Bow And Arrow 78 got wind of an event, Street Glyphics, happening in San Bernardino, CA this
coming July. It sounded pretty interesting and a little different. The event is a live art contest for
young adults. It is free, open to the public, and being held in San Bernardino in July. In the city
that was recently rated the most dangerous in California by a Graham Donath report -with 34.6 percent of it’s population in poverty, and the city itself in bankruptcy, it seems a few
groups of creative minds are sprouting up in an effort to culturally expand the communities of
With great interest, we decided to approach Untapped Hip Hop Magazine. Untapped Hip Hop is
one of the new and growing organizations aimed at bolstering culture and creativity in the Inland Empire. They are also spearheading their efforts to making
Street Glyphics a permanent fixture in San Bernardino’s growing creative environment.
Bow And Arrow 78 led a short interview with Untapped founding members, Justin Valdivia and
David Williams. They gave insight into Street Glyphics, Untapped Hip Hop, and the the growing
world of local hip-hop music as well as the art in the Inland Empire.
BNA78: For starters, thanks for chatting with Bow And Arrow 78 today.
What is Untapped Hip Hop Magazine and how did it get started? What is it that Untapped aims to
do and how do you go about doing it?
UNTAPPED: No problem at all. Thank you for having us. Untapped Hip Hop started as a school
project for electronic layout class back in 2013 David Williams asked me if I wanted to join in on the company.
I worked with him before and I knew he was serious about it, but our original plan was to do
this after we graduated.
The aim for Untapped Hip Hop is to showcase the hip hop culture in a positive light. By showing
how the hip hop culture influences other cultures, not only through the 4 elements of hip hop,
but also through other genres of art (i.e. painting, illustration, sculpting).
We like to joke around and say, “If you’re a baker and you’re baking hip hop cakes we want to
hear your story.” So if you are a local artist with talent and not getting any exposure we want to help put you in the
spotlight. That’s the meaning behind our title, “Untapped Hip Hop.” There are artist out there
that are gems just looking for the opportunity to shine so we want to show the world what they have been overlooking.
So far we’ve been grinding going to local shows, galleries, and events scouting out artist to
interview. And through word of mouth and building relationships more artists have been
opening up to us– as well as having cyphers to highlight to the local mcs in our area.
BNA78: With that being said, what would you say is the current state of local hip-hop in San Bernardino and the IE as a whole? What does Untapped look for in an artist?
What does it take for an aspiring artist to compete in the local scene?
UNTAPPED: I would say it is being over looked. Sway said there is a lot of talent — such as Dirty Birdie.
We are looking for artist that are not tied down to current trends in a
sense, doesn’t have to talk about drugs, sex, and violence. It seems the powers that be see a
formula within this and realize they can sell this message.
The problem with it is this message is being glorified too much where some people get it
twisted and confuse the two with fantasy and reality. In short, an artist that has a positive
message, one that seeks to educate their listeners.
They need to be hungry, willing to put in the time everyone else is not. You gotta be meaningful as well. With all the
cookie cutter hip-hop out there a voice has to stand out.
BNA78: How would you say audiences respond to these types of artists? It can be difficult to get
people out of their comfort zones such as the music of the mainstream. Is there an audience
for music with a message to educate others? If there is, is it growing or latent?
UNTAPPED: We think audiences respond well to real artists because what hip hop is, essentially as in all forms of art,
is delivering a message to the people. We want to show our audience that it is okay to come out of your comfort zones
of mainstream hip hop to actually hear what’s
going on in our communities. There is nothing wrong with listening to mainstream hip hop, but we want to show the difference
between real hip-hop and mainstream.
There is definitely an audience for music with a message to educate. If there wasn’t then artist
such as Common, Mos Def, 2pac, and Kendrick Lamar wouldnn’t be as popular as they are
today. All music educates in a sense. It’s just a matter of if it educates the audience to be more
self aware of what’s going on, or educate them on how to roll blunts and twerk.
We believe it’s growing, because people are starting to realize that what’s being put out today
has no message and are getting tired of what the culture is being portrayed as
BNA78: Very cool. Let’s talk about Street Glyphics. Tell us more about this new event.
UNTAPPED: Street Glyphics is a street art competition using spray paint, markers, or acrylic
paint for young artist ranging from 16 to 25 years old. And to be eligible for the competition you need to either be
in high school, have a high school diploma, or a GED.
We want Street Glyphics to be a place where these talented young artist can come through and
showcase their skills to the community in a safe environment. We plan on making
Street Glyphics an annual event starting out here in the Inland Empire and would like it to grow
into something bigger spreading into other communities around the country.
The event is completely free to enter and open for the community to attend. There will be live
music, food trucks, and vendors. We will be providing everything for the artist so all they have to bring is their talents.
We are working with local businesses to donate prizes and the Art
Institute of California Inland Empire to provide a grand prize of a scholarship to the school
BNA78: This all sounds super interesting. Are there any other events like Street Glyphics in San
Bernardino right now? You mentioned young artists being able to show their work in a “safe
environment.” Outside of an event like this, what is the environment for young street artists like at the moment?
UNTAPPED: There are other events such as 1212 Sessions with their workshop with bboying and DJ ing.
That happens every other Sunday. Noa James, Common Grounds for mc’s to showcase their work. Both are in Riverside,
Mindstate community events in Upland where they have different workshops such as poetry,
and beat productions. But as far as events like ours, no,
there is not.
Unless they are being paid by shop owners, it is in a controlled environment. They don’t have to worry about gangs
or being arrested. In this event they are being cheered on. And with the city being involved it’s not graffiti art, its art.
It gives artist a chance to have other opportunities with their art such as doing murals for the
city. Ivan Preciado did a piece for our booth in Art Night, and the city loved it and it is now
being displayed in city hall.
This is the first street art competition in the Inland Empire as far as to my knowledge
BNA78: So events like Street Glyphics are bridging the gaps between subcultures and more
conservative circles of thought. Is there still a lot of resistance in the IE and San B when it comes to viewing street art
as a formidable and relevant creative outlet?
UNTAPPED: Yes, the street art culture is not as taboo as it used to be. Now, conservatives are
more open-minded how art is being portrayed, just like the Art Night event I mentioned earlier. They just don’t want to see it painted
without permission on their walls. There are city officials that wish
they knew who the artists were so they could reach out to them for opportunities.
There are gonna be some people that are resistant to this creative outlet, but we have not met anybody as of yet.
We wouldn’t be surprised if someone came to us and why they disagree.
But we’ll keep doing what we’re doing til we have to cross that bridge
BNA78: Fantastic to hear man. I’m gonna have to wrap this up in a bit. A few more questions
though. What are some things/people/events that have influenced you guys in your pursuit to
expand the creative minds of others through Untapped Hip Hop?Can you give us some recommendations on artists of various genres/media to check out from
the IE?And would you mind if BNA78 gave Untapped a few shirts for the artists of Street Glyphics?
UNTAPPED: The Beat Swap Meet, Noa James, Curtiss King (yes Curtiss with 2 S’s), Judah, 1212 Sessions, Claybama, and Hawdwerk. These are just a few of the artists and events that keep us motivated in getting
our magazine off the ground, because they are some of the hardest
working people that we have had the chance to meet. It’s inspiring to see these artists pursue
their crafts while going to school and having 9 to 5’s. It makes us want to keep up.
Recommendations…I’mma list them out along with their talents:
Dope by Design-Band
Ivan “Gathe” Preciado– Graffiti Artist
SB Generation- Graffiti Artists Clan
Luminary Tribe-B Boys & Girls
MC Time- MC
these are who we can think of off top and apologize if we forgotten any one.
We would be suuuuper appreciative if BNA78 hook us up with some prize support, and would
like to thank you guys for the opportunity to be interviewed today. We look forward for what’s
to come in the future.
David Williams & Justin Valdivia
(Cue a last minute thought from BNA78)
BNA78: We did have one more question! It seemed too imperative to leave out of the interview. What value do creative outlets hold in San Bernardino and what effect do you think Street Glyphics will have on the communities?
UNTAPPED: The effect Street Glyphics will have in the communities will change people’s perspective on what
the city is and the opportunities they can achieve with themselves and as far as creative outlets.
I’m noticing more art walks and demos in the local areas
and I think it’s because people in San Bernardino want to see more creativity. And when one
person does a creative outlet, more will be inspired to do more.
We would like to thank everyone at Untapped Hip Hop for taking the time to answer some of our questions and for expand the creative environment in the Inland Empire!
STREET GLYPHICS will be held on July 16, 2016 from 4pm-8pm at The Art Institute of California, Inland Empire. It is free and open to the public.
UNTAPPED HIP HOP MAGAZINE