “Coming up in Queens was lowkey like starring in your own Tribe Called Quest music video mixed with Run DMC and Nas elements,” Cross noted in a news release. Although Cross has received numerous accolades, including an American Music Award and two ASCAP awards, he is widely known today for his work as a cultural historian. His online shows include “Wow, TL Cross!” and “Cross in a Minute,” and he serves as host of Bounce TV’s “Hip Hop State of Mind.” Cross has also worked with such hip-hop and R&B artists as 50 Cent, Jazmine Sullivan, Musiq Soulchild, Ghostface, Usher, P. Diddy, Jadakiss,112, Yolanda Adams, Mary J Blige, and more.

In addition, this event is the brainchild of DJ Lu, who provided music on The Neon’s patio last summer for The Neon’s Friday Patio Parties. This event is also sponsored by Sinclair Community College Diversity Office, University of Dayton Department of Music, and Wright State University College of Liberal Arts Motion Pictures.


What: “Beat Street” featuring cultural historian TL Cross

Where: The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 6

Tickets: $12.50

More info: Visit online at or visit the box office.

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