Often people consider graffiti art, however it is not in any way, shape or form. It is aesthetically ugly, and most often all looks the same.
Contrary to popular belief, Graff is NOT any of the following: writing on houses of worship, people's houses in general, other writer's names, or tombstones. The aforementioned need not be identified with bus, train, subway and wall burners. That's REAL graffiti, the visual aspect of Hip Hop accompanied by the physical (breakdance), verbal (emceeing), and rhythmic (turntablism).
Since Graffiti is an element in Hip Hop just as important as DJing, MCing and Breaking, any assault on Graffiti (i.e., calling it "vandalism", "not art", etc.) should be viewed as an assault on Hip Hop altogether.
From the beginning, the powers that be have sought afte the destruction of our culture, from transit authorities chasing after writers, to housing police harassing people at block parties, to lawsuits being filed against DJs for sampling ("copyrighted" material). Now it may seem like everything is okay since Rap has hit the mainstream, but the major corporations threaten its existence every day. Remember the last Rap video you saw on TV. Did you see any tags, any DJs working the wheels of steel, any B-Boys tearing up the floor, any MCs really rocking the party? Or was it just images of scantily clad females, guys flashing their "bling", and "gangstas" shooting their guns off? Chances are it was the latter, the money-making gimmick that corporations such as MTV make money off of today.
These very same corporations, usually headed by conservative individuals who "care" about their buildings, are the organisations which lobby for tighter anti-graffiti laws. So it may seem that "Hip Hop" is all well with mainstream America, but they're actually destroying us from within, in more than one way.
Graffiti (also called Graf) is a form of self expression, and while it is illegal, is NOT vandalism.
Closely related to people who tag.
residential property (unless its the house of a writter that you know personally and have beef with)
churches or places of worship
cars (unless obviously abandoned)
These are only the basics and different writters may restrict themselves from other things.
Graffiti is 90% of the time NOT GANG RELATED. gangs, however, are not to be confused with crews. crews are a group of writters. thats it. theres no drugs or crime (othere than graffiti) involved with the crew. crews usually have initiations like tagging a police car, or getting up in an open space etc. crew names are usually three letter abbreviations like DFM, or PCK etc.
Again, the motivation for graffiti IS NEVER VANDALISM. if that is the motive, then it simply isnt graffiti. motivation varies from writter to writter, but is usually
respect as a writter
to see his own work
This is achieved by getting up. getting up is the act of getting your work up around the city. if you get up enough, your considered to be "all city", but this hardly happens. also, your art and style speaks for your reputation. for example, if your handstyle is wack, or your throwies drip (unintentionaly), or you go over better writters for no reason (no beef with them) then you may be considered toy. toy stands for Trouble On Your System, and is the lowest form of graffiti writter.
Graffiti doesnt have messages, unless its some kind of side quote next to a piece. messages of anarchy and rebellion are considered vandalism.
Stay up y'all.
(names are fictional urbandictionary editors!)
alex: hey joey, i drew a penis on this tools mailbox it waas sweet!
joey: cool alex! i wrote anarchy on my neighbors audi!
writter: stupid toys.