Hip-Hop as an End to the Status Quo
What began as an empowering underground transformative arts movement,created by the first generation to enjoy the freedoms of a post-civilrights world, is now pop culture and a global vernacular. By decoding aset of presently understudied visual signifiers, which take place in hip-hop album art, their underpinning stances on sociocultural issues can berevealed.
"Images have long worked in concert with music to bring it’s essence intothe spotlight. Through the magic of the human eye, that one particularimage can come to represent not just the moment, but the meaning of thatmoment...”
What happens when graffiti, as hip-hop’s indigenous visual vocabulary,hits the mimeographed party flyer or product label, is it then graphicdesign? When graffiti appears on gallery walls, framed by a canvas ornot, is it then paining or maybe even installation art? The innovativenature of the hip-hop arts ignores and complicates all pre-definedboundaries and continually influences what were previously foreigndomains, from the elite Soho art galleries to everyday colloquialisms andvernacular.
By applying the analysis of my thesis, I appropriate the use of hip-hopaesthetics to create an unique broadsheet zine, inspired by thoseindigenous to 1980s New York, which aims to contextualise hip-hop’sartistic innovations across rap, graffiti and beyond.Sourced from first-hand experience writing about contemporary Irish hip-hop, I use this publication to explore the impact of hip-hop on Irelandtoday.