Top Definition
An element of the Hip Hop culture misinterpreted and misrepresented by the mainstream media, and most especially hated by affluent (usually white) businessmen who don't understand the roots or meaning of the writing on the walls.

Contrary to popular belief, Graff is NOT any of the following: writing on houses of worship, people's houses in general, other writer's names, or tombstones. The aforementioned need not be identified with bus, train, subway and wall burners. That's REAL graffiti, the visual aspect of Hip Hop accompanied by the physical (breakdance), verbal (emceeing), and rhythmic (turntablism).

Since Graffiti is an element in Hip Hop just as important as DJing, MCing and Breaking, any assault on Graffiti (i.e., calling it "vandalism", "not art", etc.) should be viewed as an assault on Hip Hop altogether.

From the beginning, the powers that be have sought afte the destruction of our culture, from transit authorities chasing after writers, to housing police harassing people at block parties, to lawsuits being filed against DJs for sampling ("copyrighted" material). Now it may seem like everything is okay since Rap has hit the mainstream, but the major corporations threaten its existence every day. Remember the last Rap video you saw on TV. Did you see any tags, any DJs working the wheels of steel, any B-Boys tearing up the floor, any MCs really rocking the party? Or was it just images of scantily clad females, guys flashing their "bling", and "gangstas" shooting their guns off? Chances are it was the latter, the money-making gimmick that corporations such as MTV make money off of today.

These very same corporations, usually headed by conservative individuals who "care" about their buildings, are the organisations which lobby for tighter anti-graffiti laws. So it may seem that "Hip Hop" is all well with mainstream America, but they're actually destroying us from within, in more than one way.
Long live Graffiti!
by jAwN June 29, 2004
Graffiti is the practice of systematically and stylistically marking infrastructure.
Since graffiti as a spatial practice and urban art movement pre-dates hip hop by over 10 years (having begun in Philadelphia with the writer Cornbread in the late 1960s) it is spurious at best to link graffiti and hip hop as mutually constitutive. Furthermore, many of the most prolific graffiti writers have been inspired by punk, heavy metal, classic oldies, and funk in addition to hip hop. Since graffiti is a spatial practice produced on both private and public spaces, "graffiti style" lettering and characters in sanctioned spaces such as galleries or places of capitalist consumption on canvas, t-shirts, or any other packaged and confined objects merely shares in and emulates stereotypical graffiti imagery, but is not itself graffiti. Graffiti cannot accurately be attributed to any one group or style of practitioner other than those who adhere to the aesthetic norms and mores of the graffiti community at large.

by Stefano Bloch February 16, 2008
The use of spray paint, markers, etc. to draw (or "tag" if you're using spray paint) on public or private property. Considered to be a form of vandalism, but a form of "art" to those who partake in it.
I don't want your graffiti on my house. I don't care if it is "art."
by El dorito November 24, 2009
A form of art, using spray cans, markers, and anything else that can be used. Usually done in the streets.
lets go do some graffiti on that wall
by Anonymous July 10, 2003
graffiti is a tradition of man.. before it really became more evolved in the subway yards and on the streets of new york by its inner city youth. graffiti consists of individuals with their own alter ego, name. that they use to "bomb" with. (to go out and get their name up everywhere they go) usually when these individuals start off they are influenced by the style and artform of the letters. some are also influenced by the names seen around their city or just graffiti itself. graffiti is also the first element of hip-hop and tagging is the first element of graffiti. graffiti can be very simple on the outside. but once explored there are many things one must be open minded enough to learn.
yeah, i write "graffiti" (my name my alter ego my alias my alm de plume my style my technique...)
by Gasp One September 23, 2004
To paint, mark or scratch on a public or private surface.
graffiti ate my mother
by vegan fascist August 31, 2002
Art that uses the world as a canvas. If the artist has paid to use the canvas, it can no longer be considered graffiti. Tagging, printed stickers, pieces, and posters can all be considered graffiti, as long as they do not include any corporate advertising.
Tags, stickers, pieces, posters, are all graffiti.
by mikeazorin August 22, 2006
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