Many people can be “up”, but only a select few could be considered “all city”.
Can also refer to a crew instead of just one writer. Backgrounds were used to make the piece stand out from all the tags and assorted scribbling on a subway car that make the piece hard to discern; the color or design painted behind the piece to make it stand out from the wall or train.
The most visible or skilled artists are known as ‘kings’, and iconography of crowns within their work is a reference to the writer’s status.
Lesser artists can only gain status by impressing a (‘king’)” (What is street art? -Real Graffiti is Illegal -Real Writers Wouldn’t Deface a Small Business -No Writing on Religious Sanctuaries also in Japanese!
A getting-up battle is when the writers take a certain area of a city and whichever crew can get up the most in that area within a certain amount of time (say a week to a month), wins.
For both kinds of battle, an outside crew or writer judges who is the winner.Many stores and graffiti fanzines sell caps nowadays.Also referred to as “tips” (as in “flare tips” and “thin tips”.) The really big fat caps are sometimes called “softballs” because of the wide and soft-looking spray they produce.Not in use as much anymore, in some circles its use is considered downright cheesy. Relatively new stainless type of subway car, so named for the bell that rings just before the doors close.Ding-dongs were preferred because they were so flat.A type of grease pencil used by artists to mark up contact sheets of photos or the photos themselves for cropping.They come in red and blue, and were adopted by writers for tagging because of the grease base.A newer glossary has been compiled by 149th Street.What a writer is considered to be when he/she is “up”, but this term implies more status than being just “up”.Tips are sometimes referred to by a certain number of fingers, corresponding to the width of the spray (for example, a “four-finger spray” would be about as wide as your hand.The number on the front of a tip is the catalog number for that model.