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History of Writers

~ Hand Style 12 ~

What is in a name?  Everything!  How a name is written however, is even more important.  Hand writing is the first step in becoming a Graffiti writer.  Writers put in much time and pride into there tags.  Writers developed there tag, to stand out from others due to the competition.  In time, a writers tag became a label of who they were, and who they are today.



- What the fuck are you looking at?!


In the early 1970's, the era of the "Single Hit" (Tagging) generation, TRACY 168's name was seen on almost every subway car that rolled into a subway station.  FREEDOM :  I can remember going with TRACY to a slide show, given by Jack Stewart some time ago (in the early 1980's).  As Jack was giving his talk, as well as, viewing slides of some of the trains he photographed in the early 70's, a voice rang out from the background stating, "I'M UP ON THAT TRAIN!".  This turned out to be TRACY from the background who repeated after each slide "YEA I'M UP ON THAT ONE TOO".  We all got a closer look and realized the man was right.  TRACY was one of the most important style innovators of the early 1970's and his name was seen on almost every line in New York City.




Above are early single hits from CRAZY CROSS 136, LIONEL 168 and COOL CLIFF 120.  All were high profile taggers in the early 1970's.  PUFF 167 - "In the early days, the Broadway line was the only train line in the city to have the most Graffiti on it.  The earliest names I remember seeing were JOE 136 (the first king of the line), CRAZY CROSS 136 (king of the insides) and the rest of the 136th Street and 135th Street boys.  Also, the buses were just as big as trains were back then, and also hit by these guys.




      - The original king of the 2 & 5 train lines.









Early single hits (tags) by

CC 10, TABU 1 , EVA 62, BARBARA 62, STEVE 192, LEE 163 and JUNIOR 161.





Early single hits by SWEET DUKE 161, SUPER KOOL 223 and TUROK 161 from Broadway.

KOOL KITO - "SWEET DUKE 161, of all the Bronx writers, was my favorite when it came to hand style.  I like the way, at the end of each tag, he took the time to draw a quick playboy bunny at the end of it.  It always amazed me that he could execute his tags so quick.  SWEET DUKE 161 started writing MR ED 161, which did not go over well with the already established Brooklyn writer, MR ED 131.  As a result, that caused the two to start crossing out one another.




GUN 229

was an early Bronx writer from the single hit era.






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