Have you ever wondered how a group of gifted individuals happened to collectively combine artistic forces, creating a culture, that has gained the highest notoriety throughout the world?
In the 70’s, a rather awing period, that ushered in the freedom of experimentations of the 60’s with a more diverse thinking and subconscious power to fight against the normative thinking of the political powers that be. In the late 60’s the city of Philadelphia met the first urban artist, Corn Bread, as the community witnessed his crews art work on city walls. By the mid 70’s this art had made its way to New York and then into the streets and hearts of Europe. From spray cans to sketch markers for murals, New York was the stencil of graffiti culture creation.
Bronx, New York witnessed its first block party by way of DJ Kool Herc in 1970. The clear neighborhood disturbance, turned into a movement that allowed young individuals to break down racial barriers that divided the many boroughs of New York through music. Once breakbeats became a block party staple, poetic rhyming came into play. Emcee’s would capture the crowd by freestyling party rock anthems. Then we began to see that dancing to these beats and lyrics became a bit more intricate. Breaking crews formed to create signature dance styles; up rock, freezes, power moves and variations of footwork. These three arts were the true definition of supreme fluidity. Unfortunately back then, it was only recognized as an urban underground art form.
1972 Magnavox created a gaming console allowing what were once popular board games, ping pong and checkers, into computer graphic generated gaming devices to be enjoyed in a whole different form. Atari was of course the bell of the decade, creating such games as space invaders and breakout, allowing game lovers to play flashy games that never existed as a board game.These gaming creators were masters of future thinking.
As you can see it was a decade, a way of life and freedom that allowed minds to think creatively, together, in Art to change the world. It was the beginning of the biggest most thriving culture to date: Hip Hop. While Hip Hop has many meanings, the original meanings and elements meant more than life itself to those who nurtured its movement. It was expression in its truest form. The elements consisted of DJing, MCing, Breaking, Graffiti and Knowledge.
People found solace in its transparent existence. The brutal honesty, the realities of another human life and its power against a political system that was oppressing, attracted people across the United States to connect to this art because they too were victims.
Today we can find these forms of art in every city you visit. You hear it on the radio, on commercials, tv shows and during various live aired sporting events. You see it in museums, on city walls, mural festivals, tag journals and in video games. Poets on city corners shouting their truths, Bboys/BGirls performing for crowds in subways or local concerts. This subculture made its way to the becoming the largest cultural entity in the world. Every human on this planet has admired its art form in one way or another. The beautiful part about this culture…it is always recreating itself becoming even more magnificent year after year.
Stay tuned for more in-depth dives into the significance of Graffiti, Games and Hip Hop Culture.