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History of Writers







    A writer could just burn with a Top-to-Bottom, as seen here with the famous FLINT 707 candy-cane piece, done in the early to mid 1970's.  This piece blew many writers away and even forced few into retirement.  The true originator of the Top-to-Bottom is hard to pin point; some say JAPAN 1 started it, and others say SUPER KOOL 223.  

    By 1973, spotting a Top-to-Bottom running  became a normal event that most writers saw.  In the beginning, the first Top-to-Bottoms did not take up the entire subway car, but mainly half of its length.  HUNDO 1 took this idea to a new level by painting extra large thick letters, that took up the whole train.  Many Top-to-Bottoms consisted of bubble letter, straight letter, western letter and block letter styles.  Outside tags were becoming a thing of the past.  Numerous writers started doing larger, more elaborate letters just to keep two steps ahead of the rest.  To a Subway Outlaw, the Top-to-Bottom writings were about dominance.  It was how he/she could take over a line with the biggest and the best, as well as the most work that could hit the public (the next day).  TRACY 168 took this honor for being a total package, on what a subway writer should be.  He took over the lines with stylish Top-to-Bottoms, as well as with quick letter styles.  His most amazing production was writing a Top-to-Bottom on the outside of a train with CLIFF 159, and one inside of the train.  That truly blew many writers minds when they saw it!

    Writers like SUPER STRUT who had a very long name, executed a Top-to-Bottom with their entire name.  Various artists like LEE, of the THE FABULOUS FIVE, took off where FLINT 707 left off.  As a result, he did some of the most memorable Top-to-Bottoms of his era.  BLADE, an all time king of the 2's and 5's, was considered by many to be one of the all time kings of the whole car Top-to-Bottoms.  SEEN UA pulled off dozens of Top-to-Bottoms in the early 1980's and took over, where BLADE left off.  A writer truly over looked, was MIN 1 a.k.a. NE, who pulled off the most colorful Top-to-Bottoms (along with KEL and the RTW-WOW crew), on the BMT's.  One of MIN's biggest products was a Top-to-Bottom wild style done for SHY 147 (R.I.P.), which ran on the RR train in the mid 1980's.  DONDI's work was always a pleasure to be seen .... as it had neat, clean, large and colorful letters, that looked like they belonged on a subway car.  The following are a few photos of our favorites:




 was an All-City subway killer and one of the all time kings of writing. CLIFF had Top-to-Bottoms running on all major subway lines in the 1970's, and joined a strong partnership with TRACY 168.  The two pulled off many productions on the IRT's, that amazed all!


By  ALE 1, done on the 5's.  This Top-to-Bottom was done with a ladder at Bay Chester lay-up in 1974.  (Colors were Marlin Blue Rusto / Red Devil 3D)


ALE :  "In 1974-1975 many Top-to-Bottoms were accompanied by cartoon characters.  Those are the ones I like the least.  Its the name that matters and the cartoons somehow detract from that.  I can understand the reason behind it;  TRACY 168 figured out that drawing characters next to your piece, drew your attention from the other names."








FARGO 1 :  "I will never forget that Yosemite Sam Top-to-Bottom car that ran in 1974.  I felt it was TRACY's best car running that year.  I can still see it to this day, the way the doors opened and closed with that character on it."



    LEE's Top-to-Bottom done in 1979, a truly love sick bomber.  This car was one of his come-back cars after a short lay-off from writing.  LEE hit many IRT's during the 1970's, as well as many BMT's.  Thanks to LEE the group TF5 (THE FABULOUS FIVE) lived on in history, as one of the best writing groups ever.  The true members of the group were DIRTY SLUG, DOC 109, MONO, SLAVE and LEE.  The later members included PROF 165, DEL (a.k.a. DEL WAZ HERE), OG 2, BOB, BLUD, and SONY.



of the famous TMT crew (The Magnificent Team) had many Top-to-Bottoms running on the IRT's in the late 1970's.  FED 2 was a truly underrated subway bomber.


This Top-to-Bottom was done with FED 2 in 1979.  LEO, as well as FED wrote with the TS-5 crew (THE SPANISH FIVE) and the MTA crew, in the late 1970's.