1970s-1980s: Drug Culture

At the end of the 1970s, the original group of taggers stopped tagging and moved onto other things. They started having families and the thrill of tagging lost some of its appeal as a new generation of taggers took over. However, for Cornbread, it was not over. He chased his dream to remake the “Cornbread, Earl and Me” movie and moved to Hollywood to become an actor. He then relocated to New York to study performing arts, but after five years returned to Philly. As in most American cities during the late ‘70s and ‘80s, the drug scene moved into the inner city. Always at the center of the action, McCray was not immune to the drug craze of the era. Drinking wine on the street corner with gang members escalated to shooting heroin with anyone who would offer it. McCray was in and out of incarceration so often, other inmates never got the chance to miss him when he left. The chaos that came with the drugs reflected in the graffiti. The entire city became covered with tags.

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