A Brief History of Hip-Hop – Part 6 A Piece

Read The Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

Graffiti rose in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s in New York. It went from simply writing a name on the wall or subway car, to painting larger, more complicated designs. This new form of graffiti art was called a piece, short for masterpiece.

Writers now showed even more artistic talent in their pieces. Lettering was given a third dimension and depth. Logos and pictures also became part of the art. The pieces were large and colourful. It was an exciting time to be a writer.

The art even received some legitimate attention in 1973 when The New York Magazine Newspaper ran a competition to find the best piece. In 1982 the art form was the subject of a motion picture, Wild Style. The film introduced a lot more people to the art and only widened the popularity.

In the 1980s, this style of art started to appear in other parts of the world. Europe, Spain, and Canada all have writers. Australia is a hot spot for graffiti even today and one of the best places to see fresh art.

It is clear that graffiti art is not going anywhere. Some cities have actually tried to give artists a place to create where they don’t need to fear prosecution. Hamilton used to have a yearly event called Concrete Canvas. It was a weekend long event where the true culture of hip-hop was celebrated. Artist created pieces on large wooden planks right before the spectators’ eyes. Rappers, DJs, and break dancers entertained the crowd from the stage. It was always a great event.

Next up

Part 7 – Break Dancing