Grandmaster Flash says one of hip-hop’s elements is fake…
Flash says that graffiti is NOT an element of hip-hop in the book “The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music”.
Grandmaster Flash: You know what bugs me, they put hip-hop with graffiti. How do they intertwine?
Graffiti legends and pioneers such as FARGO and BLADE agree with him, saying that graffiti was grouped with hip-hop by the media and that it was never really a part of hip-hop.
FARGO: I don’t see the correlation. The correlation between hip-hop and graffiti, that’s a media thing. And breakdancing—they put that all in one package, so they can identify it, put it in a box. There is no correlation between hip-hop and graffiti, one has nothing to do with the other.
BLADE: They put hip-hop, breakdancing, and rap music and graffiti and all this stuff together, because it’s something I guess they thought they could market for whatever the hell reason.
The relationship between hip-hop and graffiti was popularized in the classic 1983 hip-hop film Wild Style, but the film’s director Charlie Ahearn says that the link between the two art forms was fictional.
Charlie Ahearn: Wild Style is like a fantasy, it’s not a documentary. Everything in Wild Style was made for the film… that wasn’t really happening, that was just happening for the film.
One of the stars of Wild Style, LADY PINK (who is also a graffiti legend), says that graffiti should be seen as a separate art form with its own history and culture.
LADY PINK: I don’t think graffiti is hip-hop. Frankly I grew up with disco music. There’s a long background of graffiti as an entity unto itself.
Many graffiti pioneers also say that they did not listen to hip-hop music and preferred other genres.
FUZZ ONE: The graffiti soundtrack was more Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Bachman Turner Overdrive, the Eagles, and Lynryd Skynyrd.
PHASE 2: Many graffiti writers never listened to rap, many were more partial to headbanging.
For more info and many other graffiti legends confirming that graffiti is not an element of hip-hop, check out the book The Concise Guide to Hip-Hop Music, out in bookstores and on Amazon: