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Hot 110



STARTED : 1973



MAIN LINES : EE's, F's, RR's, N's, J's, GG's, A's, CC's, B's and D's Trains lines

 Interview conducted in Duke's apartment in late November 2004




What borough are you originally from

I lived all over because of problems I had from not really having a good mother and father to take care of me, but I stayed with my grandmother the most in Jamaica, Queens.



How did you come up with your name

I used to write Mark when I was really young.  I saw the name Duke on a race car when I was like 9 or 10 years old.  Also, a friend from mine

Shortstop had an older brother who was in the 7 Immortals street gang who used to write Duke 7 all over the streets.  There were other Dukes that hit the trains.  There was Duke 149 from the IRTs, and Duke 155 from the 7 line.  When I first started, I met this guy that wrote Bell 3 and Fame 5.  He gave me the style that Itag. We both use to  hit the  klonkers together (old brown trains on the INDs), There was this one night we were bombing the lay up's when the cops came out of nowhere and dragged us both on to the train station. They handcuffed me to a pole and then the two cops started beating FAME 5 so badly you could see blood coming down from his mouth. These cops were relentless on the type of beating they were giving him and for what reason they were only beating him, I had no idea? Maybe he was on there Top ten list or he was writing some personal messages on the trains to these two

cops but when they finished you could not even recognize the guy. They took us both in for our parents to pick us up. I never saw FAME 5 again.



What were some of the first names you saw on the train

The names that I remember seeing up the most during the early years when there were only tags were Ace of Spades 196, Flowers Dice, and Pray Ace of Spades was the first stylized tag I remember.  He did a lot of drawings with his tags.  I actually saw Prey at 42nd Street one day in 1974 when me and some of my friends from Richmond Hill were going to the A layup at 175th Street.  She took a tag on a newsstand with a marker.  When I got to the layup, I did a Prey piece for her on a D train.  When I first started noticing pieces pass by my house on the J train, they were popping up from big writers like Super Strut, Pistol, and Mingo.  Another guy who had really great style was Flint 707.  He was way ahead of his time; I think he went to Art & Design High School.  These guys from the first wave of writing were amazing.  Mingo, Steve 61, and Earl had a lot of tags during the first wave, but really got up once pieces started.  A lot of writers started pretty young when they were like 12 years old.  Then when I started riding the Es and Fs in the subway, I saw guys from the second wave like Pollo 136, Shorty 13, and Lil Soul 159.  I had no idea how they were doing these pieces.  I thought they were just catching the trains in the station or something. 




What writers did you look up to when you first started


AFX 2 was my hero from my younger days.  I started meeting him a lot down at the Van Wyck and Sutphin layup every Sunday morning with usually Pinto and Tero and Movin 2.  Movin 2 wasn't really a big writer then, but he became a huge writer later on with the throwup name TI 149, even though he was putting that up too at the time.  AFX took me to this D layup where we did Top to Bottoms right in the station.  He also took me to 45th Street to hit RRs, and the Bowery to hit Js.  He was the first person to take me to other lines and shit.  I had been seeing Vinny for years and years before I started writing.  He was one of my fucking heroes from a long time ago.  You could tell he was a White writer by his name which I thought was really cool, that's why I really liked him.  He was so up, just fucking so big in like 1972/1973.  Before I was writing he was fucking king of a lot of lines; always king of the As.  ODD a/k/a Whin 161 used to do these big ass fucking block letter pieces.  I also liked all the guys that had the old original tags on the fronts and in-between cars.  Writers like Super Strut, Stay High 149, Comet, Dizzy 1, Cool Coke, and Uncle John 178.



When and where did you hit your first train, and what were some of the other Yards and Layups you hit

I was 13 years old the first time I hit the trains on July 19, 1974 at the layup between Parsons Boulevard and Sutphin Boulevard on the Es and Fs.  I was with two guys from my block that I grew up with named Flash 2 and Jade.  After that, I was so happy that I started going every night, and by August, I was King of the line.  Nobody

 knew who I was because I didn't have any affiliations.  Flash and Jade stopped going, and I started going by myself.  This felt so good, like nothing I ever experienced before.  It was like Disneyland.  Then my favorite spot became the layup between Van Wyck Boulevard and Sutphin Boulevard.  This was such a long layup that you could be in the middle of the tunnel, hit a whole train, and not be anywhere near either station.  In fact, it was so long, that it had 2 sets of emergency exits.  This guy named Pentagram 1 was one of the first writers ever to get killed.  He touched the third rail in Van Wyck layup.  I remember it made the front page of the news in like 1972. I had some friends from Richmond Hill who lived by the elevated J layups, but I was afraid of heights.  I wanted Js because they went past my house, and I loved looking up at the trains when I went to Jamaica Avenue.  That was the line that I studied most because I really didn't start riding the subways until I got a little older.  The J yard and Coney Island yards were hot

  from being bombed in the early days by the biggest writers like Super Strut and Flint 707.  The only place to get Js were on the elevated layups in Queens, or the Bowery in Manhattan.  I went to the J Yard one day, but it just didn't look Kosher at all.  I finally got the nerve to hit the elevated layups.  The Ghost yard was hot too.  I remember one afternoon going there with Uncle John 178, Tear 2, So Five, and Sin 158.  It was also hard to get into because you had to walk across this small ledge right

 over the water.  Then you had to jump onto this old fucking wooden boat and walk across that, and then you could get into the yard really easy.  We stashed our paint and went in to check it out first.  Uncle John used to go there with Dizzy, Super Strut and Pistol way back in like early part of the 70's.  Uncle John was a real old-timer and one of the first taggers in Queens.  I also wanted the other BMTs since they ended up switching to Js.  Uncle John took me to the M Yard in Queens my first time.  After that, I'd usually go with EX 1 or other writers.  There I met this guy who lived around the M yard who wrote Chuckie $ which was pronounced Chuckie Price$.  That was his yard.  If he and his boys saw someone going in there that they didn't like, they used to fuck with them.  One day his boys surrounded me and John and tried to take our paint.  John was like piss off motherfucker, I ain't giving you shit.  Right at that minute when something could have happened, Chuckie walks over.  John was like yo my man Chuckie, it's me, John.  Then Chuckie cooled all that shit out. Uncle John also took me to City Hall lay-up.  Super Strut had some really prominent fucking tags down there.  He looked like he bombed that place man, he tore that place up.  That was the coolest lay-up in the world.  It was a who's who of like the real fucking writers.  There were tags by Piper 1, Phase 2, Stay High 149, Flint 707, AFX 2, Cano 707, Tan 144, Joe 136, Dizzy, and Uncle John.  Everybody had an old tag there.

The IRTs were a little bit more out of my way, but I really wanted to get them.  The New Lots yard was mad cool.  It was really way out by all these factories and there was hardly anybody around.  It was me, Uncle John, Tear, and this guy that used to write DT.  We had like cases of pound cans of Rustoleum cause we figured if we were gonna hit the IRTs, we wanted to do it big time so they wouldn't think we were like toys.  We really wanted to get up overnight and just blow everybody's mind.  I had IRTs already before that.  I went to City College to the 1 tunnel with Lil Soul.  He'll tell you about that.  And I went to the 7 yard.  The theme at New Lots was to do whole car checkerboards.  There were only two clean cars and one of them had like a Jester throw up on it that I had to background.  John was like yo you better fill that shit in good cause you don't want nobody to see you background Jester.  Later on I became really good friends with Jester when he moved out to Queens.  I used to see him all the time and I was one of the first people that joined his crew TC - The Crew.  That night in Newq Lots, I did my best piece on the IRTs.  I guess the piece probably wasn't that impressive to the IRT writers as it was to us because there were so many great artists on the IRTs.  I did a checkerboard design inside my piece as well as my background.  The letters were parrot green and white checks with a red outline.  By the time I finished the fill in I couldn't fucking see where my outline was.  The other guys were like you Duke, I really hope you know what you're doing.  I got the letters perfectly. LP 136 and NO 1 took me to a cool outdoor lay-up on the N line.  I think it was Cherry Hill.  I really liked lay-ups, especially Van Wyck.  I remember Steve 61 had this really huge tag on the last panel in Van Wyck.  Also, lay-ups gave you a nice history.  Most writers were really secretive, but Stay High 149, Phase 2, and especially Super Strut always had tags in the layups they went to.  Lay-ups were dark and quiet, and cops were not so inclined to go into a tunnel.  There were great hiding spots and so many ways to get in and out; through the end of either station, the emergency exits, and even the air ducts.  I spent so much time exploring the tunnels after my paint and ink were gone.  Writers were like mole people. 



Who were some of your main partners

In the beginning it was Flash 2 , Dim and Jade.  After Flash quit, it was Earl aka Shasta 62, Coke 67 and Uncle John 178.  After I met AFX 2 we became really tight.  You never really saw him at the benches.  While piecing, we would just plan to meet at the layup another day at a certain time.  Then he stopped coming out, and I met Shorty 13 and we became really close.  I used to go to his house and knew his mother.  One time Cliff 159 came out to Queens, and me and Shorty were showing him some of the Queens racks.  I think Lil Soul was with us too. True 2 and I bombed together a lot after our paint store robbery in Richmond Hill.  Doc 1 and I would kill the insides of the 7s together. I would not say there were my  partners, but I went hitting a few times with guys like CLIFF 159, DANCE 2, TEE 3YB, STIM, PINTO aka DP 2, TERO 3YB, STUN 1 aka GUMBE and later wrote TOKE 1, VINNY, CA, DIME 139, LIL SOUL 159, RHINO, CHINO 174, SNIPER 131, ROGER, TAGE, LP 136, NO 1, DASH 1, OO aka CADD, JESTER aka  DY 167, DISCO & DEO, TRUE 1, TEAR 2, MASTER 1,  STOKE, DOC-STAM, NEON,  IKE aka IZ THE WIZ, and a few other that I can't remember at this time. My last partner was EX 1, but he really used to just follow me around with a bunch of little kids.  I'd be like dude, stop following me or you're gonna get me jumped.  He was in my class in Junior High School. Once I stopped writing in 1976, that was when EX~1 became the king of the EE's and F's.



What was your favorite kind of marker

Minis.  When I first started writing, I didn't know where to get Minis and Uni-wides, but I knew where to get Flomaster ink.  I would make my own markers with the ink box, blackboard erasers, and a whole lot of black electrical tape.  This was fatter than even a Uni, and everyone used to ask me what kind of marker I was using.  I used to juice it up real good so that my tag had drips coming off of it, but not so much that you couldn't read it.  Earl used to do that too, but he had a real Uni-wide, and he was the first one I saw with a Uni.  Uncle John and Tear ended up taking me to this store called Candyland to buy my first real markers.  After that, I really got into the opaque ink, and would mix colors to hit the windows on the insides after all my paint was gone.



Since you are from Queens, which bench did you hang out at the most, Parsons Boulevard or Continental Avenue

The Black guys on Parsons really accepted me.  I had a lot of experience relating to Blacks, cause like when you're a troubled White kid, they tend to send you to all Black schools and all Black summer camps.  I'd be the only White boy in the middle of all these Black faces.  I don't know, but for some reason, Black kids always accepted me.  I felt a lot more warmth and friendliness and I really made good friends.  One night Flash called me and told me he had met all these White writers from

Kew Gardens and Russell Sage High School.  We went to Continental Avenue, and it was Uncle John 178. Tear 2, Coke 67, Dance 2 and Stoke who I think was Dance's younger brother, and a bunch of others I can't remember right now.  I met them right before I met the Black writers.  I felt kind of a strange feeling; not of warmth and earnestness like with the Black writers.  Uncle John and Tear were really arrogant, and later I found out that they talked a lot of dirt behind my back.  The Black writers were more heart if you know what I mean.  They would hang out with the Black writers and then call them niggers behind their backs.  The white kids would never go down to Parsons hardly ever, but the Black kids would often come up to Continental.  So like usually every day you'd meet everybody at Continental; White and Black kids.  Anyway, we all went to the 75th Avenue lay up to hit Es, EEs, Fs, and GGs.  If you walk all the way through the tunnel, it leads to Jamaica yard.  The only person that I hit it off with right away was Dance 2.  I liked him a lot before I met him because I liked his style, pieces, and his name.  He pulled me over to the side and told me that I couldn't trust John and the rest of them.  There was a lot of racism, especially back then, and people would really needle me by calling me nigger-lover and shit like that.  When I first started writing, I didn't know how to keep clean in the layup, and didn't have that many clothes, and was always in the street.  Uncle John started calling me Dirty Duke 9, because I was always filthy.  I got really tight with John little by little, and we


became inseparable.  But whenever he was with Tear, he would turn on me and not treat me so good.  I'd go to his apartment, and we would talk and stuff.  He was one of the most amazing people I ever met.  He was Irish, and he had the most beautiful face; like an angeI.  He looked like a movie star and he was so fucking smart like he had

been around for 1,000 years or something.  We were very successful together, but whenever Tear was around, they would double team me and just really fuck with me.  I once had a really famous fight with John.  A lot of people were there.  I was only 13, and John was like 17 or 18.  I was a skinny little malnourished kid, but I had a lot of heart, cause I would just fight anybody, no matter who they were.  Another good one was at Continental Avenue station.  He was with Tear and crossed out a piece that I did at Russell Sage High School.  I just jumped on him.  He wasn't expecting it.  The rest of his crew was saying that I would hide our, or go with what they called "The Niggers at Parsons Boulevard."  A lot of the White writers like felt a lot of animosity cause they considered me a nigger, you know like a White nigger.  Like they all knew each other at both benches and everything.  At Parsons they knew John before he did a year in jail when he was like 16, and they knew Tear when he was writing Galaxy.  But I was really down with them at Parsons.  I was the only White person that would go there.  I think all the other White writers were scared, or they just didn't want to hang cause they just called them niggers behind their back.  They didn't have soul like I had soul.  I used to hang out with Blacks.  Back then, a White kid could not walk in a Black neighborhood,

 and a Black kid wouldn't walk in a White neighborhood.  True 2 took me to his house and all the people were like yo man you better take your friend home real soon.  Uncle John and all those white kids were like serious racists.  They would be really nice to the Blacks when they were around, but John would talk a lot of dirt behind their backs and he really hated them calling them niggers and stuff.  John and I had a lot of other fights, but Continental was the biggest one.  He was a really dirty and experienced fighter.  I also had a fight with Tear in the playground at Russell Sage Junior High School, and beat the shit out of him too.  The White kids from Continental only went to 75th Avenue layup in Queens.  I loved the Parsons crew, they were down for ANYTHING!    



Did you ever go to the Writer's benches in Brooklyn or the Bronx

Hell yeah.  I used to go to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.  I used to go bombing with Stim.  He was like a King.  Fucking him and Tee totally bombed starting in like 1971/1972.  They were brothers.  Stim was the youngest, but he was taller than Tee.  I used to know Stim better.  They used to be up on 149th Street all the time too.  I was at the bench at 149th street and the Grand Concourse when IN and Cliff 159 told me that they really dug that checkerboard piece that I did on the 2 line at New Lots.  The writers from these benches used to come out to Parsons bench and the McDonalds.  Even Cliff 159 used to come out to Parsons and throw people down with 3YB in the fall of 1974.  There was a lot going on in Queens in those days.



you use to bomb with VINNY and a few of his boys. Could you tell us some of your experiences while writing with him?

I always had respected for VINNY when I first saw him up on the A's. I remember seeing him when I first started in 1973 in the insides and then slowly he started  hitting the out sides. One of the first photos Dime 139 ever took was a Vinny piece from 1973 with one of those old box cameras that was poplar back then, I always knew that

he would become a great writer. I  met him while I was bombing the F's in Queens, but it would be a little later when he started branching out to other lines that we started going bombing with one another. Through Vinny I met CA aka Captain America and Shorty 13 who was a real cool guy who lived in Brooklyn around Church avenue. The part of Brooklyn where he lived had so many places where you could go to hit trains that he and Vinny just went nuts out there. They took me to a few  spots in Brooklyn and I took them over to the number seven line line where we all just went crazy. I took king of that line in two short weeks which was not very hard because of the limited amount of trains to hit. When I first went out to the 7 yard I bumped in DELFONIC  and the crew U.S.A. There had to be about 20 guys in that yard that night and every one in there was making noise. There were guys in there with Quarts of beer lighting up weed and just getting high not even thinking about putting there names on the trains. I always tried to avoid that kind of commotion but some times it wasn't up to me. Uncle John and I would some times hit this spot that was in a sort tunnel on the last stop of the 7 train, because the yard would get a little hot we would take our chances there. We did a Top to Bottom that night which came out real nice and wish I had pictures of. There was a night that Vinny and I got raided from the 7-yard which was one of the biggest raids I have ever been in. It was me Vinny, Sniper 131 and a

whole yard filled with writers that included Roger and Chino 174 that night. I was doing a few quick Duke pieces just when I started to throw on an out line on my piece is when the doors opened and all the lights went on. From there it got pretty shaky with the cops jumping out from the insides of the parked trains and started chasing us, I followed Vinny towards the hole on the side of Flushing meadow park while Roger and Chino 174 must have been the first ones out because there were no where in site.  I was watching guys getting grabbed right in front of me. We got away that night but Sniper was not so lucky and after that night I never saw him again and stop writing all together. Just like Uncle John I had a few disputes with Vinny but nothing really major, but after while we stop hanging out and once I stop writing he basically kinged every line line in the city.


Did you ever have beef with any other writers

When I first started writing in 1974, I didn't know what I was doing.  I would tag inside people's pieces without even looking at what I was doing.  I started a lot of beefs with people without even realizing it.  People like Vinny and Cosa and a lot of other people.  Earl was like the only other person really tagging in Queens that summer.  The Jamaica writers would cool down during the summers.  The only competition that I really had was their old pieces.  Mingo and Steve 61 were like king; one on the insides,

 and the other on the insides and outsides, and Lil Soul 159.  I used to ride the last couple of cars and hit insides at 169th and 179th street, and one day saw an Earl tag on 169th street station with an arrow pointing to my name saying "Earl wants to meet."  I was like WOW, this guy wants to fucking meet me.  This guy from my Junior High School that used to write Torch also told me something about Earl.  I finally met Earl one afternoon at 179th street station.  He couldn't believe I was this little short white hippie kid with hair down to my shoulders.  We bonded right away and started tagging each other up.  All the Jamaica writers thought I was Black.  Earl brought me to the Parsons Boulevard bench when school started back up in September and introduced me to everybody for the first time.  All the Jamaica writers were there; Lil Soul 159, Steve 61, Mingo, Cosa, Nail 170, and a really long list of other writers that I can't remember right now.  Earl squashed all the beefs for me.  But the only other people who I still had beef with were Cosa and Vinny.  Cosa was still kinda pissed off, but Earl worked that out for me  because he was a Black guy.  I still was having problems with Vinny.  We were kind of having like a little war, writing HOT 110 over each other.  He actually did a HOT 110 piece on one of my really nice pieces on the GGs.  So I just went to work to fuck up his shit whenever I saw it.  When I first starting hanging out with AFX, he used to cross Vinny out too.  I had a really hard time finding Vinny to settle our beef.  I finally met him, Shorty 13, and CA later that fall in Van Wyck layup.  I was with Flash, and we heard footsteps on the catwalk and hid under the train.  I think that Vinny sensed it was me cause he smelled the paint and he knew that layup was mine.  I yelled out Flash, if that's a cop, let's fuck him up.  Now he knew it was me because he knew it was always Duke 9 and Flash.  So I peek from under


the train and see him running down the catwalk.  I knew it was him because people had described him to me.  A White guy with long black hippie hair.  He was also an avowed racist from this all white neighborhood near Howard Beach.  Anyway I told him to just stop, let's talk and make peace.  I told him that it was AFX crossing him out.  Looking back, I feel really ashamed for starting the war between them.  Vinny would get this guy from his neighborhood named IS to go with him and just fuck AFX's

 shit up while Vinny was doing his thing.  He wasn't really a writer, just a drugged out White boy.  He would write IS right across AFX's pieces, and then next to it he'd write "No tickee no laundry," because AFX was Chinese.  Anyway, Vinny told me that Shorty and CA were waiting for him to let them in through the emergency exit.  It was cool because I wanted to meet those guys anyway.  Then we all shook hands and painted.  Months later, Vinny came to McDonlads on Parsons Boulevard, and all the Black writers were like yo Duke, there goes Vinny.  They didn't know we had already met.  There were like 30 guys there.  Cliff 159 was there, and Nail 170 and Mr. Al instigated a fight between me and Vinny.  I only fought because I know that they would have called us punks if we didn't fight.  The fight was a fucking draw, but I think I got the slight edge because I punched him in the ear and he was bleeding more than me. Another time I was on 149th Street with IN, Cliff 159, and this Spanish guy that used to write Doc T.  Uncle John, Tear and I just started our own crew.  Actually, it was a revival of TGU - The Graffiti Underground which Super Strut and Flint 707 started.  Anyway, Cliff says to me, why'd you write that crew with Uncle John.  Why ain't you down with me anymore   and 3YB.  I was like everybody is fucking TK now.  IN really saved my neck

 because a lot of those guys were really instigators like Doc T who had a racist attitude.  I guess one time he must have had a bad experience in a white neighborhood.  He wasn't even up, just a hanger-on.  IN really cooled it down saying yo that's my boy, leave him alone.  So they just let me go home.  I had a lot of respect for IN for that as well as how much he bombed.  I kind of was pissed off with Cliff after that, so every time I would see a Cliff piece, I'd cross it out and write my name next to it out of respect.  He had a lot of shit on the Es and Fs, so I especially dogged him out on those lines.  I probably should not have done that to Cliff.  He was such a great writer and an old timer, plus he pretty much had quit by that time.  I still had a lot of respect for him, but I really wanted to be a bad ass back then.  Then one day me and a bunch of my boys saw Doc T out in Queens.  I told him I better not ever fucking catch him in Queens ever again and let him go.  That was the last time I ever saw him. There was this guy that used to write Mr. Al.  I don't know what the fuck was up with this guy.  He was a native of Atlantic Avenue 

but he was up at 149th Street a lot because a lot was happening up there.  Atlantic Avenue was kind of dying out a little bit.  Dash kind of bought it back to life again.  Anyway, I ran into Stim one day, and he told me that Al said that I better not be hitting those Ds no more.  That he was gonna like fuck me up or like shoot me or something cause that's his line. I was like fuck Mr. Al.  I was like what does he fucking own the fucking Ds?  I don't give a fuck man, and I said you can tell him.  I never saw Al again, but before that, we used to hang out together in the wolf packs.



You just mentioned Wolf Packs.  What was that all about.

This was really just with the Black writers.  We'd meet up at McDonalds on Parsons.  Mr. Al would join our pack.  Our Wolf Pack from Jamaica Avenue was like a city wide known terror squad; fucking terrorists man.  You wouldn't believe the shit that we would do; it was like incredible.  No White kid could fucking ever hang out; I was the only White kid with like 30 or 40 Black writers.  We were like this huge pack in just a feeding frenzy.  Every time when we'd meet people, they were like terrified.  Especially because of like Mr. Al and Nail and Stim.  These guys were fucking thugs man.  While the train was packed with people, we'd just move from car to car tagging up all over the place.  Then we'd see somebody and like corner them and start ripping through all their shit.  We'd just beat them and rob them and all the other passengers would just stand around and turn their heads and not look.  They were so scared.  We'd be grabbing people's glasses and throwing them out the window, just punching people, and everyone would take turns slapping anybody with a bald head.  You would think that they would all get together and try to help cause they could outnumber us.  They were adults and we were mostly kids.  They were so separate and alone, and we were like one organism.  Then someone would run to get the conductor, and we'd just pull the emergency cord and stop the train in between stations.  Then we would all jump onto the catwalk from between the cars and run out through the emergency exit onto the street.  This would be before they even had a chance to radio for help.  Once we got onto the street, we would just go back on the train on another line, an elevated line and start the same thing again.  35 or 40 of us would just walk right through the gate or hop the turnstile right in front of the token booth clerks and just fucking wave at them.  In the meantime, like all the cops and everything were going to that other thing where that other incident had taken place.  They didn't realize that there more incidents taking place on a totally different line in a totally different area of the city by the same group of people.  One time we cornered this little White kid for a long time, like fucking kidnapped him.  He was crying, they took his watch, and I think it was like Cadd a/k/a OO ONE who was wearing his watch.  Mr. Al and Nail were there really terrorizing this kid.  Nail had the kid pissing on his self, and Lil Soul was there, everybody was there; a lot of people.  I don't know why I did this, but I opened up my mouth and said why don't you just leave him alone, you did enough to him already, give him back his watch.  Then Nail and Mr. Al and everybody looks at me and they said yo man we'll fucking do you next White boy cause they were calling him White boy.  I was like what, fuck you, I don't fucking have nothing.  Cause we all used to like search each other back then when we'd meet up; isn't that weird?  If anyone had anything, they knew they would have to share.  So people if they had anything, they always used to hide it.  I never had money, but I always had a marker.  But I would never whip it out in front of those guys cause I knew it would start some kind of confrontation.  Unless I was like really confident if we were moving through cars and the really nasty guys were ahead of us.  I'd be back maybe with Lil Soul and Earl and Steve and Mingo.  We did this everyday for months and months until it really got hot.   



Do you have any good raid stories

I started hanging out with these Spanish guys from my neighborhood who had a little crew called Deface.  The leader wrote Dim; like from the movie Clockwork Orange.  He went to Art & Design.  I used to chill with them for a little while, and I took them down to some layups.  One day we were on 63rd drive or one of those 1st, 2nd, or 3rd

 stations on the GG line tagging up the station and we saw this cop who once saw me coming out of the layup when I first started writing.  I told Dim to hide his marker in his balls, but he told me he had an ID from Art & Design saying it was O.K. to carry magic markers because he was an art student.  Of course I disagreed with him and tried to warn him.  Anyway, the cop patted us down and found Dim's marker.  Dim showed him his Art & Design card, but the cop didn't give a fuck.  He took us into the bathroom and handcuffed Dim to the stall after beating me.  I fell down and just laid there like I was passed out.  Then he took his nightstick out and started wailing on Dim's head.  Blood was splashing all over the place.  Finally, I just jumped up and ran out of there.  The beating and arrest was too much for Dim and he quit after that. I met IZ The WIZ through Vinny and Shorty 13.  They took me, Uncle John and Tear with them to the elevated A lay ups in their neighborhood.  CA was there too, and I think Sheik or Kink or Duster 1 & 2 was there too.  The cops raided the layup because there were too many of us there.  They cut us off from both stations, and we were running up and down the catwalks.  IZ and Vinny were fucking climbing up and down the poles.  Anyone could climb down, but I never saw anyone climb up.  IZ was climbing down and a cop was waiting at the bottom for him.  Then he fucking started climbing right back up.  He ran down the catwalk toward the next station, crossed the tracks, and started climbing down another pole.  These guys were like monkeys.  That was so cool.  We all met back later at 102 Park.  They also used to hang out at this White Castle too.  That was a really racist neighborhood near Ozone Park and Howard Beach.  It is a very famous area because of racism and I think even to this day it's a racist area for minorities.  Another time we went to New Lots yard to hit the 2s.  It was me, Uncle John, Tear, and this guy that used to write DT.  We were a little too anxious cause we went in


  too early and they pulled another train in.  The motorman smelled paint and they started searching.  We went to the back of the yard and hid under the train cause we had a lot of paint and really wanted to stick it out since we planned this night.  DT had to take a shit really bad, and he fucking went under one of the trains and took a crap while we were hiding.  After everybody left we fucking started bombing and then we noticed Soul who was already in there hitting insides.

 One night I invited True 2, Rhino, and Sniper 131 to rob this paint store in Richmond Hill one night.  It was an Irish neighborhood, and really dangerous for Blacks.  EX 1 brought his crew of kids, and like 30 or 40 people showed up in all.  Blacks, Whites, and Spanish.  I didn't think of it at the time, but I was responsible for bringing all the different races together.  Rhino and Sniper tried to kick the door in, but they were just making a bunch of noise.  I kicked the door in, we all rushed in, and it was total anarchy inside the store.  We were grabbibg cases of I think Topcoat paint.  We were there so long and making so much nosie that the cops raided us.  True and I ran up toward the Long Island Railroad, and we hid in the back of a tractor trailer.  We looked out, and they had like fucking search lights all over the tracks and the area.  After waiting for hours, the sun started to come up.  We saw the manager and some of the workers bringing cases back in.  Nobody really got anything except a couple of cans.  We snuck out while the workers were gone and got about 6 cases each and stashed them and picked them up later that day.  While we were walking home, some drunk racist white guys started hassling True.  I told them to leave him alone because he was with me.  Then they said they were fucking gonna kill me too for bringing a nigger around.  We ran like hell.  True and I became really tight after that night. One night a bunch of us got raided in Jamaica yard hitting Ding Dongs.  A transit worker and detective tried to box me in, and I rolled under the train and came out on the other side.  Then I climbed up to the top of the next train, and hopped trains all the way to the other side of the yard and went out through the fence.



Did you ever get busted for writing

Never, I was very smart.  I never got caught. I did get busted in Grant Yard by the graffiti cops.  It was me, DT, SH, EX 1, True 2, and Disco and Deo who were brothers.  But the cops never showed up when I went to court.  I heard they only came for the older guys when it was in criminal court instead of juvenile court.  I saw Stim 1 in court that day.  Flash once got busted and he had to go scrub.  I went with him, and it was really cool, because I met a bunch of IRT people.  That day I met Mickey 729 a/k/a TO 729.  There were a lot of other guys, but I can't remember their names.  Flash was pretty frustrated and his mom was really angry because I didn't get caught, and I was doing it so much more. 



What did you think about throw ups

There was this new breed of writers in late 1974 doing the throwups.  Before then, most people didn't do the same thing twice.  You could do the same theme twice, you could do the same theme 10 times or 20 times and then change to a new theme.  But you couldn't really do the same piece twice.  It was really Comet and the IRTs

 that pioneered that.  It really caught your eye after a while seeing the same throwup all the time.  Like Lil Soul kinda pioneered that in Queens, and Mingo pioneered that too.  Mingo had some nice style man.  He had these really hot Ms with arrows.  He was really ahead of his time and a great artist.  I also saw Skate do something very early on in Queens.  He did like 5 Skate pieces on two consecutive cars.  If you wanted to be king of a line, you had to break in doing throwups.  AFX 2 taught me how to really be economical and get at least 20 throwups with a pound can of silver paint.  He had a ton of throwups on the INDs and BMTs which Vinny just ragged.  After that he stopped coming out and just quit, never to be seen or heard from again.  I had his phone number and even called a few times, but never got him.  Anyway, his boys Tero and Pinto got really big after a while doing throwups.  Then Pinto started doing DP throwups which stood for Dynamite Pinto.  IN started getting big on the IRTs and started taking over line after another.  Roger was really big on the IRTs at that time.  Things changed and  happened really quick back then.  Someone would be King and then BOOM, a month later


 gone. Crews really changed a lot too.  3YB  was at its peak around that time.  In the spring of 1975 it was already played, and Dash 1 started up a new crew, TK, which stood for The Killers.  A lot of the guys that were putting up 3YB started putting up TK now because it was fresh and new, and really popular. 



When did you quit writing

I quit in 1976 when the big monster buff started.  Every yard had those machines.  They would just spray the trains with these toxic chemicals and run the train through the machine, and that was it.



What have you done in years after writing.

Well I can't say I ever stopped writing, on occasion I'd hit up a quick tag here and there. In the late 1980's and 1990's I was invalid in some big protest in Manhattan for squatters rights. Allot of these protest got really ugly and lost many good friends due to them. I made a come back in the 80's by painting Circle stars all over Manhattan which many believed it was some kind of cult on the loose. there was an article written in the paper about the stars I was doing, that it was the job of a bunch of Satan worshipers terrorizing the city. It flipped me out when I read it, the truth was that there was no meaning behind it but just symbols I enjoyed painting at the time. I regret not taking pictures of all the stuff I did on the subways. Dime was one that loved taking pictures and has I think biggest collection of the IND's as well as other lines around the city. Smith a writer in his own right gave me most of the pictures in my collection.

Smith and his brother Sane remind me a lot of TEE and STIM. Sane like Stim did died too young. the tragedy of his brother death is an important part of the history of Graf. In the 80's they did a lot of break through and original works. Dean was also a great writer in his time. I was really good friends with Dean.  I met him in court when I went for a thing that happened in Grant lay ups. Coke 67 died a few years back and happen to be a good friend of mine. He used to hang out with Master 1, Uncle John and Tear. I would like to thank you Subway Outlaws for allowing me to tell my story and thank Smith for supplying us with pictures from his vast photo collection . DUKE 9 - BROOKLYN TERRORISTS,  3YB



Should any one have any of Duke 9's work,  please contact us at MESSAGE@SUBWAYOUTLAWS.COM. Interview written and conducted by Lil Soul 159. Photo credits go to Smith, Snatch cwk, Dime 139, Duke 9, and the team at Subway Outlaws.