Started : Early 1970's
Area : Brooklyn New York
Main Lines : LL's, M's, D's, 2's, 5's
Writing Groups : BGA, 3YB, TR, TW
I started writing in Junior High School 296 - Halsey, in Brooklyn with two brothers who were members of the Young Saigon's street gang. One of them wrote TIME 1 (Dennis Towsend) and the other wrote BAD 2 (Douglas Towsend). They brought me to the Atlantic Avenue bench and I fell in love. That very first day it got raided. I didn't have a marker, so the police let me go. I remember everyone blaming ALL 1 for the raid. Since it was my first day, I remained neutral. Life in my area of Bushwick (Gates Avenue between Central and Wilson) was rough. I went to school with the Saigon's and Tomahawks, but lived in the area of the Latin Tops. Although I never officially became a member of any street gang, I enjoyed the respect and camaraderie of all of them, being a well respected rumbler, handball player, and pigeon flyer. This all allowed me to
venture into the crews, but not necessarily be a part of it. I originally wrote PUP 1 mainly on the LL and M lines before going to Atlantic Avenue and hitting the IRTs. There was a street writer who either wrote MAGIC 1 or SOLO, I can't remember. He told me that some one else had that name, so I needed a new name.
during my time, well I guess it depends on what borough you're talking about. In the Bronx, the best stories I have to share were when I met some of the legends and had the opportunity to just hang with them.
Street & The Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and Parsons Boulevard in Queens. At all of these places I met some of the most impressionable individuals in my life.
The Original Bronx Bombers ....
The Bronx was always more attractive to me. For some peculiar reason, their writers corner at 149th Street had a certain magical appeal beyond compare. In my opinion, they were the baddest, but each borough had their giants. I will attempt to recall the most popular individuals. I remember in each one, although Brooklyn is my threshold. I shall begin with The Bronx and Manhattan since they sort of intertwined. PIPER 1, JACE 2,TJ 159, CLIFF 159 (a/k/a PAZ 2) R.I.P., LSD 3, TRACY 168, CHI~CHI 133, P-NUT 2, RIFF 170 (had multiple aliases), COMET, BLADE, and the entire Crazy 5 crew, IN (a/k/a KILL 3) COOL 222, SUPER KOOL 223, LEE163, STAY HIGH 149 (a/k/a VOICE OF THE GHETTO), STITCH 1, SNAKE 1, STICK 1, CAT 87, JESTER 1 (a/k/a DYE167), PEACE 108, TASH 1, STAFF 161, AJ 161 ( a/k/a ALL JIVE 161 ), TAKE 5, HORNET, BANET, CHECKER 170, LAVA 1 & 2, MOSES 147, B-ONE, STAR 3, MAFIA, SET 149, BIC 149, BOT 707 and his brother SOLID 1 (R.I.P.), the entire 6 Boys set and their leader, KINDO 2, TON 5 and his brother POWER 1, BUTCH 2, HYDRA 1, PURPLE HAZE 168, DEAD LEG 167, BE 3, TE 163, BIG PEARL and the entire Concourse Administration, and of course, last but not least,
the incomparable PHASE 2 (a/k/a CAD ). These were the Bronx corner ruffians. In Brooklyn, the most memeorable were SPIN, FUZZ 1 ( The original from Brooklyn ) and his cousin SOC. STOP 700, MICO 1,
MANI 1, CLUTCH 2, PISTOL 1, SAVAGE, KILLER 1, ALL 1, WICKED GARY ( a/k/a WG ), DINO NOD, FLINT 707 (President of Diamonds Inc.), MR. DUCK (R.I.P.), myself, MR. AL (a/k/a HFC 163), the entire B.G.A. (Brooklyn Graffiti Artists) crew, SHARK 77, JUICE 100, COX 1, DIABLO 1 (my first writing partner), AFX 2, CHINO 13 and his brother EZ 1, BOMB 1, TERO 1, DANGER 59, TEE and his brother STIM 1 (R.I.P.), WARMACK, CASPER 1, RICO 1, LIL DIP 274, DASH 1 (my second partner), TYCO 1, MICKEY 729 (a/k/a TO 729) (R.I.P.), HERB 99, ODD 1, ADD 1 (a/k/a Malt Duck), PRO 2, JEL 3, STAR 206, KRANE 150, and DADDY KOOL. The first writers in Brooklyn that I came to admire were MR. DUCK (R.I.P.), MONEY, CASH 1, They were street writers. Their crew was Faces Inc. Ghetto Child and Degrees also were a heavy street writing Brooklyn influence. And also, one of the greatest of all times from Brooklyn, the incomparable Super Strut, who not only bombed himself, but also tagged up his brother Tass to the point of no return. In Queens, at the Parsons Boulevard bench, the most memorable ones to me were TRUE 2, DIZZY 1,
COOL COKE 1, MINGO 1, STEVE 61, LIL SOUL 159, SO-FIVE, CASINO, CA, VINNY, NAIL 170, UNCLE JOHN 178, and TEAR 2, Staten Island even had a few writers like DIRTY SLUG , MONO and DOC 109.
Of course, in the beginning, I concentrated on the lines that ran through my Bushwick neighborhood; the LL and M trains, I started hitting the insides on the LL's and Ms, and at one time, every M train I rode I saw my tag. It made me feel electric. But once TIME and BAD took me to Atlantic Avenue, the IRTs
But to our surprise, two infamous graffiti detectives named Schwartz and Blue Eyes entered the store and
The fare was only 35 cents, so if anyone contacts COOL 222, I have his money, Call me. The whole idea of being chased was a scary one. It either meant losing paint, going to jail (Precinct), or possibly getting hurt in the process. I do have a few memorable chase stories, but prefer not to mention them.
STIM ONE's death....
I remember the STIM's passing vividly. The only people there were STIM (R.I.P.), myself, MR. DUCK (R.I.P.), and Aim. I do not remember TERO being there. He says he was there, but he also says STIM''s
to reach Atlantic, suddenly someone pulled the emergency brake. We proceeded to go to the back of the train, and I distinctly remember the conductor saying "hey, your friend is under the train." Now somehow the train was in the station and I went to the last car and looked out the door and saw a lump on the tracks. Personally, I could not actually see out there, but I knew it was STIM, and I began to cry. MR. DUCK just got angry and wanted to dismantle the D.T., but he disappeared into the confusion. Being young writers, we just rode around basically placing all the blame on AIM, especially since he got away with the tag and then gave STIM the marker although we objected. FALCON 789, another partner of mine from Brooklyn did a nice memorial piece for STIM 1 3YB (R.I.P.), and I continue to tag his name in remembrance. I have many
racking stories, but I will share one of the most exciting. I went to Sid's Hardware on Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn one weekend to rack paint. I stuffed my pants with about four cans, and placed one under each arm. Now as I proceeded to exit the store, an employee yelled hey stop. I ran out of the store to the Lawrence Street train station. I tried to hold on to the paint hoping the individual would give up the pursuit, but he did not. Right before I arrived at the train station entrance, I threw down the paint cans, jumped the turnstile, and ran into the tunnel. Now they had contacted the police and were waiting on the station for me. I literally crawled in the tunnel under the station platform and worked my way down to the opposite end of the platform from where they were standing. Now a train was approaching so I squeezed under the platform until the train left, jumped up on the opposite end of the platform, and left the station undetected. Can you imagine as filthy as the train tracks are lying under the platform. Anything to prevent getting busted. Bronx guys were pretty cool. We mostly hung out, practiced style, or went writing. Most of my action came with my Brooklyn crew, although I do remember when either RIFF 170 or STICK 1 took me to Burke Avenue to meet the Crazy 5 crew. Especially since me and DASH had a little war of words going on
But if you mean who had the most fancy style, it would be between PHASE 2, RIFF 170, PEL or STAFF 161.
I can remember hanging out with Brooklyn writers CHINO 13 and his brother EZ-1. It was exciting; they were both members of the Dirty Ones street gang from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. They were straight Puerto Rican, wild and crazy just like myself, so we got along just fine. I recall a time we were commissioned to scrub the walls by the police as punishment for being arrested for writing. Anyway, we had a large contingent of
CHINO. Oh No, BIG mistake! Me, CHINO, and EZ whipped his ass! I distinctly remember them holding him while I kicked him in the nose. Now remember, there's police upstairs monitoring us as station washers. So obviously they came running down to his aid. Now remember, it was a bunch of us, so we told the police it was a gang of guys that jumped the conductor and then proceeded to exit the station. No one was ever charged because he couldn't identify anyone. My many years as a writer were probably some of the best in my life. It was a part of my life that I got to share with my Mother before her untimely death in 1978. I still am close to many of the individuals such as LIL SOUL 159, RIFF170, TRACY 168 if I can see him, PHASE 2, BOT 707, JUICE100, CUB 1, and all those that still consider me their associate. I mean, where else could people of all races, White, Black. Puerto Rican, and even Asian (CHINO 174, AFX 2 and ECHO 1) come to join forces and participate in an illegal activity but remain connected even after it's all over? And to all those that lost their life in those young years, please help keep their memory alive so that their deaths will not be in vain. GOD bless us and America even though it is no longer the greatest country in the world. But it is all we have.
Should any one have any of lAMA's work or any of the members of B.G.A crew please contact us MESSAGE@SUBWAYOUTLAWS.COM Photo credits go to LIL SOUL 159, BLADE, SAR1, and SMITH. Plus the team at Subway outlaws.com