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Black Book

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:




KEL 1st

Top-to-Bottom done on the BMT's with the RTW crew, in 1984.  Not only did KEL produce many Top-to-Bottoms on the BMT's, but he also produced many on the IRT's.



Stands in front of a MUCH Top-to-Bottom, which was one of his undercover names.  Photo taken in the Ghost yard when SHAME was part of the TNB-TAT crews, whom created many productions on the IRT's from 1983 - 1985.



" BLADE " The whole-car king!

Click here to read about the New book by the  King Of Graff





USE. 2

An original member of the Broadway writing group THE MOB, produced many productions on the IRT's, in the late 1970's.




DANGER 59 :  In 1974, MR ICE and LIL BOMB pulled off a bunch of Top-to-Bottoms on the M-line, which was a line they owned at one time.  It was fuckin sick back then, to see a new Top-to-Bottom running every week.  The two were part of the G.N.D crew, who owned the perfect place to do Top-to-Bottoms.. THE CHERRY HILL LAY-UP.




BLADE :  MAD ONE  was more of a mystery writer.  No one that I have met over the years has ever met him.  He was a guy that would walk into a yard with 3 or 4 cans of paint, and pull off these really nice colorful paintings and then vanish. Many writers of the 70's tried to copy his style, but it was always a dead giveaway.


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