1970s-1980s: The Legacy, Old Layout

Hip-hop was conceived in Philadelphia, born in New York. The modern graffiti culture of tagging as a sign of individual expression started with Cornbread. Writers like Top Cat and Bad News Jimmy moved to New York and brought the Philly tagging culture with them. As the hip-hop culture flourished in New York, graffiti became one of the main pillars of the movement along with DJing, MCing, breakdancing and beatboxing. In cities across the U.S. and abroad—London, Paris and Berlin—modern graffiti took off to become an international artistic movement. Dr. Cool #1 (née Raymond Bottoms) has a hard time coming to terms with the legacy of modern graffiti being taken over by a younger generation of artists. “We started this thing,” he said. “And it just blossomed in other cities.”

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