Definition - The Art And Design Of Hip-Hop

Format Mag interviews Cey Adams about his upcoming book due out in the fall. Set to be released via Collins Design publishing. Always interesting to get the perspective of people intimately involved in the evolution and commercialization of graf. You’ll probably recognize a lot of his work. Check him out at Although his online portfolio seems to be missing a lot of his earlier stuff. Especially his work for the Beastie Boys. Link (via Scritch And Scratch)

Format: Tell me about your book Definition. I’m curious because it sounds like with the book you’re not taking the conventional, graffiti writer book approach at all. It seems like it’s a very contemporary book.

Adams: It’s called Definition the Art and Design of Hip Hop. The idea is that over the last 20, 25 years, basically since the birth of hip-hop, there’s amazing talent emerging and a lot of these are people of colour. A lot of them are Asian, or middle eastern, basically, not white. There’s all these amazing talent that are coming up and nobody is really giving their work a voice. Everybody talks about graffiti and everything that happened in the ‘80’s but in my opinion that story has already been told, over and over again. Nobody is telling the story of the young kid that was inspired by Fear of a Black Planet (Public Enemy) or License to Ill (Beastie Boys) and decided that they wanted to become a graphic designer. So my concept was to try to incorporate graffiti and the evolution of graffiti and street art and show that people like Shephard Fairey or the disciples of Keith Haring, just basically to show the thread.