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Mondo.NYC Speaker

Fab 5 Freddy

Fab 5 Freddy

Fab 5 Freddy emerged in the late 1970s as a New York City graffiti artist who became one of the first to exhibit his paintings internationally. Along with friends and contemporaries, Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Lee Quinones and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fab was a key player in New York’s 1980s downtown cultural scene, instrumental in elevating graffiti into a disruptive movement that would eventually give birth to street art. Born Fred Brathwaite in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, his introduction to pop culture came courtesy of a name check on new wave group Blondie's 1981 pop hit, “Rapture.” In addition to his visual art, Fab co-produced, starred in and composed the music for the cult classic film, Wild Style, and went on to direct music videos for numerous Hip Hop stars like Snoop, Nas, Queen Latifah and others. From the late '80s to the mid- '90s he was the original host of YO! MTV Raps, the groundbreaking TV show that took hip hop culture global. Today he continues to make visual art and produce and direct projects for film and television. His recent film is a feature length documentary he produced and directed for Netflix titled, “Grass is Greener,” which was released globally on 4/20/2019. The film examines the history of cannabis, music and criminal justice in America, and to date it has been viewed more than fifteen million times

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