Are You Watching The ’90s Hip-Hop Series ‘The Breaks’? If Not This Is Why You Should Be
Seith Mann’s The Breaks speaks to hustle and grind that most millennials know all too well.
Hip-Hop wasn’t always a global phenomenon embedded into our popular culture, in the ’90s it was seen as a fad that would soon be forgotten. VH1’s stellar series The Breaks highlights three fictional twenty-somethings who worked tirelessly to give hip-hop a voice. Set in the summer of 1990, in a very gritty New York City, The Breaks follows Nikki Jones (Afton Williamson), David Aaron (David Call) and DeeVee (Mack Wilds) as they use their wits and fearless drive to propel themselves and the music they love to the forefront of our society.
Directed by Seith Mann, the series picks up from the 2016 film of the same name which aired on VH1 last year. In the series, Mann captures a musical era that will never be duplicated. Based on the novel The Big Payback by journalist Dan Charnas, The Breaks acts as a love-letter to an era filled with an explosive sound and even bigger dreams. If you aren’t watching The Breaks on VH1 yet, here are five reasons why you need to do so ASAP.
You can’t have a series about ’90s music without some amazing sounds. Executive Producer DJ Premier has constructed a musical score which adds to the drama of the series. He also sprinkles in some classic tracks like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum,” Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison,” and Johnny Gill’s “My My My.” The soundtrack transports viewers into a different time and place.
2. Nikki Jones
The thing that stands out about Nikki is the fact that you never quite know who she is, or if you even like her. And yet, that doesn’t matter. Though we have badass Black women like Olivia Pope from Scandal and Annaliese Keating from How To Get Away Murder, younger Black women aren’t typically depicted as so multifaceted on television. Nikki Jones lives and breathes hip-hop, and after weaseling her way into music mogul’s Barry Fouray company as his personal assistant, it’s clear that Nikki isn’t about to let anyone or anything stand in the way of her dreams.
3. The Historical Accuracy
From the chunky gold chains to the graffiti-covered buildings, Seith Mann and his team have been careful to capture the essence of the ’90s right down to the very last detail. Most importantly, the different aspects of the music business that no longer exist anymore provide an important look back into a past time.
4. The Important Message To Millenials
As DeeVee, David and Nikki rebel against the old way of doing things, they make their voices known despite the pushback and backlash they face on a daily basis.
5. Wood Harris
Wood Harris has been in the entertainment industry for well over twenty years, and he never fails to deliver (most notably as drug Kingpin Avon Barksdale in The Wire). As Barry Fouray, Harris shines as the eccentric mogul desperate to shed his “middle man” persona and grow his company into a full-fledged record label. Harris perfectly captures a man who is desperate to stay above the fray in the industry while battling his personal demons.
The Breaks airs on VH1 on Mondays at 10 PM ET, so catch up before season one comes to a close.