booksreddit.com:Bomb the Suburbs: Graffiti

Bomb the Suburbs: Graffiti, Race, Freight-Hopping and the Search for Hip-Hop’s Moral Center

890

This is what happens when you give graffiti artists an abandon warehouse and an unlimited amount of paint.
Should graffiti writers organize to tear up the cities, or should they really be bombing the ‘burbs? That’s the question posed by William Upski Wimsatt in his seminal foray into the world of hip-hop, rap, and street art, and the culture and politics that surround it. But to say that the book deals only with taggers and hip-hop is selling it short. Taking on a broad range of topics, including suburban sprawl, racial identity, and youth activism, Wimsatt (a graffiti artist himself) uses a kalei…

More about the book on Amazon

Most upvoted comment

Top rated Music books on Reddit rank no. 38

This is what happens when you give graffiti artists an abandon warehouse and an unlimited amount of paint.(r/videos)

Um…there were almost no “tags” in that video except the old ones they painted over. A tag is a single color, cursive-y kinda name with no depth/dimension. Like this

It seems like you think a tag is someone’s name, like, say, this. This is by the artist Daim, and yes, that spells Daim. Though he’s particularly great, so it may be less identifiable than similar instances in this video. Here is a more common, “basic” style of what you seem to think a tag is?

What you’re thinking is a tag is really, well, there’s not a particularly great terminology in place, but maybe the closest would be called a “bomb.” (i.e. Bomb the Suburbs )

And while many of the “bombs”(what you call “tags”) in this video are indeed highly stereotypical, graffiti does come from a culture of respecting the heritage and roots of the tradition, almost similar to calligraphy; where I could show you calligraphy from 100 different artists, and to the layperson they might all look like “pretty, fancy, swishy writing”, but an expert in the subject could see the individual flourishes and unique stylistic deviations of each individual writer.

So you might look at these 1 2 3 and think of them as boring “Tags” (but not really tags because they involve colors and dimensions (for the most part)). But what about this or this or this? These are all (seemingly) by your definition, “tags”, as they’re pieces that spell out the artists’ names. (They’re in there.) It’s just that those latter 3 are much more highly skilled. But that’s like most things where a majority of whatever is meh and a small percent is great.

The “4 original pieces” are probably more commonly referred to as murals, which is to say they usually still incorporate a bomb, but add characters/landscapes to the piece as well.

Now, if you’re saying you’d rather see a blank wall than this (a classic set of tags) I’d agree. If you’re saying you’d rather see a blank wall than this (a bomb, albeit a stereotypical one) I’d disagree. This isn’t an example of a great bomb to an outsider, as it’s hugely an “out of the box” kinda style that’s been done a multitude of times before. But again, to a great many people who follow this stuff, that doesn’t make it bad. In the same way that if you want to look like a businessman you wear a suit and tie, if you want to be a graffiti artist you make a piece like this. If you’re eccentric enough or successful enough or experienced enough, maybe then you can start developing truly unique styles like Daim and Delta and all them, but until then, producing a piece like this is the “businessman” equivalent of managing a half-dozen successful fast food franchises, or something.

Edit: Wow, gold? Dammit I was 19 days from deleting this account and now I have a whole nother month?! Ha just kidding, thanks a lot!

And I’ll add in some more info because of that.

1) Shit I haven’t followed graffiti for about 10 years now, so lots of this is hazy recollections, and that video up above explains a lot of the terminology I’ve forgotten or has come in to play since when I followed this stuff properly. Also it might make you re-think basic (true) tags.

2) That book, Bomb the Suburbs; can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re even slightly interested in hiphop/graffiti/…life. Read it for the first time oh…12 years ago now I suppose (yeah I’m old). And even though I’ve lived almost nothing like a life like the author, various chapters/quotes/etc pop into my head on a fairly regular basis. It’s just a neat read.

3) Delta and Daim are two particular artists who are great to google if you want to see more examples of people who create traditional works (i.e. spelling their name) but do so in amazingly creative ways. (And yes they’ve gotten into fights over who copied whose style.) There are a ton of amazing artists who do works that don’t involve their names at all, and I can’t even begin to try to list them. If you’re interested in learning about more traditional-style graffiti tho, can’t recommend enough Art Crimes. This was my white boy living in Central Oregon mecca in the late 90s. And yeah it’s kinda the equivalent of googling “Funny gif”…you might have to wade through a few hundred before you find one that actually makes you laugh (or in this case say “wow”). But in the meantime, wading through those hundred might show you some of the differences between a mediocre graffiti artist and a great one, and how some of them take the stereotypical styles and subvert them in subtle ways.

Also too late of an edit: Don’t downvote the guy I’m replying to. If he means traditional tags, I can see how those can quickly get annoying, especially with so much amateur/bad stuff out there. If he means the more proper pieces, well, that’s just not his thing, we all have opinions, doesn’t mean it’s a bad one.

Permalink

More details about a book.

Additional Information

Subreddits

videos

Number Of Links

2

Sum Of Upvotes

340

Amazon Price

$7.17

Book Binding

Paperback

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

William Upski Wimsatt

Book Edition

15th anniversary

Book Publisher

Soft Skull Press

Book On Amazon

Bomb the Suburbs: Graffiti, Race, Freight-Hopping and the Search for Hip-Hop’s Moral Center

Post Title

This is what happens when you give graffiti artists an abandon warehouse and an unlimited amount of paint.

Reddit Gold

2

Post Permalink

/r/videos/comments/1r95sc/this_is_what_happens_when_you_give_graffiti/

More about the book on Amazon