ICONS: Legendary Graffiti Artists Prime and Man One Talk Hip-Hop Architecture [Podcast]
Yesterday, we published our first photo essay on ICONS: A Conversation with Legendary Graffiti Artists Prime and Man One. Moderated by NOT REAL ART founder Scott “Sourdough” Power, the conversation between legendary L.A. graffiti artists Prime and Jose “Prime” Reza unfolded at Helms Bakery District in Culver City, CA, as part of the traveling exhibition Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture.
On today’s podcast episode, we present the entire conversation between Scott, Prime, and Man One during the ICONS event on Sept. 15, 2023. The three longtime friends chat about the birth and evolution of graffiti in L.A., supplementing the conversation with personal stories about their experiences in the scene. “[Graffiti] has gotten a lot more attention as an art form,” says Jose “Prime” Reza, who flooded the gallery walls of Close to the Edge with his distinct hybrid of Cholo lettering and East Coast-style writing. “[Cholo writing was] my stepping stone into the arts,” he tells Scott. “It has opened my eyes with regard to what it is and what it was used for.”
Curated by Sekou Cooke, Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture explores the rich world of hip-hop, from the movement’s fundamental elements, like emceeing and graffiti, to its lesser-known impact on design and architecture. The exhibition includes groundbreaking work from students, academics, and practitioners that’s rooted in hip-hop’s core ethos: identity, process, and aesthetics. The exhibition features experimental visualizations, installations, façade studies, building designs, and urban development proposals.
If you missed yesterday’s photo essay on the ICONS event, make sure to head that way now. Then pop on your headphones for an in-depth conversation on the intersection of hip-hop, graffiti, gentrification, and the urban environment of L.A.