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Started : 1980's


Area : Manhattan, New York

Main Lines : Broadway # 1 line, 3's, 2's, 5's,

Writing Groups : MSK, TCA, FBA, MBT, NOC, TOA, B.B ( BALL BUSTERS ), CBS




 How did it all start?  Well, when I moved from the Fordham area of the Bronx to Uptown Manhattan (207th Street), I started hangin’ out with a few local members of some popular gangs at the time.  First they were the Renegades, who soon broke up and split up into two rival groups; some members formed the Playboys of 168th Street, the others formed the Manhattan Rebels, who had a tight alliance to the BALL BUSTERS who were spreading like wild fire in my neighborhood and at school, JFK HS in the Bronx. The Rebels soon dropped their name and became all out Ball Busters.  Cats like CISE, RAY ROC, JC, CHINO, PEE-ROC, and 2NEW were all Rebels who happened to be my boys.  So I ended up hookin’ up with the BALL BUSTERS only because that’s what my friends were doing, but in  reality,





given all the drama that was goin’ down around my neighborhood in the  80’s, it was best to be down with somebody.  Between ‘81 and ’83, I had seen so  many soldiers go down to murder raps or were killed that it became less interesting to be in that game.  Most of us that were left were either smarter or luckier.  I was a little of both, because on one particular day, five of them went down on a murder charge just 30 minutes before I went to hook up with them, as I would do everyday on the corner of Broadway and 204th.  The only reason I wasn’t there was because my girlfriend came over to my houseto break me off, and that’s what made me 30 minutes late.  When I arrived, nobody was around, which was very strange.  I later found out that they had stabbed this dude in the chest for his  Gazelles  and killed him.  The rest is history. During that time, I  remember meeting a cat in art class at JFK HS. 

  His name was SAK.  Up until then, I was runnin’ with some local toys around the way who were trying to make a name for themselves in the Bombin’ game, and I have to admit, they were starting to make a mark, but they didn’t impress me as much because they were limited in my mind.  I had a few closer friends who were more creative about where and how to go bombin’, and that was when we started the tag crew, MSK (Manhattan Subway Kings).  It was me, CHI, FURN, and RAN.  We would pull all-nighters bombin’ from Brooklyn

   to Manhattan and over to the Bronx.  Then like anything else during that time, all the other clowns got on the nuts and started going with us, or trying to copy us. I have to give it to some of them though, they got heavy into it and the MSK name started getting so notoriety. I give props to PEE-ROC, 2NEW, MAGNUM, DIA, and others, for getting fierce with it.  With PEE-ROC and 2NEW being the only remaining homeboys left that I used to run  with during the Ball Buster days, they added that thug-flair to the crew, so we also has a reputation for startin’ shit.  It got exciting very quickly, but I started losing interest in the same ol’ shit. Something else was calling me.



 At that time I was taggin’ “KID CRIME”. It wasn’t long before I  realized that taggin’ a long ass name and trying to do throw-ups with it was not gonna be happenin’, so I shortened it up to…you guessed it, KC. While the bombin’ thing was goin’ on with the MSK’s, I was fuckin’ around in black books trying to see if I had it. By “It” I am referring to the dope ass burners I was noticing on the  train lines I rode to school, to bomb, to wherever.  I specifically remember some TNB joints by T-KID, SHAME, BIO and them cats.  Some ZEPH and REVOLT cars would also catch my eyes.  I had heard of LEE,


TRACY and SEEN, but other than the shit I saw on Wild Style and Style Wars, I really didn’t have a thorough knowledge of the graf game and how large it had become.  That changed when I met Sak.  I didn’t know right away  he was into graf, but you could always tell when someone was.  It usually starts with a black book, a tagged up binder, or some other clue.  In this case I was the one with the black book, and he asked to look at it.  He did a quick outline in it, and made some comments about some of the stuff that was already in it.  He probably thought most of the shit was whack, but somehow we ended hookin’ up and overnight we became ride-to-die graf partners pulling out silvers on the 1 line at the 225th Street lay-up's.  I was weak, as expected, since I had never pulled out burners or pieces of any kind, but Sak was cool about it. He would never try to do the outlines for me, like I later found out so many others would do for lesser talented writers; I won’t mention names.  


Eventually, I got it. After spending countless hours on the platform of the 1 line on 207th Street, I understood the concept of lettering in its’ various forms, whether it was simple, wild-style, or top-to-bottoms, they were all pretty much the same concept. People try to make it more complicated  than it


actually is when it isn’t. Wanting to stay true to what inspired me to piece in the first place, I paid particular attention to the type of work the TNB’s were pulling out, especially SAK and RAC-7. I knew RAC-7 and SAK had already pulled out cars before from the photos SAK showed me. The JON - BOOM - SAK car was dope! Clearly I had first hand knowledge of what SAK could do, but obviously RAC-7 had skills too. I feel like I became a mutation of the two, even though I had no knowledge of who RAC was. Little did I know that the defining moment of my graffiti experience would be a

burner with SAK and RAC on the 1’s, known as the Gremlin Car. SAK lost his mind, doing Gizmo on my end of the car, and Spike smoking a blunt on his end. After that, I swear it was like me and SAK were pulling off cars every weekend, sometimes two at a time. Whether it was the 225th Street layups, the tunnels at 145th Street, or the Ghost Yard, we were killin’ shit, and I do mean killin’ shit. As a


result, punks became jealous, even my so-called MSK’ers, but I didn’t give a fuck.  This shit was like crack and sex put together during that time.  Because of the respect SAK had in the graf game, it wasn’t long before I found myself doing cars with him and SHAME, POEM, RIZE, CEM, and other cats who were already established in the game. I have to say, The KC -SHAME- SAK cars we did were delicious – colors and characters that made you get a boner just from lookin’ at them.  Those two brothers


 together were deadly.  Because of that connection my exposure expanded to the 2’s, 3’s and 5’s.  Finally, some of the last burners I did that crowned me as a legitimate force were the Back to School whole car with SAK and DIA, and the FBA whole car with SAK and RUN (R.I.P.).  That was my last car.The Back to School car was special in the sense that it was my most memorable raid experience.   


SAK and I did not get busted, but others did. Chi got caught and thrown into a squad car, and Magnum was caught with a rifle. Why?  Because that night we expected it to go down between us and FLITE’s boys who were spreading word that they were gonna come start shit at the 225th Street layups, especially with me and SAK. Somehow we became arch enemies for a short time – dumb shit.  So we were about 20 deep that night, ready for whatever.  Well, so were the cops  and all the  people from



the street below.  SAK tells the story beautifully, since it was him who had the worst experience out of the two of us.  Here is SAK’s quote from a past interview: “While we were all painting, I heard someone say "Raid raid!!" Ilooked at the platform on 225th Street where we were, and like 20 feet from the station there were cops with flashlights coming to the end of the station.  I then looked at the next station and cops were coming down onto the tracks with flashlights there too, so we all scattered like a bunch of roaches, but me KC and CHI ONE climbed on the roof of the train and started running on



top to the uptown side of the 225th Street station. Guys from the projects were throwing bottles at us while we were running. I could hear the wizz of the bottle that just missed my face by inches.  We actually ran to the middle of the bridge and climbed down and ran to 218th Street. Me, CHI and KC were walking, trying to make it to safety when a police car with lights off screeched in front of us.  We all ran in different directions.  CHI ran towards the river by the bus depot and I ran across the street and hid behind a car; KC just vanished, anyway the cop car chased CHI. I could see the police lights bouncing off the bus depot.”



Well that vanishing act I pulled off that SAK mentioned was nothing more than my Cuban-ass running like I was trying to get away from Jason on Friday the 13th.  I was never caught in a raid before, and I sure as hell was determined to not make this my first.  What I found out the next day from Sak was that he spent the whole night on top of a roof of a building in an alley way that he had to climb up the side of to avoid getting cornered and busted by the cops in a squad car.  CHI happened  to be in the back seat of that same car.  Yo, til this day we tell that story to everyone and re-live it like it was yesterday. Well, as for piecing, Sak and I did this religiously for about three solid years before I suddenly left NYC for the West Coast due to a lot of shit I was getting into again with old friends from the BB’s ( BALL BUSTERS ) and such.  During those years though, we got it done, and New York was the place to be.  I give props to some of those that stayed true to bombin’ – The OTB’s and TVS’s, BOE, MIN, RICH, KM, even a ZEPHYR tag would pop up from time to time, and of course, COPE 2 – I never thought anything would come out of all those throw-ups.  Props to him for sticking it out and making the graf game what it is today.  Kids in Oakland idolize him.  As for the burners, what can



I say?  TNB - TAT, TOA, FBA, FC, and of course, SAK’s MBT and my MSK.  There were others. After leaving New York, it would be another 10 years before picking up another spray can when I went to a freight yard in Oakland, California to do a solo-silver, and about 5 years after that when I got the inspiration to teach graffiti to youngsters at a school I teach at. Finally, it all came full circle exactly twenty years after leaving NYC when SAK and I did a wall in Oakland, after SAK spent a whole week teaching my students the finer points of piecing.  Since then, and for the next three years til today, SAK and I get together in California for a whole week in May, teaching students and pulling off sick-ass, Old-Skool pieces like the soldiers that we are, keepin’ the Graf game alive the way it was meant to be.  If you keep your eyes wide open, you might notice a few vintage pieces poppin’ up all over the U.S.  That’s all I can say on that.






 We would like to thank SAK  for all his help towards this page.. Photo credits go to SAK1 and the team at Subway  Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Copyright © Subway 2003. Should any one have photos KC's work or the MSK work, Please contact us at MESSAGE@SUBWAYOUTLAWS.COM