1) Where did you
start? Who would you say introduced you to this art form?
During the summer of 1978, I started writing in
Queens, New York not too far from the A- line. I was very young, playing
wiffle ball with my friends, when I noticed this older white guy. He was
very popular with everyone and I just didn't understand why. Eventually, I
found out he was a Graffiti writer. At some point, he sort of took me
under his wing and encouraged me to start tagging up around my neighborhood.
Slowly, I found out how popular this new hobby of his was, that his tag
was VINNY, and that his name was every where! He gave me the name CAB 1, which I
really did not do much with. It wasn't until I moved to East New York,
Brooklyn that a new chapter of my life opened up my writing career. The
most popular place to hang-out and meet other writers in this particular part of
Brooklyn, in the late 1970's and early 80's, was Franklin Kay Lanes. That
is where I met SAIN TOP.
2) Would you tell us about
your first experiences hitting the Subways?
The person who influenced me to hit trains, was
SAIN TOP. He took me to the J- yard, which was a little risky at that
time. I suppose that's how I thought of the name RIST. Years later,
when I visited that yard with BABY168, SCAN and PEO, we went through a major
3) What line did you focus
on the most during those years?
The A- line; I hit that line with the
GLEN MORE crew whose members were, CHOLO ROCK, MURDER 1 and PIMP ( who were
brothers ), DANNY 13, VOLI, JF 2, JP 1 and SCHICK 2. This crew was
tiring up the A's
in the early 80's, especially CHOLO ROCK, who
had nice hand style ( in those days ), and lots of insides running on the A's
and CC's. It's sad that, eight years later, he got killed over some
bullshit drug deal.... "I miss him!" During that same year in the early
80's, I tagged with THE BUS CREW, who were also up on the A and CC lines. THE
BUS CREW was formed by
JOE 61, in the early 1980's and had writer such as JS,
PLUS aka PL, COLSTER and AERO. JS is a very over looked writer that BOMBED
the shit-out of that line, and does not get much credit. It is true
however, that the A line is IZ THE WIZ's kingdom. When he slacked off
every now and then, there were writers that crept up on his crown ( or even take
his place ), for a short time. I loved to go bombing with JS and THE BUS
CREW. We all would go hit the CC lay up's hard, and then take a trip
over to the A yard and bomb that place, in one night.
4) What where all the Subway
lines you hit over the years?
Over the years, I hit the A, CC, J, E and F, RR,
M, 2 and 3 lines. Every so often, I hooked up with CHEEBA, who lived in
the pink house not to far from where I was living ( at the time ), and we
would both go hitting. CHEEBA was a one time king of the insides on the
RR's and got up a bit on other lines as well. In 1983, RON 1 became my
partner. He, SECOND and I would bomb the numbers, at New Lots Avenue,
quite a bit.
The Church Avenue lay-up, in Brooklyn, was a sweet spot to
catch the F's... I loved going there with BASE NSA, for insides and outsides.
There were so many writers hitting that line in those days. It was just
like the A's where you knew who-was-who, by the line they hit. THE 7DS
CREW was very effective on that line; I remember LIL STAR aka LS, CASE 7DS and
BURN 7DS killed the insides.
5) What year, do you feel
was your best year as a writer?
I would have to say 1983 was my best year as a
writer. That was when I hooked up with RON 1 TVS who
eventually became my true writing partner.
I knew RON for a long time before that, from hanging out together, rapping
to girls and that kind of shit.It wasn't until we began taking trips to Staten
Island that we met up with the original TVS ( THE VAMP SQUAD ) crew.
That meeting took our relationship, as writers to a more serious level.
The TVS crew were stuck up kids at the time; Dudes like RIN TD, BASIC 5, REDDI
RED and SAINT 5 to name some, were on the wild side. They would throw us
down with THE VAMP SQUAD, which inspired us both to start hitting New Lots
Avenue real heavy. RON 1 was a dude that was killing the 2's and 5's for a time
and is rarely mentioned. He was king for a time of the insides of the 2's with
SECOND / SEC. RON bombed hard and deserves his respect.
6) Who were some of the
writers during those years that you went hitting with?
SAIN. TOP, BABY 168, PEO, SCAN, CRIME 79,
CHEEBA, RON 1, SECOND, G-WIZ ( who later got deported to Ecuador ) BAD
BID, ROLLY ( who also got deported to his country, Dominican Republic ), PG.3
aka PGISM, BASE.NSA, KC.TBC, SR 1, DURO. CIA, FLIN.TOP, BO of the DRUG crew, JS
and the BUS CREW, DANNY 13, CHOLO ROCK and the whole GLEN MORE crew, were all
writers that I hit with. There were so many guys... I was cool with
most of the dudes outside of my borough like, a few of the B-boys, from the
Bronx, and FROSTY FREEZE and MR FREEZE from Manhattan. In the early 80's,
there was this big beef with Brooklyn writers and Bronx writers. It was
regarding who was the best, which sort of separated many dudes from connecting.
I personally never paid attention to all that bull shit and just hung out in
different parts of the city. Recently, I was at a show with CRIME 79 when
FROSTY FREEZE, as well as a few other Bronx dudes that were with him, rolled up
on me, reminiscing about the times back in the days. When I was done
conferencing CRIME was amazed that I knew all those guys.
7) Would you have any raid
stories you could tell us about?
I can remember one night RON 1, ARC, SEE X-MEN
and I were getting high and decided to hit New Lots Avenue. We all started
hitting between the subway cars, until I saw two men walking towards us.
The first person I told, was RON and his response was, "let them come so we can
rob them!" We all began to walk toward
them, thinking there would be some free paint out of this.
I asked RON why they were not running and at first he had no idea. They
turned out to be undercover cops, so we ran down the train aisles, but
their were undercover cops on the other sides that kept trying to block us
off. I grabbed RON and we were forced to jump off a wall that led
to the street. It had to be about three apartment floors high 'cause I
could see a building across the street from me. With the top of the street
lamp staring us in the face, we jumped off, in to the street and jet the
fuck out of there. There was another big raid that, I will not
forget and that took place at the J-yard with BABY 168 , PEO and SCAN.
It was during a school day when we were walking through the Burger King
parking lot, where there was a hole we could easily slip thru to get to the
yard. Once we were in, we were able
to bomb the hell out of the insides. SCAN and BABY
168 would jump into the tracks to do the outsides, while
PEO and myself would continue to hit the insides. A few
minutes later we heard a horn blowing, started to panic and started running to
the front only to discover it was BABY 168 blowing the horn. PEO told me
later on that BABY168 would do that at times after bombing the yard, to show
he was king or he just controlled that yard ( or lay-up ). Shortly
after, we were raided by work bums and DT's ( detectives ). The workers would
start blowing the horns and the DT's would blow there whistles and together
they pulled out a train to try to block us in. I remember racing out of
the hole we came in through, with the cop's on our tails. In the end, we
all broke up; BABY and PEO went in one direction, while me and SCAN went in
another direction. Luckily, SCAN had a relative in the area where
we were able to hide out until the smoke cleared.
8) Can you tell us all the
writing groups you have written for?
TVS, TOP, BUS, CIA, TBC, TGC, TPA, NSA,
TD, RTW ... There where so many!
Did you have any writing wars with others?
I had very few writing wars, most of the wars I
had was because of RON 1. He loved robbing people or would start
trouble for no reason at all. This caused a problem for me, because we
were partners, and they would start crossing me out over some shit, he did.
I can recall almost going head-to-head with some of my old homeboys over some
shit he did. There was once a little beef I had when I was hitting with
THE BUS CREW; There were two guys, DILLINGER and DIN that went over our
pieces and crossed out all my shit, for no reason at all. When RON1 and I
took a trip to their neighborhood, we didn't catch up with them.
10) When was the last time
you hit the Subways? Why did you quit?
I started to slow down once RON stopped.
He started getting heavy into the street game and I began getting into the
entertainment business, but never lost the fever for writing. I made a
come-back in 1986, with this guy who was writing AD ( an up and coming writer at
that time ). He was also the boyfriend of Spinderella, from the group
SALT & PEPA. That day we went to hit Church Avenue, but AD did
not have much experience hitting trains, he was more into D.J. than Graffiti.
We were in the lay-up hitting the outsides, when some Puerto Rican dude rolled
behind AD and introduced himself as DONDI. The two walked three cars
down to were I was, and the person with AD pulled out a badge and grabbed us
with a little help from his under cover buddies. In the bull pin of
Central Booking when I asked AD what happened, he explained that the guy told
him he was DONDI. I was fuckin pissed, because I knew DONDI. After
this experience, I stopped writing for good and got caught up in the street
game, which later left me behind bars for a few years. In jail, I came
across a few Graffiti magazines and eventually wrote two articles in them, one
on Graffiti, the other on prison life. I glad I'm still around to share my
experiences around writing and speak about others that deserve their respect.
11) Any closing words?
I was not the most prolific writer in history,
but I went out there and did my share. I would like to dedicate this
interview to my POP's - "I love and miss you!" To my home boys who have
passed on, CHOLO ROCK, PG 3 / PGISM / DEAK and a real sweetheart Anna aka LADY
CHIC - "May they all Rest In Peace."