By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum...
    You are currently logged out and viewing our forum as a guest which only allows limited access to our discussions, photos and other forum features. If you are a 12ozProphet Member please login to get the full experience.

    If you are not a 12ozProphet Member, please take a moment to register to gain full access to our website and all of its features. As a 12ozProphet Member you will be able to post comments, start discussions, communicate privately with other members and access members-only content. Registration is fast, simple and free, so join today and be a part of the largest and longest running Graffiti, Art, Style & Culture forum online.

    Please note, if you are a 12ozProphet Member and are locked out of your account, you can recover your account using the 'lost password' link in the login form. If you no longer have access to the email you registered with, please email us at [email protected] and we'll help you recover your account. Welcome to the 12ozProphet Forum (and don't forget to follow @12ozprophet in Instagram)!

book Hip Hop Files: Photographs, 1979-1984

Discussion in 'Third Rail' started by STYLEISKING, Aug 14, 2004.


    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219

    new york post:
    From Here to Fame Publishing and powerHouse Books have just released “Hip-hop Files: Photographs, 1979-1984,” a collection of shots by famed hip-hop shutterbug Martha Cooper. The book documents the culture both at home and abroad, with insightful quotes by over 70 hip-hop icons, including Fab 5 Freddy, The Rock Steady Crew, Dez aka DJ Kay Slay, Bobbito, Grandmaster Caz, Dondi, Duro, Blade, Seen, Quik, Lady Pink, Run DMC, Afrika Bambaataa, and others

    from henxs:
    On the 21 of August Martha Cooper will come to Holland to promote her latest book "HIP HOP FILES."

    Martha Cooper is considered the first and foremost photographer of emerging Hip Hop culture in New York City. Her new book, HIP HOP FILES--Photographs 1979-1984, makes a significant part of her extensive and unique archive accessible for the first time.

    will be on tour around europe,so keep your eyes out!!!!

    THE CORONER Banned

    Joined: Jun 2, 2004 Messages: 2,171 Likes Received: 0
    cool but id like to see some new school shit tho
    not a bad book tho id prolly by it
  3. why write?

    why write? Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 19, 2003 Messages: 5,859 Likes Received: 1
    looks good..old school flavor biatch

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219
    Martha Cooper exhibition in Copenhagen from 3rd to 17th Sept about her new book Hip Hop Files featuring all her classic 80's photographs.
    On the 3rd she will be appearing in person at the gallery and later that night ZebRocSki will do a lecture on hiphop in the 80s followed by a screening of Wildstyle at the FilmInstitute. After the film there is a clubsession at Rust nightclub.

    More info in danish at http://www.byfornyelse.net/

    Looks like this will the sequal after Henry Chalfant visit last summer.
    newerschool book?look for broken windows!!!!!

    FR8HOUND Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Mar 21, 2001 Messages: 6,795 Likes Received: 38
    definitely, another classic for the shelves...

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219
    ”This book is the most definitive schematic look into the origins of a global cultural voice.”

    "This book is destined to become the Bible for the Hip Hop Nation!!!” PATTI ASTOR

    "This is Hip Hop culture at its all time best. A monumental photographic achievement for
    the world. It doesn’t get any better than this!” FAB 5 FREDDY

    Dear partners, friends & media:
    after 5 years of seemingly endless work and many ups and downs
    (EFA bankruptcy...) MZEE Records,
    as well as Carharrt, Graco & 12 Medien, our partners in this project,
    are proud to present our first photo book
    which has already been termed the “Hip Hop Bible” in the U.S. !
    You are invited to celebrate the coming release with Martha Cooper, Zeb.Roc.Ski
    Please register via email as capacities are limited.

    Best regards


    Press Information

    PHOTOGRAPHS 1979-1984

    Key Note: HIP HOP FILES— Photographs 1979-1984 shows a selection of early pictures
    of Hip Hop culture as it emerged from the streets of New York in the 80ies.

    Facts: 240 pages / 400 colour photos and 50 b/w photos / Format: 300x225mm /
    Hardcover Versions: German / English / French
    Price: 39.99¬ Release: October 2004

    On the occassion of the book release, author Akim Walta and photographer Martha
    Cooper are touring through Europe and NYC to present the HIP HOP FILES. We would
    like to invite you to the presentation to discuss your questions with the photographer and
    the author and to celebrate with us 20 years of Hip Hop culture in Europe -1984-2004:

    Programme: HIP HOP FILES—Photographs 1979-1984 will be represented in a multi-
    media lecture and photographer MARTHA COOPER and Author AKIM WALTA aka
    ZEB.ROC.SKI will personally answer your questions. A selectio from her pictures will be
    exhibited and we will also represent some exclusive 8mm- and video footage from the
    early 80ies.

    Requests for Interviews please email to: {mailto:p[email protected] }[email protected]
    {mailto:[email protected] }Guestlist for Afterparty please email to: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.hiphopfiles.de

    From Here To Fame Publishing
    Vitalisstraße 379 a
    50933 Köln
    Tel: 0049-(0)-221-202 35 33
    Fax: 0049-(0)-221-202 35 35
    [email protected]
    { http://www.MZEE.com }www.MZEE.com

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219
    the tour dates....coming to your town!

    Carhartt presents:

    18.08.04: BERLIN / GERMANY
    19.08.04: LONDON / UK
    20.08.04: MANCHESTER / UK
    21.08.04: AMSTERDAM / HOLLAND
    22.08.04: COLOGNE / GERMANY
    25.08.04: STOCKHOLM / SWEDEN
    26.08.04: OSLO / NORWAY
    27.08.04: BRUSSELS / BELGIUM
    28.08.04: HANNOVER / GERMANY
    29.08.04: VIENNA / AUSTRIA
    02.09.04: PARIS / FRANCE
    03.09.04: COPENHAGEN / DENMARK
    04.09.04: BOLOGNA / ITALY
    05.09.04: ZÜRICH / SWITZERLAND
    08.09.04: NYC / USA

    Dates (excl. German-speaking countries):

    19.08.04: LONDON
    1.00 pm - 4.00 pm: Time for Interviews
    4.00 pm - 6.00 pm: BOOK SIGNING PART 1
    At (unit G1) Kingley Court / Carnaby Street / London W1
    6.30 pm - 9.00 pm: EXHIBITION AND BOOK SIGNING PART 2:
    At (unit G1) Kingley Court / Carnaby Street / London W1
    9.30 pm - 2.00 am: AFTERPARTY at Ruby Lo / 23, Orchard Street, London, W1H 6HL

    20.08.04: MANCHESTER
    1.00 pm - 4.00 pm: Time for Interviews
    4.00 pm - 6.00 pm: BOOK SIGNING PART 1
    Magma Book Store / 22 Oldham St. / Northern Quarter / Manchester M1 1JN
    7.00 pm - 9.00 pm: EXHIBITION AND BOOK SIGNING PART 2
    Northern Quarter Arts Ltd Gallery / 61 Thomas St. / Manchester M4 1NA
    10.00 pm - 12.00 am: AFTERPARTY
    Basement Club / Rossetti Hotel 107 / Piccadilly / Manchester M1 2DB

    21.08.04: AMSTERDAM
    4.00 pm - 6.00 pm: BOOK SIGNING
    Waterlooplein Market Henxs / Graf Store / St Antoniebreestraat 136 / 1011
    HB Amsterdam
    9.00 pm - 10.00 pm: PRESS CONFERENCE
    ELEVEN-11 / Oosterdokkade 3-5 / 1011 AD Amsterdam
    10.00 pm - 12.00 am: BOOK SIGNING & AFTERPARTY @ ELEVEN

    25.08.04: STOCKHOLM
    Location: Nitty Gritty Shop / Krukmakargatan 26 / 118 51 STOCKHOLM
    04.00 pm - 06.00 pm: BOOK SIGNING
    06.00 pm - 07.00 pm: PRESS CONFERENCE

    26.08.04: OSLO
    Location: Barbeint / Drammensveien 20 / 0255 OSLO
    06.00 pm - 09.00 pm: BOOK SIGNING / EXHIBITION

    27.08.04: BRUSSELS
    Location: 34, Quai des Charbonnages / 1080 Brussels
    19:00: BOOK SIGNING with Martha Cooper &Zeb.Roc.Ski

    02.09.04: PARIS

    03.09.04: COPENHAGEN
    04.00 pm: OPENING OF EXHIBITION at NORSE, Teglgårdsstræde 6a
    07.00 pm - 08.00 pm: MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION
    09.00 pm - 11:00 pm: FEATURE FILM
    23.30 pm: AFTERPARTY at RUST, Guldbergsgade 8 (www.rust.dk)

    04.09.04: BOLOGNA
    Location: Carhartt Store / Via San Felice 13 / 40100 BOLOGNA
    06.00 pm - 06.30 pm: BOOK SIGNING
    07.00 pm - 08:00 pm: PRESS CONFERENCE
    08.00 pm - 10:00 pm: INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219

    HIP HOP FILES—Photographs 1979-1984

    ”It’s been a long time…” since the individual elements that later became known as Hip
    Hop found their way out of the Bronx to Manhattan and were sent around the globe as a package to
    Europe, Japan and the rest of the world. In the early ‘80s you were able to recognize the first signs of
    this new culture in Europe in form of newspaper articles, music appearances and rap tours. Early
    movies like WILD STYLE and documentaries like STYLE WARS were shown on TV. The real boom
    and the spread of its cultural assets took place in the summer of 1984. Hip Hop, including MCs, DJs,
    writers, and b-boys appeared in numerous TV shows and the music and dancing were everywhere
    on the streets and in the discotheques, and clubs. Hollywood movies like BEAT STREET and
    BREAKIN’ catapulted the message into the mainstream media.

    More than three decades after its birth, Hip Hop has made a quantum jump forward. It’s had, and
    continues to have, a major influence on global culture and our society, on music, fashion, art,
    advertising, design, language…
    Hip Hop has grown to be the most influential youth culture on earth.

    MARTHA COOPER has the reputation of being the first and foremost photographer of
    emerging Hip Hop culture in New York City. Her new book, HIP HOP
    FILES—Photographs 1979-1984, makes a significant part of her extensive and unique
    archive accessible for the first time. The book documents the beginning of the
    phenomenon, now known as Hip Hop. The publication of many of her photos in the early
    ‘80s, disseminated the culture both at home and abroad.

    Along with the photos are quotes and statements from the people appearing in them.
    AKIM WALTA aka ZEB.ROC.SKI, well-known German Hip Hop head and founder of
    MZEE Records, tracked down the subjects in the photos and conducted numerous
    interviews. Insightful quotes and statements by over 70 Hip Hop icons accompany the
    shots including LEE, FAB 5 FREDDY, the ROCK STEADY CREW, DEZ aka DJ KAY
    HOLMAN, RAMMELLZEE, FUTURA 2000 and many others.

    ZEPHYR: Hip Hop’s street components emerged from an environment of extreme
    deprivation and decay in the South Bronx, New York City. The concept of pure
    invention—of creating something from nothing—was in full effect at the end of the 1970s
    as graffiti ("borrowed" spray paint), breaking (cardboard as dance floor) and outdoor jams
    (electricity source: the base of street lights) captured the attention of urban youth,
    coalescing into new forms of artistic expression.

    MARTHA COOPER's willingness to travel with cameras in risky areas placed her in the
    centre of the Hip Hop movement. Her dramatic photos are a testament to her
    courage to carry her cameras into dangerous areas in order to get the shot.
    Cooper photographed kids in their own world: playing, exploring, being creative.
    Fortunately, Martha was at the right place at the right time to document young people
    creating the music, dance, and art that became known world-wide. She followed people
    who would one day become icons.

    The book includes a thoughtful introduction by ZEPHYR as well as essays by CHARLIE
    AHEARN, PATTI ASTOR, and POPMASTER FABEL, participants in the early Hip Hop

    "MARTY’s pictures capture the exact moment when Hip Hop travelled from the Bronx
    uptown, downtown to the Manhattan night-club and gallery scene. The photos and
    movies were suddenly in the works and "discovered" by the press (through her pictures)
    and then seen by the rest of the world." CHARLIE AHEARN

    A: INTRO incl. an introduction by ZEPHYR
    1: WRITERS
    2: B-BOYS
    3: DJs & MCs incl. an essay by Charlie Ahearn
    5: GRAFFITI ART incl. an essay by Patti Astor
    6: MEDIA
    7: STYLE incl. an essay by POPMASTER FABEL
    Z: OUTRO incl. an epilogue by ZEB.ROC.SKI

    Author and contributors Information
    MARTHA COOPER is a documentary photographer who has specialised in shooting
    urban vernacular art and architecture for over twenty-five years. Her photos have been
    extensively exhibited and published worldwide. She received her Diploma in Ethnology
    from Oxford University, England. In 1967, COOPER returned to the United States and
    began working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., before becoming a
    curatorial assistant at the Yale University Museum. She later went on to serve as a staff
    photographer for the New York Post for three years before leaving her job in 1980 in
    order to spend more time photographing subway graffiti and breaking. In 1984, in
    collaboration with HENRY CHALFANT, she published SUBWAY ART (Thames and
    Hudson/Henry Holt), the classic book showcases the best painted trains of the era for
    viewers to study at will, often referred to as "The Bible" by graffiti aficionados. In 1990,
    her photographs of New York’s painted memorial murals, which were painted for the
    victims of tragic and untimely deaths, resulted in a book, R.I.P.: MEMORIAL WALL ART
    (Thames and Hudson/Henry Holt), with folklorist JOSEPH SCIORRA. MARTHA is the
    Director of Photography at City Lore, the New York Center for Urban Folk Culture.

    AKIM WALTA aka ZEB.ROC.SKI from Germany is an active b-boy and writer since the
    early ‘80s and well known in the Hip Hop world for his contributions to its growth, globally.
    He is author of GRAFFITI ART GERMANY (Schwarzkopf, 1994), and publisher of Hip
    Hop magazines like MZEE & ON THE RUN. In 1993, he founded MZEE Records, and
    FROM HERE TO FAME, a Hip Hop network based in Cologne. He is a Hip Hop historian
    and involved in many projects regarding Hip Hop culture.

    ZEPHYR is a world-renowned graffiti artist and painter, whose work is part of the
    permanent collection in the Groningen Museum, Netherlands and the Museum of the City
    of New York. He is also frequent contributor to Juxtapox and While You Were Sleeping
    magazines. He is author of the 2001-released book Dondi White - Style Master General
    (Regan books / Harper Collins). Currently, ZEPHYR is a graphic artist and resides in New
    Jersey./ Harper Collins). Zurzeit arbeitet ZEPHYR als Künstler und Illustrator in New

    ”Like a New York City subway ride back to the early 1980s. This is Hip Hop culture at its
    all time best. A monumental photographic achievement for the world. It doesn't get any
    better than this!” FAB 5 FREDDY

    "Marty Cooper was the first Hip Hop photographer and she remains the best."
    STEVEN HAGER, author of Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap
    Music, and Graffiti

    ”Forget the limos and the bling-bling and take a ride back to the real deal. This book is
    destined to become the Bible for the Hip Hop Nation—don't miss the train!” PATTI
    ASTOR, founder FUN Gallery

    ”Martha Cooper’s latest book is way beyond Hip Hop. It captures New York, as well as
    creation, desperation, and exhilaration. Hot buttered popcorn!” BOBBITO aka DJ
    CUCUMBER SLICE, author of Where'd You Get Those?, columnist for Vibe Magazine

    "Gripping, broadly documented cultural record of Hip Hop's audacious, street-smart, and
    hyper-creative early years. Cooper’s photographs brim over with energy, passion, and a
    raw stylishness. Hip Hop Files is a richly celebratory tribute."
    GEORGE PITTS, director of photography of Vibe Magazine

    ”Young'uns who think that Hip Hop is what they see on MTV need to pick up Martha
    Cooper's Hip Hop Files today. Her beautifully-composed photos put you right in the thick
    of the action, New York City-stylee, 1979–1984. BILL ADLER, author of Tougher than
    Leather: the Rise of Run-DMC owner of Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery

    "This book is the most definitive schematic look into the origins of a global cultural voice."

    ”The best of New York street art of the past twenty-five years has been kept alive by the
    brilliant photographs of Martha Cooper.” JEFFREY DEITCH, Deitch Projects

    ”Marty's curiosity and insight about cultures world wide has made us all want photographs
    that teach as well as entertain. Without her unique photographic collection, this culture
    might have been ignored, overlooked or misunderstood. Marty bravely and tirelessly
    dedicated herself to recording the Hip Hop world by becoming part of it. Here you have an
    insiders view.” SUSAN WELCHMAN, photo editor, National Geographic magazine

    ”Martha is so awesome to have documented our movement and our culture. With all of
    the obvious photos she took, capturing time and history with every click, I feel her passion
    for us. Her contribution to the expansion and influence of the urban art form becoming a
    global phenomenon cannot be understated. Martha Cooper was an (embedded)
    photographer with the troops on the frontlines. In two words: THANK YOU!” FUTURA

    FAQ’s – (Frequently asked questions):

    Why did Martha Cooper start to take photos of Graffiti?
    MARTHA COOPER: I was working as a staff photographer for the New York Post. On my way back
    to the paper, to leave in my film every day, I liked to drive through Alphabet City—Avenues A, B, C,
    D—and take pictures to finish off the roll of film in the camera. I was interested in what kids were
    doing when their parents weren’t watching. Since I used to drive through the same neighbourhood
    every day, the kids recognised me. One day, a young boy named Edwin asked me, ”Why don’t you
    take pictures of graffiti?”

    He showed me his little notebook with a drawing in it and then showed me how he’d painted it on a
    wall. I was fascinated because I couldn’t believe he had actually designed this piece. That was the
    first time I ever thought about photographing graffiti. You have to understand that when people
    looked at the trains, nobody really understood what those letters were. They thought they were dirty
    words. That picture of Edwin was my first picture of graffiti. Edwin asked if I wanted to meet a king
    and said that he knew DONDI. So we got in my car and he directed me to DONDI’s house in the
    East New York section of Brooklyn.

    When we got there, I introduced myself, and DONDI pulled out his piecebook and showed me this
    newspaper clipping from the Post pasted inside the front cover. It showed one of his throw-ups on a
    wall in the background of one of my photos with a credit, ”Photo by Martha Cooper.” So my
    introduction went perfectly because DONDI could see that I was a real photographer who might be
    able to get his work published.

    What really drew me in was seeing DONDI and his friends hanging out for hours drawing pieces,
    making lists of the colours they needed, getting the paint, going to the yards, and painting the piece
    on the train. I thought this was totally amazing because I had assumed that it was just random.
    Suddenly, it was like a foreign language becoming clear to me. Then I was completely hooked.

    I credit DONDI with getting me really interested in graffiti. He defined the language for me and
    explained all the different nuances of crews, style, etc. He told me which lines to go to and which
    pieces were running on them. I began to spend whole days standing in vacant lots just waiting for
    graffiti cars to pass by. I needed more time to do that, so I actually left my comfortable and well-
    paying job on the staff of the New York Post in order to pursue this.

    MARTHA COOPER: I wanted to document graffiti art because I have a strong interest in ephemeral
    art in everyday life—the kind of things you won’t find in galleries. I studied art and anthropology in
    college and so, for me, this was a natural combination of both. Photographing graffiti was my form of
    historic preservation.

    Why did Martha Cooper start to take photos of breaking?
    MARTHA COOPER: The night of January 21, 1980, I was on the staff of the New York Post and the
    photo editor sent me up to Washington Heights because they heard on the police radio that there
    was a riot. When I got there, about 25 little boys, all very young, were sitting inside the police station
    in the subway. The police had confiscated weapons, markers, and other stuff. It turned out there
    wasn’t really a riot so the cops let them go. They said, ”Why don’t you explain to the lady what you
    were doing?” One kid described a kind of dance where they spun on their backs and their heads and
    said that they battled each other for their T-shirts. After the cops released the kids, I asked for a
    demonstration and they showed me different moves right outside the police station. I thought this
    was a great story, so I called the Post editors and said, ”They weren’t having a riot, they were having
    a dance contest.” But the Post didn’t like the idea. No riot, no story.

    The dance the kids had shown me was so interesting that I wanted to shoot a story about it, but it
    was really hard to find anybody who was doing it. It took almost one year to track down some b-boys.

    Why was Martha Cooper important for the Hip Hop culture?
    In April 1981, Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper organised a performance at a place called
    ”Common Ground” where they invited MCs, DJs, and b-boys to perform while they were showing
    slides of painted subway trains. It was the first real Hip Hop show downtown. During the invited dress
    rehearsal Sally Banes, a New York dance writer, interviewed the b-boys for an article in the Village
    Voice and Marty photographed them.

    HENRY CHALFANT: "Graffiti Rock" at Common Ground was the first public performance of breaking
    downtown and it was the first time anybody there or in the media had ever seen breaking. Sally
    Banes wrote an article about it and that’s how people found out about the performance and showed
    up there. It was the first article about breaking ever and probably the first time that graffiti, breaking,
    rap, and DJing were connected under one roof. As a result of our show, Hip Hop became a
    phenomenon in the eyes of the media. That’s what set it off!

    MARTHA COOPER: The media found out about breaking on April 22, 1981, when the Village Voice
    published the cover story about this new dance. I think Henry was important in combining graffiti and
    breaking with rapping as a Hip Hop package. My photos were important in sending that out to the

    FAB 5 FREDDY: Breaking had already died down a little bit by that time, but when the story about
    the Common Ground show came out on the front page of the Village Voice, the media picked it up
    and sort of reignited it, which is kinda cool.

    FROSTY FREEZE: After our performance at Common Ground, we really started getting publicity. It
    was our first real show and it was downtown. When I saw my picture on the front page of the Village
    Voice, I was really excited. This article was the reason BAMBAATAA learned about us 'cause we
    had mentioned that we got inspired by his b-boys, the ZULU KINGS. Through the show, I got to meet
    the graffiti writers and all these guys. We made all those connections and things started working out
    extremely well for us.

    Why the book has come about:
    ZEB.ROC.SKI: The agenda for this book was set when we were preparing a special publication
    about NYC graffiti writer SEEN. For this reason we searched out Martha Cooper to find more photos
    in addition to SEEN’s. She was really open and helpful. When we were diggin’ in her crates for two
    days, the idea was born to produce a book with and about Martha Cooper. While cataloguing Martha
    Cooper’s incredible number of images, we realised that a cultural treasure of the early Hip Hop days
    had been sleeping in Marty’s files for 20 years. The importance of preserving this invaluable treasure
    for our culture instantly appealed to us and the concept was born to assemble a complete archive of
    her pictures, to make them accessible for following generations.

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219

    Hip Hop has grown up. In the beginning Hip Hop was an un-diapered baby—new, fresh, and real. It
    was pure and had never been analysed, scrutinised, or dissected. It had not been gawked at by
    outsiders. Best of all, it still existed below the radar, yet to be "discovered.” In a romantic context, Hip
    Hop’s street components were artistic, youthful expressions, but they emerged from a sobering
    environment of extreme deprivation and decay (the South Bronx, New York City). The concept of
    pure invention—or creating something from nothing—was in full effect by the end of the 1970s.
    Graffiti, with its "borrowed" spray paint; breaking, which used cardboard as a dance floor; and
    outdoor jams that siphoned electricity from the city’s street lights emerged and converged.

    Of the endless debates surrounding Hip Hop, the most intriguing one is also the most basic: What is
    Hip Hop? If Hip Hop were considered to be nothing more than the various art forms or elements, then
    the big picture would be sorely missed. This perception would be like viewing a box from above and
    not realising that it is three-dimensional. To muddy the waters further, the issue of how, when, where,
    and why these components came to be conjoined remains under consideration. I will not attempt to
    grapple with semantics or cultural analyses of Hip Hop here, nor will I explore whether the confluence
    of Hip Hop’s original artistic components was organic or contrived. These challenges are better left to
    scholars, poets, and the original architects of the movement themselves. I will only go so far as to
    say that Hip Hop is a method of interpretation, a pattern of thought, and, for so many, a way of life. At
    its core, Hip Hop’s contemporary components are not rapping, breaking, DJing, and graffiti—but
    multi-culturalism, social activism, and compassion.

    When Hip Hop first wandered outside the hood, its initial "street elements" garnered big-time novelty-
    factor cachet and attracted instant media attention. In the early-1980s, when rap music was rapidly
    making its way onto vinyl and into downtown night-clubs, a number of prescient journalists and
    photographers jostled to document the scene—with varying degrees of success. The first generation
    of professional rappers, DJs, and b-boys generally welcomed the media exposure. But graffiti artists,
    who were extremely adept at the art of self-promotion, were the most likely to avoid photographers
    and journalists. This was a period of grand adaptation: Hip Hop was being reconfigured and
    repositioned in strange new venues. But despite the fact that Manhattan clubs and galleries
    presented graffiti, rap music, and breaking for dollars, the street remained the true home of the
    movement. As such, pre-existing rivalries and outlaw dispositions remained intact and created an
    added challenge to documenting the players of this period.

    The finest photographs to come out of the early days of Hip Hop were taken by a pixieish woman
    with a mischievous, infectious grin. The photographer responsible was not afforded carte blanche or
    any other form of special access to the scene. Instead, she relied on her own tenacity, ambition,
    creativity, and bold determination to go wherever she had to go and do what she had to do to get the
    shot. That photographer was Martha Cooper.

    By "getting the shot", Martha—Marty to her friends—did a beautiful job to help raise the baby. Her
    role was never that of the docile documentarian confined to the sidelines. Quite the contrary—the
    original push to bring breaking and subway painting to the mainstream has Martha Cooper’s prints all
    over it. Literally. Her very early association with the ROCK STEADY CREW is documented
    comprehensively in the B-Boy chapter of this book and I’m grateful for that, since I agreed that I
    would not use this forum to trace her every foundational link. I will, however, say this: Martha’s
    unwavering commitment to honour the subjects she photographed is why she is counted among the
    people who helped make Hip Hop what it is today: the dominant youth culture around the world.

    The glorious, highly professional Cooper shots of trains rolling through various neighbourhoods (most
    often the South Bronx) preserve for us the paintings that only existed for a matter of days or, in some
    cases, even hours. Marty’s shooting process was tough-going. She took many of the train photos
    from a location that she used regularly for years; an empty lot on Hoe Avenue in the South Bronx
    that had a wide view of the tracks. After having been notified of fresh pieces by the writers, it was
    there that she waited—sometimes for more than five hours—for particular cars to roll by.

    Photographing their ephemeral art on trains was an important part of the graffiti painting process, but
    some subway painters were more diligent about it than others. Small, often blurry amateur shots of
    trains were standard throughout the ‘70s. The photos were almost exclusively shot from the opposite
    side of the tracks in outdoor stations with inexpensive cameras. Writers maintained their photos in
    albums and traded pictures freely among themselves. In 1980, the impact of a professional
    photographer—an outsider—documenting graffiti and the graffiti subculture was significant.

    Of special note among Ms. Cooper’s extraordinary graffiti images is the series of photos that
    document the painting of the DONDI train, "CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE Part 3." On May 31, 1980,
    Marty accompanied DONDI to the New Lots train yard. There, over the course of a full moon-lit night,
    she photographed the entire process of his painting this whole car masterpiece. High quality photos
    of a graffiti artist at work "behind enemy lines" had never been taken before. This type of exposure
    showed in stunning detail exactly how a graffiti painter managed to get his art onto the sides of the
    trains—a process that was a mystery to most straphangers at that time.

    Martha Cooper’s highly influential book, SUBWAY ART (Thames & Hudson, London) is a
    collaboration with photographer Henry Chalfant. Released in September 1984, SUBWAY ART
    showcases the best painted trains of the era for viewers to study at length. The decorated trains are
    presented in a simple, straightforward manner. While the New York graffiti painters were giddy about
    seeing their work immortalised, it was the ripple effect beyond the city limits that was most
    astounding. The book, now in its 16th printing, must be appreciated for what it is: the visual document
    that spread the aerosol doctrine world-wide. At the time of its publication, the modern graffiti
    movement was limited to New York and Philadelphia. SUBWAY ART changed all that. As a manual
    for budding practitioners and a touchstone for veterans, SUBWAY ART’s dramatic influence on
    graffiti globalisation is widely acknowledged and universally accepted.

    The great popularity of SUBWAY ART, referred to by many as ”the Bible”, has been unsurpassed by
    any other book on the subject. To put the book’s popularity and longevity in perspective in the 20
    years it has been in print it has outsold nearly every other art book on the market.

    Here is but a piece of the history and legacy of Ms. Martha Cooper—a quiet, unassuming woman
    with a very active trigger finger. On a personal note, I have always felt an enormous debt of gratitude
    towards Marty. When I was an 18-year-old graffitist, her clean, precise images enabled me to see my
    own train paintings properly for the first time. But this is not the real reason that I feel indebted to
    her—her humility, grace, and sincerity stand out even above her talent and have always helped to
    remind me of what is truly important in life.


    Looking back and reflecting both on that time and Martha Cooper’s personal history, one of two
    distinct possibilities for her emerged—either reject photography and everything associated with it or
    embrace it wholeheartedly as a lifelong profession. Suffice it to say, she chose the latter and she
    became a legend.

    Marty was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father, Ben Cooper, owned a camera shop.
    At age 3, when you and I were eating crayons, Marty was shooting photographs. Ben Cooper studied
    to be a lawyer, but his career plans changed when he was drafted into World War II. When he
    returned home in 1945, his brother Harry convinced him to become his partner. Together, they
    opened Camera Mart on Harford Road in Baltimore, one of the last family-owned camera shops still
    in business today.

    On weekends, Ben would take his daughter on photo outings. It was on these early excursions that
    Marty fell in love with photography. "My father would take me on ‘camera runs’ with the Baltimore
    Camera Club. We’d take pictures down by the harbour and of things like white marble
    steps—pictorial photographs. When I look back,” Marty says, ”I realise how much my father’s brand
    of urban photography influenced me." In high school, Marty was the president of the camera club and
    when the yearbook needed photos, Marty provided them. While in high school, she attended an
    unusual radical summer work camp in Putney, Vermont with many politically active kids from New
    York City. And there and then New York City became the city of her dreams.

    Marty was a gifted student; she was a high school graduate by age 16. In keeping with her
    accelerated stride, by age 19, she had already earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Grinnell
    College in Iowa. In 1963, directly after graduating from school, she joined the newly-formed Peace
    Corps. She was dispatched to Thailand and assigned to work as an English teacher. While there,
    she became fascinated by the hill tribes and photographed them extensively. "When I heard about
    the Peace Corps,” she says, ”my first thought was, ‘I wonder if they take girls?’ When I got to
    Thailand, the teaching part was tough and it was hot all the time. I asked to be transferred to the
    northern regions where the hill tribes were. I needed something even more exotic. I was stationed on
    the Laotian border in a village called Chieng Kham. The tribespeople would come into the
    marketplace and I’d follow them back to their villages. I took photos on colour print film and mailed
    the rolls back to my dad in Baltimore for processing. Then I’d go back to the villages and share the

    In 1965, after two years in the Peace Corps, Marty headed to Oxford University in England to do
    post-graduate work in anthropology. Before leaving Thailand, she cashed in her plane ticket for an
    alternative means of transportation and made an unbelievable journey: 16,000 miles across Asia by
    motorcycle. "I started out by myself and at the southern tip of Thailand,” she recalls. ”I met a
    Canadian guy, Alfred Menninga, who was also travelling by motorcycle and we decided to go
    together. We took a small boat to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and drove north through India. From there,
    we went up to Nepal for fun and continued through Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Then, we drove
    through Russia, around the Black Sea, into Czechoslovakia, and across Europe to England."

    At Oxford, Marty chose to study ethnology over social anthropology because it included the study of
    artefacts as she’d developed a strong affinity for folk art and handmade items. "I was very interested
    in tribal art and artefacts. At Oxford, Dr. K.O.L Burridge, impressed upon me that I shouldn’t isolate
    the art from its culture,” Marty says. ”He taught me to look at things in their context. For instance, you
    might admire a certain African woodcarving, but you’re applying your own western aesthetics to what
    you’re looking at. What’s more important is that it might have been used in a fertility dance or maybe
    it was only used once and destroyed. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Burridge, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m
    doing today and I send him a card every Christmas to remind him of that fact." Although Marty felt
    that the camera was an underused research tool, she was repeatedly told that no job description
    existed for her interests. Nevertheless, she remained committed to finding ways of combining
    anthropology and photography.

    After receiving a diploma in ethnology from Oxford, Marty decided to pursue museum work as her
    vocation. She returned to the States in 1967 and began working at the Smithsonian Institution in
    Washington, D.C. From the Smithsonian, she went on to a position as a curatorial assistant at the
    Yale University Museum. She found the work tedious, but was saved from the boredom when she
    began dating Stewart Guthrie, an anthropologist who was doing his graduate work at Yale. The
    following summer, Marty took an internship at National Geographic magazine. When her internship
    ended, she and Stewart married and Stewart’s fieldwork took him to Japan, where the couple lived
    from 1969 to 1971. (They have since divorced.)

    After returning from Japan, Marty and Stewart took up residence in North Kingston, Rhode Island,
    where Marty took a job as a staff photographer for the Narragansett Times, but her sights were still
    set on New York City. Two years later, the opportunity Marty had been looking for finally came her
    way. She was offered a job as a staff photographer for the New York Post. "I was thrilled when I got
    the offer from the Post,” she says. ”The new photo editor was Susan Welchman—a dynamic,
    wonderful woman. She took a look around and realised that there weren’t any women on the staff
    and rectified that situation right away."

    The Post’s offices were located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Often at the end of the day, on her
    way back to the Post, Marty would cruise through the neighbourhood and photograph kids at play.
    One day, she met a youngster named Edwin who drastically changed the direction of Marty’s work
    and life. At the time, she was beginning to successfully merge ethnology and photography—the
    realisation of a long-time ambition. But Martha Cooper’s earliest forays into photographing graffiti
    occurred entirely by chance.

    Edwin told Marty that he liked to do graffiti. He said his tag name was HE 3 and he asked Marty if
    she’d ever photographed graffiti. "Up until that day I had never focused on graffiti. I hadn’t thought
    that much about it. I saw it, but I had no idea what it said. I didn’t even realise that kids were writing
    their nicknames,” she says. Edwin and his graffiti writing fit in with the shots of kids at play that Marty
    was compiling. When Edwin asked her if she was interested in meeting a ”graffiti king,” Marty wasn’t
    sure what that meant. Was there royalty? She was intrigued. They jumped into her car and Edwin
    directed them deep into Brooklyn’s East New York section, to the home of a well-known and highly
    respected graffiti artist named DONDI.

    DONDI and Marty became friends and over a period of years beginning in 1979, DONDI served as
    Marty’s official guide to the graffiti subculture. Through their association, Marty gained precious
    insight to the inner workings of the underground movement. Up until this point, graffiti had occupied
    background space both in her consciousness and in her photos. But A.D. (After DONDI), all that
    changed. Graffiti gained a new position—front and centre—in her work and in her life.

    "Because of shooting graffiti, I happened to be standing at the epicentre
    of an emerging youth culture that would become known as Hip Hop.
    Luckily, I had the sense to keep my finger on the shutter." Martha

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219
    Sample text from the book—to be used editorial only in
    conjunction with a book review or a feature about HIP

    HIP HOP:
    GRANDMASTER CAZ: Hip Hop was born in the South Bronx in New York City. The basic motivation
    for Hip Hop is self-expression. It doesn’t cost anything. It was free. I sometimes miss the times back
    in the days; because it were times that we're never gonna recapture. Whenever something is at its
    essence and beginning, it is pure. There are no special additives to make it marketable or sellable to
    other people’s taste. You are doing it for yourself. We are way past that point right now!”

    DURO: Marty truly understood us and she knew how important it was to document the movement. It
    was the beginning of what turned out to be Hip Hop!

    01: WRITING:
    CRIME 79: The essence of graffiti is bombing—just go and do it! I didn’t even take pictures in the
    beginning. I wrote just to see my stuff up there. I didn’t even care if anybody else saw it. No one was
    taking pictures of it, we just did it.

    MARTHA COOPER: I consider myself a documentary photographer. When I first started shooting
    graffiti, I wanted to see more than just pieces on a train. I wanted to photograph the art in the context
    of the urban environment. I looked for different backgrounds and landscapes to capture the spirit and
    the flavour of the times and the city.

    BAN 2: When I look at Marty’s pictures, I definitely have a back-in-the-day feeling. That’s when we
    had our trains, that’s when we had something to look forward to, you know, just a rush to go and do
    pieces. I’m 40-years-old and, due to the fact that I’m not writing anymore, I must say I miss it. It’s
    awful, but I don’t see anything bad in this. Writing gave kids something as far as branching out,
    meeting people. There is no racism in graffiti because we're all brothers and sisters through the

    MARTHA COOPER: When I began trying to catch graffiti on trains in 1980, the South Bronx was a
    wasteland. Shops were shuttered, buildings were boarded-up, and there were entire blocks of vacant
    lots. Few people walked the streets. Except for the sounds of the subway, the place was eerily quiet,

    DEZ aka DJ-KAY SLAY: Me and Martha Cooper was cool. Henry Chalfant introduced us to her. She
    used to take pictures of mad graffiti pieces and shit and, even though she was a female, she would
    come in the motherfucking yard, word up! I remember the cops was coming or the train was pulling
    out and she was running with us with her camera, her bag, and all that shit. She was holding it down.
    When Marty came with us to the 3 yard, I thought, ”Yo, this is gangsta!” We all had so much respect
    for her. I would know guys in the hood that wouldn’t ever do what she did. We had a white lady with a
    knapsack in the fuckin’ 3 yard taking pictures. The whole shit was hot!

    MARTHA COOPER: The yards were playgrounds for the kids. They ran across the tracks, between
    cars, and on top of trains. They could swing from the straps, ride on top of the train, or lie on the
    electrified third rail. They owned the cars, they owned the stations, they felt comfortable.”

    DAZE: Martha was really hanging out with us a lot. At that time, we were in the 3 yard all the time. I
    mean, like, 24/7. So we decided to invite Martha to come with us to the 3 yard. She was great! She
    was climbing up on top of the trains, taking pictures from there looking down. She was climbing all
    around, you know, like standing on the third rail taking photos.

    MARTHA COOPER: I think the energy in illegal graffiti was unmatched in the legal paintings.
    Stealing the paint, sneaking into the yards, and working under a one-night deadline all added to the
    level of excitement and spontaneity, which made the resulting work much more interesting to me.
    Maybe that’s my defence of vandalism. The hurdles that the writers had to cross in order to do their
    art were astounding. It wasn’t only the fear. When we went to the yards, there wasn’t so much fear
    as excitement and energy with fear mixed in.

    02: BREAKING:
    SALLY BANES: When I first asked kids what breaking meant, they told me, ”It’s when you go crazy
    on the floor.”

    DOZE: Breaking, otherwise known as b-boying, is a competitive, warlike dance making the opponent
    look bad.

    MR. FREEZE: All I can say is that if it wasn’t for Martha Cooper, our culture would not have been
    captured in its purest form. Thank God for Martha’s dedication, for her love of our culture.

    FROSTY FREEZE: For the b-boys, it was just about hearing the music. Somebody would come and
    say, ”There's a jam in the park!” The only thing that could stop us was the rain or the cops.

    T-KID: A block party was when they got a permit from the city to throw a party. They got the
    turntables. They closed off the street so nobody could come in. They'd hook up their system to a light
    pole illegally and start throwing a jam. The old-timers would bring the Millers and the Budweiser and
    the kids would be smoking weed. It was real, man. It was real!

    JOE-JOE: Back in the days, when they used to argue and stuff like that, the aggression was taken to
    the dance floor. You said, ”C'mon, let’s battle!”

    FROSTY FREEZE: Real b-boying is outdoors. Doing it inside means being controlled, getting told
    what to do, being on time, and so on.

    03: DJs & MCs:
    B-BOY ALIEN NESS: When Hip Hop started, it was all about the connection between the DJ and the
    dancer. It was not necessarily the connection to the b-boys, just the connection to the dancers in
    general. It was all about keeping that one break going to keep our groove on all night. Hip Hop was
    all about the music and the dance.

    DJ TONY TONE: Many people think that Hip Hop started when records started being made. No, it
    was a couple of years before records started coming out. So I wanna throw my hands up to KOOL

    EASY AD: Hip Hop, to me, represents many different things. It represents culture, it represents
    growth, it represents knowledge, and it represents freedom.

    GRANDMASTER CAZ: MCing is the language of Hip Hop culture. This is how we communicate with
    each other; this is how I let someone in Holland know what is going on over here in the Bronx. This is
    how someone in France lets someone in Germany know how they are living and what their
    conditions are and what they are about. Our tool of communication with each other is the music.

    05: DOWNTOWN:
    MARTHA COOPER: Artists, filmmakers, and photographers were instrumental in bringing early Hip
    Hop downtown and incorporating it into the existing, if offbeat, fashionable scene. These people,
    along with academics and journalists, connected the music with the art (graffiti) and dance
    (breaking)—something that might not have happened on its own.

    DOZE: The fact that Hip Hop blew up was probably due to FAB 5 FREDDY, Henry Chalfant, Martha
    Cooper, Patti Astor, and Ruza Blue. Those people brought uptown downtown.

    CHARLIE AHEARN: Negril was the first regular Hip Hop spot downtown. It was so hot. Bronx
    legends mixing with rock stars and b-boys all in one tiny place.

    KOOL DJ RED ALERT: By the time we got to the Roxy, we used to average about 3,500 people
    every Friday night. All different nationalities and cultures. We exchanged our sounds with all different
    kinds of music. From there, I had a chance to get on the radio and that's what I've been doing for the
    last 20 years.

    MARTHA COOPER: We were attracted to the energy and novelty of Hip Hop. None of us foresaw
    the ”going global” part. In fact, I thought I was photographing something unique to New York City.

    05: GALLERIES:
    REVOLT: There were a lot of people that were a little stodgy, mostly established artists and the
    whole art collector community. They were repelled. I think the galleries that were popping up were
    more excited and more into it because they were looking for something new. They were tired of all
    the old shit. It was the freshest thing out there and it was right in your face. Everybody was a graffiti

    DAZE: At the same time, there were a lot of art shows that were happening in clubs, too—just one-
    night events where people brought paintings down to a big party where somebody was DJing. It is
    funny when you think about that whole era. I never thought I'd be looking back at it nostalgically. A lot
    happened in a really short space of time. When you really talk about that particular scene, you are
    only talking about a few years. Three years, maybe four at the most. But a lot happened in those

    MARTHA COOPER: The writers were celebrities, but they were still doing what they always did,
    passing around their piecebooks and signing them for each other. These art openings in the summer
    used to spill out onto the street. Fun Gallery openings were an amazing scene. Crowds of people
    would show up and the streets were packed.

    06: MEDIA:
    MARTHA COOPER: The early movies and downtown clubs presented Hip Hop as a single unit
    combining rapping (music), breaking (dance), and graffiti (art). Since head-spins and spray cans
    were more photogenic than a guy with a microphone, this packaged version instantly appealed to the
    media largely because of the visuals. In fact, these three elements overlapped, but they weren't
    intertwined. Graffiti and breaking became sort of rocket launchers for the music, propelling rap to the
    moon before veering off to other galaxies.

    FROSTY FREEZE: If there had not been people like Henry or Martha and their work, we never would
    have become known.”

    PATTI ASTOR: What’s great about Marty is that she was always there but never obtrusive. I can
    picture her now in her jeans and sneakers, all loaded down with cameras and film, always smiling,
    always ready to go.

    SHARP: Many of the people who write in Europe started because they saw the WILD STYLE poster
    or the movie that went around the world. I just thought it was cool that I was dealing with something
    that was that important for the evolution of our culture and our movement.

    REVOLT: BEAT STREET was a classic example of the Hollywood appropriation, exploitation, and
    homogenisation of the culture. They tried to sanitise it for middle-America.

    MICHAEL HOLMAN: Hip Hop has come a long way from small venues on off-nights in downtown
    Manhattan to nationally syndicated television and world-wide media exposure.

    GRANDMASTER CAZ: When RUN DMC came out, they really took Hip Hop back to its bare
    essence: beats, rhymes, some Adidas, a hat, and just turned that into a whole phenomenon.

    07: STYLE:
    BOBBITO: I don’t think anyone could define style back in the days because the style was to define
    style. There was a parameter that we all stayed in, but essentially, the drive was to be unique.
    Everyone had their different flavour that they brought to the table.

    BOBBITO: All throughout Hip Hop style, you're seeing a lot of customising, you're seeing a lot of
    accessories, you're seeing a lot of style. But all in the absence of money and the absence of
    availability and accessibility.

    MICHAEL HOLMAN : I believe ski fashion was important to Hip Hop fashion because it looked
    futuristic and functional. The future represented promise for inner-city kids who saw the past as a
    time of oppression. The future is a time for sharpness, clarity, and control.


    FROM HERE TO FAME Publishing is a young, motivated venture run by Hip Hop
    individualists in collaboration with other independent publishers around the globe,
    who focus on Hip Hop culture. We connect a diverse group of experts including
    artists, journalists, authors, and anthropologists who, from their different
    perspectives, have observed and participated in the development of Hip Hop.

    FROM HERE TO FAME Publishing envisions the foundation of a Hip Hop
    museum and cultural centre. We want to communicate the history, evolution, and
    influence of Hip Hop culture on our society,
    especially to the younger generations.
    Our motto is:


    An ambitious project like a museum can only be realised with the support of
    cultural departments and government, and with the help of dedicated people from
    the Hip Hop community, students, supporters, and sponsors. Hip Hop Files is the
    first of many books and projects to come. More will follow and help to pave the
    way to realise our vision.


    For any questions or needed material contact us at:

    From Here To Fame Publishing
    Vitalisstraße 379 a
    50933 Cologne
    0049-(0)-221-202 35 31
    [email protected]

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219

  12. ~KRYLON2~

    ~KRYLON2~ 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 13, 2001 Messages: 10,493 Likes Received: 211
    looks like another book to add to the collection
  13. Abracadabra

    Abracadabra Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Dec 28, 2001 Messages: 22,906 Likes Received: 113

    look how clear those flicks are. definate must-have

    STYLEISKING Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 14,313 Likes Received: 219
  15. Carl Winslow.

    Carl Winslow. Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 12, 2004 Messages: 247 Likes Received: 0
    bump... i seen this at the barnes & noble store the other day and had to pick this up. also i got "graffiti world", another great installment to your bookshelf collection