Topaz: The “Roc” of 5 Pointz…
By Margherite Cermak
Topaz, also known as Lord Roc is undoubtedly one of the valuable corner stones of 5 Pointz’s foundation. Not only has he contributed years of his music, performance, and artistic skills to the atmosphere of this amazing graffiti Mecca but he’s unconditionally provided his support as well.
As one of the key members of the 5 Pointz board of directors Topaz dedicates much of his time ensuring that operations run smoothly on location at 5 Pointz and on the 5ptz.com website.
As an artist Topaz balances many facets of art including graphic design, video production, aerosol art, paint, drawing, and of course hip-hop. Both a producer and an MC he has gained surreal popularity among his peers as Lord Roc and continues to climb as he pursues his passions. “Art and music go hand in hand” says Topaz. With five artistically talented brothers it’s no surprise that he possesses the skills he so generously shares with the world. However that skill was not easy to hone, Topaz spent countless hours perfecting his art and music over years and years of creativity.
At times he found himself almost discouraged as many of his legal murals were painted over in years prior to the development of 5 Pointz; a place where art is guaranteed to remain protected as long as deemed necessary by show runner Meres. In 1991 things changed for the lives of both Topaz and Meres as MAGIC brought them together. MAGIC standing for More American Graffiti In Control, the two artists found a common ground as members of this program where they met. The program was designed to help protect aerosol artists by providing young people with tools and safe havens where they can freely express themselves. Much like what 5 Pointz is today.
This union was just the starting point of what prospered into a strong personal bond as well as the development of an empire of art. While the former “Phun Phactory” gradually transformed into 5 Pointz, Topaz simultaneously began do build an empire of his own; LordRoc Multimedia. Today it is very clear that 5 Pointz and LordRoc are very much a part of one another and that both establishments help motivate and sustain the other. Topaz has used his music to bring a grander audience to 5 Pointz just as 5 Pointz has contributed to LordRoc’s Popularity in return.
“Everything I do around the board is based around Hip-Hop” claims Topaz; “Hip-Hop will always be incorporated in my work. My main goal in life is to make the world a better place.” A goal he has certainly achieved time and time again. As one of the pioneers of this breath taking establishment Topaz has witnessed first hand the power of art, and how far the aerosol culture has come. Ten years ago it was hard to believe, if not impossible, that graffiti would become more than an art form, but a business as well.
Places like 5 Pointz and visionaries such as Topaz are responsible for life changing achievements made within the graff art community. Today graffiti is featured in film, media, and advertising, and is much the focus of design when it comes to sneakers, apparel, personal persona, and even photo shoots for top notch models and photographers. Thanks to the efforts and passions of aerosol artists, graffiti has become a world wide inspiration. “Seeing this place develop had changed my outlook and direction in life; this place has helped me realize that I can put my art in the forefront” Topaz declares.
Much respect and thanks go out to LordRoc for his continuous and unconditional support for the 5 Pointz mission. This magical place clearly would not be the same without him.