To many, Nuyorican DJ Bobbito García is an institution, breaking ground and discovering new voices in hip-hop who would define the 1990s. There’s a moment in the trailer for the Bobbito García documentary, Rock Rubber 45s where he’s described as a man who has “embraced his Latino roots.” That may be true, but the doc seeks to show far more than that, situating García as a major influence in different movements that changed popular culture.
Rock Rubber 45s is García’s story (especially unsurprising considering he directed it himself), but it’s also about the people whose lives he touched along the way. Familiar faces such as fellow Nuyoricans Lin-Manuel Miranda and Rosie Perez drop in to champion García’s ability to drop a beat and make people take notice. But much of the nearly two-minute trailer looks at the different skills García had, from being a basketball player who “can’t do anything without a basketball in my hands” to being the first to stumble upon the power of sneaker culture; it’s said during the trailer that García “made it okay for the average kid to be a little more enthusiastic about shoes.” The trailer’s use of splicing, whether it be shoes to footage from García’s life remarks on the rapid-fire nature he has within him; there’s no stopping him.
Rock Rubber 45s looks to attract fans of García, particularly New Yorkers, but there’s an appeal to it that transcends geography. Music documentaries are always fascinating. This seems on the same level as last year’s The Defiant Ones. If you’re a fan, or even just as a casual observer taken in by the trailer, Rock Rubber 45s looks to be something special.