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Excerpt from the book:

 

Many new art movements have their origins in transgression and so it was with graffiti. Subway cars and city walls became the canvas for kids with a can of aerosol paint. In tags and masterpieces, they demanded attention and acknowledgment. The graffiti art created by these young people was immediate, confrontational, and beautiful. 

James Top grew up as a warrior in East New York. Fighting for survival in the projects was not a choice, it was a reality. With a can of spray paint, he created a new identity for himself - Jee2. Over and over again, he wrote his name on doors, walls, and trains in defiance and with pride. The Legend began with Jee2. 

The Odd Partners were his crew and its members became his brothers. He renamed himself as James Top because it expressed his roots and hope and desire to reach the top in his art and in his life. His art is iconic; his life is deep with meaning. His series, Afrology, graphically tells the story of the black man in society, a precursor to the Black Lives Matter movement. Top’s masterpieces in the Graffiti Hall of Fame assure his status as a dominant force in graffiti art. 

James Top’s optimism about life is strong. He is committed to preserving and advancing graffiti art. His dream - a museum in NYC dedicated to graffiti art to acknowledge those who came before and encourage the graffiti artists of the future.