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.
by El dorito November 24, 2009
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.
by Gasp One September 23, 2004
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