With Hip-Hop being in existence for just over 30 years, rap music has been becoming the preeminent musical genre in the world, having been heavily commercialized and influencing all other genres of music as well as people throughout the world. The generation of millennials that has grown to know and love the art form often forget to differentiate between the music known as rap or Emceeing as opposed to Hip-Hop as a culture, which along with the vocal aspect, also encompasses DJing, B-boying (breakdancing) and Graffiti.
In its infancy, Graffiti crews were in abundance throughout New York City, leaving their tags and creating art on the subway, buildings and anywhere else that had bare surfaces. Though the elements of Hip-Hop were popularized in 80’s films such as “Wild Style” and “Breakin,” New York City law enforcement vilified graffiti artists, labeling them as vandals, arresting anyone who was caught in the act of tagging. As time went on, the art of Emceeing overtook all other aspects of Hip-Hop in popularity.
In the past decade and a half, Hip-Hop has become a staple of Americana and historians sought to preserve the legacy of the culture, thus catapulting graffiti artists into the same realm of reverence as fine artists of past generations, with the most notable being Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Recently, The RapFest, which is the fastest growing media platform, took things a step further. Known for their innovative cipher series, intriguing web magazine, and high profile concerts, The RapFest opted to shine a light on Graffiti art and the pillars that keep it alive in New York City. With the help of the legendary Flux Studios located in downtown Manhattan (LES), The RapFest held a live event where notable graffiti artists such as GIZ, SUCH, PHETUS, YES ONE and SHIRO put together a beautiful mural on the rooftop of Flux Studios to a crowd of Hip-Hop enthusiasts that included journalists, bloggers, record executives, artists and several others who play a role in the culture.
All The Right, the store located in Elmhurst, Queens, where many Hip-Hop fans of generations old and new purchase clothing, sneakers, graffiti and all other items pertaining to the culture, donated all of the paint that was used in crafting the mural, while brands such as Luc Belaire Rosé and Manhattan Beer (Victoria and Modelo Especial) provided the refreshments. It was a momentous occasion that brought lovers of the art form, from all walks of life together to enjoy an often neglected aspect of New York City’s golden era.
Special Thanks to SUCH, GIZ, PHETUS, YES ONE and SHIRO for putting together an amazing mural and to The RapFest, Flux Studios, All The Right, Luc Belaire Rosé and Manhattan Beer for facilitating such a wonderful event.