The four original elements of hip-hop culture are portrayed on four new forever stamps from the United States Postal Service.
The nondenominated (55¢) stamps will be issued July 1 in a pane of 20. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no first-day ceremony on the issue date.
New York City is the designated first-day city.
“A dynamic youth culture emerged in the mid-1970s at playgrounds and community centers in African American and Afro Caribbean neighborhoods in New York City,” according to the Postal Service. “The term ‘hip hop’ refers to four creative activities that developed together: rapping, DJing, break dancing, and graffiti art. Even before hip hop music hit the radio airwaves in 1979, teenagers developed hip hop for neighborhood fun, for storytelling and to speak out about social issues overlooked by mainstream society.”
The four stamp designs feature photographs by Cade Martin, each depicting an individual involved in one of these four elements.
Each stamp is captioned with HIP HOP and also identifies the individual or activity shown: MC (rapping), B-BOY (break dancing), DJ (disc jockey) and GRAFFITI ART.
In a Nov. 26, 2019, blog post for artist representative Heather Elder, Missy Hunter wrote about Martin’s work with the Postal Service and the individuals in his stamp photographs.