Here we briefly acknowledge the extraordinary influence of the PAL sticker (Parental advisory Label) that throughout the 1980s became ubiquitous with the Metal genre, but most importantly the growth of HipHop in America, and right through the 1990s with Grunge Rock. It became the badge of honour for artists and their music whom the white conservative classes deemed too explicit for their youth to hear.
All three genres of music are flag bearers for a disaffected youth, but it was hip hop that spoke out against discrimination, as the artists made use of their freedom of speech to address issues of society that the white collar society (and above), given the chance ignored.
When lobbyists pressured record labels into issuing PAL stickers for records that breached their own perceived ethical standards, or more to the point found a vehicle for the oppression of (primarily black) youth in America, we all observed a momentous, historical change.
The sticker became notorious, but rather than acting as a watermark for parents to gauge suitability of music for their children, it became a huge victory for the underdog, encouraging young people to feel proud that the music they listened to not only matched their rebellious nature, but also refused to tow the conservative line. And the artists themselves challenged the new boundaries of acceptability, striving for controversy, knowing they were already victorious.
Graphic design is the champion for the disaffected youth, and its legacy is intertwined with music, society and the struggle of the working classes. Most importantly It has the power to turn a symbol of oppression into the victorious badge of the individual.
Never give up!