Spike Lee as Mookie in 'Do The Right Thing.'
Photo: Universal Pictures
The 2013 Video Music Awards are breaking new ground as the very first awards show in Brooklyn, kicking off live at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, August 25 from Barclays Center. (And if you don't know, now you knowwww.) In honor of the history-making show, we're immersing ourselves in the VMAs' new neighborhood, unpacking iconic aspects of BK style in movies, music, and art. First up, Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.
Do The Right Thing is a cultural triumph, telling the story of one day—the hottest of the year—in a Bed-Stuy neighborhood bubbling over with racial tension. The film, Lee's third-EVER feature, is visually stunning, awash with a vibrant and jumbled color palette of yellows, reds, limes, and purples, and the interplay is arresting, adding a slightly surreal tinge to the rising turbulence. The silhouettes—tees, shorts, tanks—remind you that it's a hot summer day on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington and Quincy street. The film and Ruth E. Carter's brilliant costuming work had a highly influential trickle-down effect—see Will Smith's TV wardrobe for the entire six-season run of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. (Important/Fun Fact: Carter is also the genius responsible for Halle Berry's orange patent latex and gravity-defying hair in B*A*P*S.)