The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the hip-hop movement with new Forever stamps.
Since its inception more than four decades ago, the electrifying music, dance and art of hip-hop have profoundly influenced American and global popular culture.
A dynamic youth culture emerged in the mid-1970s at playgrounds and community centers in African American and African Caribbean neighborhoods in New York City. 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.
Over the next several decades, hip-hop grew into a global musical and cultural force. Not only are hip-hop artists found in every corner of the world, but each scene also brings its own contributions to the art form and tells its own local stories.
This pane of 20 stamps features four elements of hip-hop: MCing (rapping), b-boying (break dancing), DJing and graffiti art. The bold, digitally tinted images on the stamps are intended to appear in motion. There are five stamps of each design. The words “Forever,” “USA,” “Hip Hop” and the name of the element featured appear across the top of each stamp. The stamps are highlighted with a vivid yellow, green, red and black color scheme. The title of the stamp issuance, printed in red and black, is centered on the top of the pane.