The visual personifacation of hip-hop. despite what most of the ill-informed probably middle-aged suburban white people think, graffiti is only limited to stickers (postals), tags (done with pilots, flowpen, krink, homemade markers, etc.), throw ups (aslo called throwies, and done in paint. they are usually just stylized bubble letters of the writters name with 3d or drop shadow), pieces (short for masterpieces, and also known as burners, these range from relativly simple, to intricate and complex designs, a style known as wildstyle. these pieces take hours to do and are considered the highest level of graffiti), and finaly charachters (cartoonish representations of the writters alter ego). Graffiti should not be confused with vandalism, which is instead crude marking or destruction, the aim of which is to cause damage to property, regardless of aethetic appeal. graffiti is just the opposite. IF GRAFFITI WASNT ART, THEN WHY WOULD WRITTERS SPEND HOURS AND HOURS SKETCHING AND PRACTICING IN SKETCHBOOKS? also, there are things that are considered off limits and non ethical, and are not to be touched. some of these things include
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.