As most are readers know, Hip Hop culture is composed of different elements. Though the number of these elements are arguable, there are four key elements (Music: DJ, Poetry: Rap, Dance: Breakin, and Art: Graffiti). Though the origin of the word Hip Hop is still debatable, it is a known fact that Hip Hop started in the Bronx with DJ Cool Herc and his block parties. It all started with a DJ, grew with the breakers, and evolved with the MCs but in this history of Hip Hop there is a misunderstanding of how graffiti came into the mix.
Origin of Graffiti
The origin of graffiti can be dated back to they hieroglyphics in the Egyptian pyramids (prostitution adds in Ancient Greece if one wants to get technical), but the social expressive art that we know it as today came about during the 1920s. The most notable modern-day graffiti is the “Killroy was here” inscription on the WWII memorial. In both origins graffiti dates back farther than Hip Hop, but its not credited as being the initial element of Hip Hop. The reason for this is graffiti is more of an adopted son/daughter of Hip Hop.
Sadly, its adoption into Hip Hop is not much of an interesting story. Many of the notable graff-artists of the 1970s and 80s, such as Fab 5 Freddy and Lee Quinones, were participants and fans of Hip Hop culture, Hip Hop heads. Due to the association between these graff-artists and Hip Hop heads, most notably in popular rock band Blondie’s promotional music video Rapture, graffiti became one of the main elements of Hip Hop culture.
Do you think calling graffiti an adopted element is blasphemous or have other history facts to add?? Let us know in the COMMENTs!!