Showtime Announces New Graffiti Documentary 'Rolling Like Thunder'

By Kiani Shabazz

Graffiti has always been an invaluable discipline of expression in hip-hop culture. One of the five elements of hip-hop, graffiti allowed inner-city kids to use a can of spray paint as a medium of art, making graffiti one of the most important movements of youth culture seld expression. 

Showtime has announced a new documentary about the rise of street art called Rolling Like Thunder. The feature-length doc follows the early days of graffiti writers as they tag freight trains and other public property, becoming “outlaws” in the act.

The film is directed by veteran filmmaker and artist, Roger Gatsman, who has worked on countless films about graffiti, hip-hop, and youth culture. It is a part of a three-year celebration of films and series between Mass Appeal and Showtime celebrating hip-hop’s 50 year anniversary.

“Before street art became mainstream, the anonymous outlaws of ‘reight writing’ put graffiti on the map. One of the most extreme and risky iterations of the art form, freight train graffiti culture has a rich history, laden with myth-like artists, remarkable romances, and competitive graffiti crews,” Showtime said in a statement. “Delving into the underground subculture reveals the deep connection between graffiti and the American landscape, as well as the artists’ obsession with putting life and limb on the line to make their voices heard.”

Rolling Like Thunder is set to arrive on Showtime on Friday, December 18 at 8 PM ET and will hit Showtime streaming the next day. Be sure to check out the film and stay tuned for more on this and other hip-hop news.