How artists and influencers set the stage for Hip-Hop's global rise

After graduating from college in 1978, Michael Holman moved to New York City for a job on Wall Street, but he says his interests soon led him elsewhere. "I'd take myself to the 1 train stop on Hudson and Chambers and these trains would roll in with these graffiti burners, covering the train from top to bottom. And I just couldn't believe what I was seeing- it was this sort of beautiful vandalism."

Then Holman read a short blurb in The Village Voice. Fred Brathwaite, who served as an informal spokesperson for the Fabulous 5 graffiti crew, put out a call for readers to hire them to create custom burners at their businesses or homes, priced by the square foot. Intrigued, Holman called "Fab 5 Freddy" and invited him to hang out.

Later that year Fab 5 Freddy and Lee Quinones of the Fabulous 5 showed their graffiti on canvas at a gallery in Rome. Then in 1980, Freddy painted an eye-catching, Warhol-inspired mural on a New York City subway car- a string of soup cans that doubled as an announcement of his arrival as a significant creative catalyst.

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