Krush Groove: Michael Schultz’s Musical Dramedy, Loosely Based on the Start of Def Jam Recordings

Juneteenth Celebration

Poorly directed by Michael Schultz, Krush Groove is a loosely-based on fact musical dramedy about the beginnings of Def Jam Recordings.

It was written by Ralph Farquhar and directed by Michael Schultz (who also produced the movie, along with George Jackson and Doug McHenry).

This film depicts the early days of Def Jam Recordings and up-and-coming record producer Russell Simmons (renamed Russell Walker), portrayed by Blair Underwood in his film debut.

Simmons was the film’s co-producer and story consultant; he also had a cameo in the film as a club owner named Crocket.

Russell Walker has signed the acts to his Krush Groove record label, including Run-D.M.C., Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde (Alonzo Brown), and Kurtis Blow. Rick Rubin produces their records.

When Run-D.M.C. has a hit record and Russell doesn’t have funding to press records, he borrows money from street hustler.

Meanwhile, Russell and his brother Run are competing for the attention of R&B singer-percussionist Sheila E.

Also appearing in the film are LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, New Edition, The Fat Boys, as well as others from Chaka Khan, Debbie Harry, and the Gap Band.

Members of the R&B group Full Force make a cameo in the film as bodyguards.

The slender script is so conventional that it borders the banal.

The musical number, even the hot ones, are engaging, but they are slapped together and shot in a mode that often makes the performers unappealing.


The following appeared as themselves, except where noted:

Blair Underwood (as Russell Walker)
Sheila E.
Run-D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay
The Fat Boys (Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock Ski, The Human Beat Box)
Kurtis Blow
New Edition (Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell)
Beastie Boys
LL Cool J
Russell Simmons (as Crocket)
Richard Gant (as Jay B.)
Lisa Gay Hamilton (as Iesha)
Rick Rubin
Vicky Ruane (as Girl Friday)
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde (Andre Harrell and Alonzo Brown)