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         STARTED : 1978

AREA : Bronx New York

MAIN LINES : 2 and 5 Subway lines

WRING GROUPS : TC-5 ( The Crazy Five ) , TCS ( The Crazy Squad )


    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>_________________________>>>© Interview conducted by  BLADE  & GIL.  11 / 12 / 08. COMING SOON



1. Where did you grow up and why did you choose to write?

A. I grew up in the Eastchester section of "The Boogie Down Bronx" from 1972-1977 (Edemwald and Baychester Projects). Living in the Northeast Bronx, I started to notice tags all over the Projects, for example: SUPER KOOL 223 and KID YORKER. That was at the young age of 7! Who would've THUNK it that 6 years later I would be doing the same thing. After the Blackout of the summer of 1977, my family and I moved to the Northwestern part of the Bronx (Pellham and Allerton). Moving there was like (Bang! In your face!). It was there where I was introduced to graffiti. As I got to know the kids on my block, I met one kid who wrote graffiti. His name was MAZE. He was a year older than me. Maze hung out with much older writers like BLADE (Crazy 5), who at the time was the King of the "2s and 5s" and "Streets," with his partner COMET 1. At the tender age of 13, Maze and I became friends, and eventually, I got to know some of the biggest names in the graffiti game! In my area where I lived, the original "Crazy 5" was formed. Just 3 blocks away lived KIT 17 and COKE 1- 225 was from Parkside, Black SEEN TC5 or then known as LIL SEEN and Kems also lived near by. Yes, this is where some of the hardcore writers came from.
So, maze gets the credit to introducing me to writing! People ask "Isn't BLADE 1 your cousin?" --hahaha!-- No, but people thought that because the neighborhood was predominantly Italian, Greek and Jewish. Being the only two black guys writing graffiti on the block, the rumors started. So, I went along with it, --hahah-- I didn't mind because BLADE was the King and this was the Big Time! (1978)


2. How did you come up with the name Rolieo, and could you tell us about the first time you bombed the subways?

A. Rolieo is my nickname for Roland. Hiphop was at its birth pains ( just getting started ). I needed my name to rhyme. Rolie didn't sound out too good. So, I took the whole alphabet; Rolie A, Rolie B, Rolie C, etc., until I got to the letter  "O." So there you go! Hahaha -- Rolieo. When being introduced to graffiti, I chose that name. Back in those days, writers weren't trying to pick short names or letters that easily interlock to burn. All that started in 1980 as graffiti was advancing as the 3rd generation but it was just getting started. Just see trains of the 70s and 80s and you'll see. For example, there were names like SUPER KOOL, DEAD LEG, PURPLE HAZE, CRACHEE, and even IZ THE WIZ just to name a few. Originally, I called myself "KID ROLIEO," but dropped that after finding out that KID 56 was rocking that name. Words cannot explain the first time going "hitting." In 1978, I was only 13 years old. Going out at midnight was very difficult, having a curfew of 11pm. Also, I had to watch my younger brother and sister plus, I couldn't even drive to the yards. There was a possibility of being caught and if I had been, my mother would've tore my ass up! (If ya old school, you know what I'm talking about!) It was a cold December night. In 1978, Disco was huge! My mom and stepfather decided to go to the disco tech. They left and told me "watch your brother and sister." I didn't know what time or hour that they were coming back. Usually Discos or Clubs --how they call it today-- closed around 6am, in those days. I pretended to be asleep when my mom came to kiss me goodnight. As soon as I heard the car motor starting, I got into my hitting gear. I told my brother to watch my little sister and close our bedroom door. I went next door to MAZE's house --BLADE was there too-- and off we went to "Esplanade Lay ups." We "pieced" until 9am Sunday morning. I was having so much fun, at the same time, I started worrying if my parents had found out that I wasn't home. When I got home, I entered through the basement door. I was covered with black dirt from the tunnels. My little brother was up, he said, "Mom didn't enter our room." (PHEWSH!) I couldn't wait to go to school that Monday morning, and also East Tremont where we took pictures. I stuck to hitting walls until the Fall of 1979 because it was hard to get out late to hit the trains. By 14, I had more flexibility with my curfew.



3.) Who were the biggest names when you first started out, and what writers inspired you to write?


I Remember, I started out towards the end of the second generation. At that time the trains were beautiful, whole cars after whole cars. There was, of course, BLADE and COMETt, THE M.G BOYS (I'm talking about all of the members),  IZ THE WIZ, REE 2 MTA, LEE from Fab 5, SLAVE, MONO and also, the original MPC Boys were starting to get up a little bit, SLIP, COLT, Rock 161. I can't forget DELI 167 aka BAN 2! That guy was just killing!. Yes, these were some of the names I remember. Especially on the 2s and 5 lines. I'm sure there are many more. Sorry if I forgot a few names!

Between BLADE, LEE, KIT 17 and IZ THE WIZ, they were my favorite artists. They inspired me. When they bombed, they bombed with authority and class.

Check your history. Notice how many one man whole cars they did. The windows were always coded, especially if they had silver (rusto or high heat, which were car spray paints). Their letters were huge (big mushroom, bubble, and block letters)! Notice my pieces – one man whole cars and huge block letters which I imitated. I love the big pieces. I didn't do as much as they did, but when my pieces turned that corner of East Tremont, it was like “OH SHH!” – Sorry, I don't use profanity anymore!


4. Who were some of your earliest writing partners when you started out?


 As mentioned earlier, MAZE was my first partner. As I started to get better and know the yards, MAZE and I didn't piece as much. MAZE then became BLADE's partner (on the regular), after Comet. Later, I took on the name The Crazy Shh or Squad, which was a branch off  The Crazy 5. At that time in 1980, everybody was writing TC5. I then separated myself from that Famous crew, which now was being run by (Black Seen) – its a big story behind that! – let's move on...

In 1981, KATO became first partner under the TCS crew. Then DIEN in 1981, KEMTS 58 in 1982, Skinny DERO 1983 who later got up big with WANE in mid '85 - early '86 – by then I was done with graffiti on trains. (By the way, they too were from around the block. I remember WANE being a 9 year old kid when I was writing early on.

I just kept with my crew just to keep separated from all the graffiti wars that was going on. Its best just to keep within. Take LEE, for example: a well respected artist, and never, or rarely got crossed out. Observing his art, you could tell he was different, I wanted to stand out as well. I didn't do as many pieces as they did but my pieces rarely got crossed out, so it looked like I had more than what I really had.


5.) Would you have an racking adventures you can share with us?


 No, not really. But I must tell you Martin's Paints on Gunhill Road/Boston Post Road in the Bronx was the spot! – Hahaha! – Oh yeah, there was Caldor just over the Bronx border, and some rack out in Staten Island – yeah, that was an all day trip from the Bronx to South Ferry, reaching Staten Island, taking the metro train there, and a bus to K-Mart. (Big Time Paint!) As more writers came into the picture, especially after the movies, books and galleries of graffiti, everyone then wanted to write! So, I had to travel very far for the coolest racks. Big ups to NIKE- MWA who took me there.

At this time, I was contemplating to quit. Too many writers who didn't pay their dues! (As IZ THE WIZ said, in the movie Style Wars, “Home Sleeping”.)



9.The insides of he subways are very over looked. Did you get your name up on the insides, and what writers did you feel had the best hand writing flair on the insides...and what writers do you feel were the Kings of the insides?
 Insides weren't my thing. As I just mention, if I'm getting caught it would be for doing a masterpiece, not insides!! If I had scraps of paint left over, maybe a quick tag to mark my car, or a few throw ups. If I was traveling on the subway and buses, I would then do motion tagging. By the Way, people tend to forget about the buses. The kings in my era on the buses was BAN2 aka DELI 167 and there was a dude named PRESWEET who took over. That's right, buses were apart of the Graff game just as much as the trains were. (Big shouts to the both of them!) The best tagger on the inside to me would be ZEPHYR. Beautiful script/graffiti type lettering. There was SMILY 149 (RIP) BLADE with the letting E having a shooting star and the number one all together and also CLYDE. There were many kings of the inside throughout the different era's of graffiti. I remember in 1978, KADE 198 and TEAN 5 of the TMT Crew (The Magnificent Team) had the insides locked down. There was a guy who wrote in that same era by the name of Dynomite 149. DURO 1 from CIA was big time on the insides. He kinged all lines (hands down!), Including at time that not many people remember DONDI CIA (Crazy Inside Artist!) was a king in the insides of the trains, maybe just as much as DURO. In 1981, Zephyr was the king of  the insides of the Ones and 3s. Later on that year came along KM, SKEME and AGENT. There were the SAL and ISH from the NSB crew (North South Bombers). Then Came Cap and his crew MPC (Morris Park Crew) with REST and RUSH, believe or not CAP held down the insides for a time. In mid 1981 was the year of the graffiti wars. (IT WAS CRAZY!!!) You had G-MAN who was paralyze on one side  and still  got up big time. BAN2 aka DELI 167 had the inside on the number 4 lines, including the CCs and the Ding Dongs locked down. PRE SWEET had the tags on the insides and outsides. If you look at a lot of pieces (window down), you'll see PRE SWEET tags (check out photos from 1980-1982). On the IRT 2,4,5 and 6 lines.
10.) Did you ever hang out at the Writers bench at 149th Street and do you have any memories you can share with us about that place?
Yes, of course that was the place to go and show off, especially after pulling off a whole car the night before. I have so many memories. I have met so writers from different eras.  I've met SKEME, DEZ, SHY 149(RIP) BEAR 167 (RIP), also some of the members of the Rock Steady Crew --Frosty Freeze, RIP 7, DOZE. By the way, I was there when they were filming Style Wars! I remember cutting first period school just to be at the bench by 8am and then last period to be there by 3pm. Rush hour would be starting, the place would be packed!
By 6pm, the crowd would start to dissipate.
Q11. What writers do you feel are very over-looked in history?

 When I started writing, Dime was big on the 2s and 5s. You had BUTCH 2 from TFP, (The Fantatic Partners). Also SLAVE from the Feb 5 who was over shadowed from LEE's dominance on the 2's and 5's. LEE was a whole car king! There was Dust from the UA Boys (United Artist) who also was over-looked by SEEN UA for the same reason. To me, I think DUST was one of the best writers of all eras. In 1982, on the six line, DUST did a whole car. DUSTER - LIZZIE floating across the whole train. To see the piece go by put a stamp on who is the best artist. Another artist from the 4 line who gets over-looked, no doubt, MITCH 77.( LA-Latin Artist ). He did it all. True Warrior of the Graff World. I loved his Block Busters along with PJAY. Those thick 3Ds as their names stretched the whole car window down. By the way, BLADE and COMET invented the Block Buster, but Mitch took it to the next level.
The only problem was you could get a clear painting off the bottom of the train, because of the platform. (Take a look at Subway Art on page 18,19.) There you will see a SMILY 149 and KED Piece top to bottom whole car. That was done at Gunhill. Notice the bottom of the train-not painted due to platform Acton! I also remember the old crackle board walk or cat walk that snaps every time you would on it. Speaking about clubs, there was the T.Connection. Hip Hops official club before the Fever. I remember going to the lay up as I'm riding up that long escalator. There would be mobs of people walking down all those steps at Gunhill train station. there has got to be 100 steps! That's crazy! That system still exists today. After doing my thing at Gunhill, I would go to the back door of the T-Connection which was on 210th or 211th Street and listen to music. (Big Shout To DJ Breakout and Grand Master Flash and Shy Rock) "Yes, Yes, Y'all TO The Beat Y'all." Uptown Bronx was the place to be.



12.) Would you have any raid stories you can share with us?
 I never got raided or caught for doing graffiti on the trains. I've gotten spotted by housing cops, but I would just finish my piece and run the hell out of there.


13.) What were your favorite yards, or lay ups to hit and why?
A. Thats easy to answer, although, you had to alternate your spots because transit was tracking down popular artist also TOYS always wanted to know where you were getting over. Now that graffiti on trains are long gone. I now can tell ya my spots hahhahha... #1 the Mother of ALL Lay Ups and Yards was ESPANEDE!!! No dought this layup was the best,with its tunnels and stick outs.#2 Baychesther #3 Dyre Ave. These lay ups were on the ground which made it easier to run if you were to get chased by cops or anyone.#4 225th street lay up. I remember going on saturday nights. There was a club right under the  my spot where  i would hit. The music would be so loud it made it easier to shake my paint cans. By the way the club was called the(Head Quarters) H.Q. #5 Gunhill which ran the old 3rd Ave L train that became an excellntlayup starting in 1973. By the way 225/Gunhill layup were elevated, at times a little
scary be of being so high up with fast moving cars below.In the year 1980 Gun hill was the spot to go to. I pulled off crazy pieces there. It was very easy to do a whole car top to bottom with the excess of the platform. but it did have its deffects. Parts of the bottom of the train you couldnt paint, because of that same reason the(platform)!! 
14.)  Can you tell us all the writers you have hit the the trains with and what writer impressed you while hitting?
 Remember, I didn't go hitting with many writers. I kept within my crew. The one who impressed me the most was Blade TC5. Writing graffiti with MAZE and having to do my first piece with the KING BLADE, at the age 13 just blew me away!!! Naturally, he get the edge!!


15.) Who were the biggest transit cops in your day and were you ever nabbed by them?
 As a kid growing up...I was {without Fear} as most kids are in their teens . We didn't pay
attention about laws or transits cops although you didn't want to get caught. To tell you the truth, I was in fear if my parents more then anything!!! All I remember , just going to the lay ups at the spur of the moment, hearing Disco-Heavy Metal with the smell of spray paint
fumes with a Budweiser beer in the other hand!! {PURE INNOCENT FUN} Towards the end of my era of graffiti, I began to hear about undercover transit cops posing as graffiti artist, and their names were " Hicki & Ski". So, I never met  them and I never got caught doing graffiti
on the trains.

16.) What year would you say was your best year,
Writing graffiti is a gradual progress unless youre naturally gifted,or as some Artist did,
went to an {Art School} to learn ways an forms of art, which to me was {CHEATING} WORD-UP!!!  Im from the old school. {PAY YOUR DUES} hahahaha!!! By the year 1981 my hand was loose! The early spring of 1982 towards the fall that same yer,my crew an me did  big damage with whole cars,blockbusters! I remember well when I called Henry C.,about a piece i did. While speaking to him Shy 147 picked up the other line and said " Keep up the good work". The Original members of my crew {TCS} The Crazy S...! KATO, DIEN, KEMPT 58 and myself. The members came a year later.


17.)  What year did you stop writting and why?

A. I stop writting at the end of 1983,after getting over big time in 1982. I did  do a four car
blockbuster in 1985 with my crew. By then the love of the art on trains was no longer.
In 1985 i was 20 years old,with a well paying job as a plumber. I just got my first car,im chiiin at the ROXY in Manhattan...! My life was now at a different stage. For this reason i
decided to quit for good. You can say ,now i got a lot to loose if i do get caught doing graff! I can recall in 1983 the transit system started to paint the trains white. They called them "White Elephants", a new genaration of writters started to appear. Im now much weiser.I knew it was time to hang it up! So I did.

18.) Would you have any closing words?
I must say I had a great youth growing up in the Bronx. Writing graffiti was an experience ill never forget. I NOW don't encourage anyone to write on other peoples property, at the
same time I do support the art as long as its LEGAL!!
I would like to thank Subway Outlaws for this interview. This gave me the opputunity to
express my experience a former graffiti artists. I'm just 1 out of thousands of artists who might of or better whom been through this wonderful experience.
Big Ups to Henery Chalfant & Martha Cooper for putting me up in their book {"SubwayArt"} on page 22. Big shout to Reavs, who put me on BLAST in the book {The Art Of Getting Over  Graffiti at the Millennium"} on page 82 by Stephen Powers. Finally i would like to give a big thank you overseas to "MODE 2",for letting everyone how  i and many writers played a role with
him getting started. On page 250 in the book called {"Mascots & Mugs"} by David Villorente &Todd James.  Hey Mode 2 We gotta do a piece a the point in Queens New York!!
                 Sorry if  i forgot someone there were so many artists.. Oh yeah {Billy 167..RIP} gets
way over looked . At his time he was the man..  Peace to all, and I'm outer here. 2009!!