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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 out side 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:




RIFF 170

Early style master, RIFF 170, shows his generation how a T-2-B should be done!

* Check out our interview with the Style Master


Top-to-Bottom done on the 5 train, which BLADE had under lock and key!

Click here to read more on the new  King Of Kings


ALE : The best Top-to-Bottoms (T-2-B) were done in late 1973.  During that year the T-2-B's were changed from skinny stick letter pieces to wide letters.  The best technically done T-2-B pieces were by RIFF 170, no question about it.  A 1973 "worm" Top-to-Bottom with solid letters is what I like the best.  Runner up, is AJAX-1.  All of his T-2-B's, were also done very well.  Note, that all my favorites were based on what I saw as the pieces ran by me, and the actual photos that I took (that I still have).



DOVE a.k.a. RIFF 170

Top-to-Bottom with amazing style, done by RIFF, with the use of the famous worm character (that can be seen in his E).


Many did not know that TASS was not a part of his tag.  It actually was his brothers tag, who never got up very much.  SUPER STRUT did many pieces on the BMT's, over and above the IRT's.




 Also known as DIRTY SLUG, of the Fabulous 5



A writer with great style from the Bronx.


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