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.
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