Next time you need to send an actual letter, reach for one of four new hip-hop inspired stamps. Last month, the USPS unveiled the new forever stamps. Each depicts one of the four elements: break dancing, graffiti, DJing, and MCing. According to the official press release, photographs by Cade Martin provided the imagery for art director Antonio Alcalá stamp designs.
Hip Hop goes postal
The stamps came about in partnership with the Bronx’s Universal Hip Hop Museum, which is directed by rap pioneer Kurtis Blow. According to Billboard, they were unveiled at a virtual ceremony where he said the following. “Today the United States Postal Service celebrates those elements, understanding that the roots of hip-hop are so much of a defining part of the culture itself that its history is now widely known as hip-hop’s fifth element: knowledge.”
Hip hop started out as a cultural movement founded by inner-city youth in New York City, namely the Bronx, in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The movement spread across the globe in the following decades, cementing itself as the dominant force in popular culture by the early 21st century. Apparently, hip-hop can even make stamp collecting cool. They depict a woman graffiti artist grasping a can of spray paint, a B-boy striking a pose, a DJ scratching a set of turntables, and an MC rocking a mic.