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Hot 110

~ Hand Style ~

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.            



 Brooklyn Tag Masters .




In the early 70's every Borough in New York had there own style of writing. In Manhattan TOP CAT 126 developed a unique style of writing, which was long thin, compacted on platforms dubbed "Broadway Elegant".  It is said that TOP CAT learned writing style while living in Philadelphia from the legendry CORNBREAD. The Bronx had radically different writing style. COOL JEFF's hand style was very respect among Bronx writers. COOL JEFF connected the "C'" and "J" and added a devils tail. LEE 163 ran his E's together. PHASE 2 emerged the "P" and "H", was very unique for it's time. PHASE 2 hand style always evolved though out the 1970's. STAY HIGH used the famous Saint by his name.






 His name stood out from many on the Subways, a stick figure smoking joint propped over the "H" in his name. The use of his character would catch on with many writers such was DEAD LEG 167, LAVA and RIFF 170 changing the look of it in a number of different ways. Brooklyn writers inaugurated a style of their own. Early Brooklyn hand style was distinguished by the use of Free flowing Letters with use of hearts, stars, arrows and swirls. Such examples of typical  use of Brooklyn hand style were seen by, APP-SUPER HOG, FLOWERS DICE, SLIM 1, LA-ZAR, NOL, SPIN 1, FLINT 707. Later in the years most writer chose to develop their own individual hand writing style.      






   DINO-NOD and LSD 3 / OM


KOOL KITO was a Brooklyn writer with a very unique style of writing. KOOL KITO wrote in the early 70's with SLIM 1, HANS 1 ( EL SANTOS ), MR ED 131, SPUTNIK and DICE 121. His hand writing had a flow, that was hard to read by many . Many early Brooklyn writers displayed a elaborate, free flowing style of writing which was all their own. In the early 70's writers could look at a single hit ( tag ) on a wall and recognize  what part of the City they are from. Very respected early Brooklyn signatures were SCOOTER, LA-ZAR, SLIM 1 and SPIN 1.


The Group began in the early 70's under the leadership of DINO-NOD and WG ( WICKED GARY. ) The EX/VANDALS stood for EXPERIENCE VANDALS. They were the first and only writing group of the early era. Although some have claim THE VANGUARDS were a little before them. But the VANGUARDS in the beginning seldom hit up there names and were mainly a fighting group. The EX/ VANDALS main purpose was getting up, but did travel in large groups, they wore colors which confused many fighting gangs. PHASE 2 would become the Bronx prez and keep the EX VANDALS the top Group in the Bronx.




SPEAR 1 : DINO-nod was head of his time. Putting together the EX/VANDALS changed the course of writing for many years. " May He Rest IN Peace".

COMET 1 : When you think of a writer with a great hand writing style ... you think of LA-ZAR. That guy could write his ass off. There were others, like SCOOTER, SPIN & MICO, But LA-ZAR's tags were the best.





DEGREES's  early single hit. Brooklyn U.S.A.


WAR  was one of  Brooklyn all time elite groups in the 70's. The crew would take up members in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The group was put together by WG ( WICKED GARY ) and LA-ZAR.

KOOL KITO : In the early 70's we never referred to getting your name around as bombing, we called it hitting. You had two different types of writers back then, above and below ground writers. You had guys that hit mainly the Subways and you had guys that only hit the streets and Buses, then there were guys that did both. Guys like DEGREES, APP-SUPER HOG, FLOWERS DICE, LIL APP, CANEGO 1, SPUTNICK, THE ASSASSIN, DINO DON, TALOR 1, NA-MIT 1, MANTA were guys that could be seen all over the streets and buses at the time. They did do some trains but are more well known for what they did above ground.


WG : WICKED WESLEY would sometimes just wrote WICKED for short. He was one of the original members of the EX: VANDALS.



SPEAR :  Growing up in Brooklyn his name was every where. MANTA was all over Brooklyn and always through up the EX:VANDALS.

KOOL KITO: I enjoyed hitting up my name as went from one place to the other. There was such freedom in it. It made you feel alive. I would some times cut school and see who was getting up around Brooklyn, seeing who had the most unique way of writing there name and finding place s to boost  my ink or paint. SLIM 1 was knowledgeable on what was happing in the writing world and put me on the newest  things happening. There were guys popping out with new names every week, some of  the memorable names I can still remember were ...

THE ASSASSIN ( Use to kill the buses ), RED HOT, ACE 2,  BLACK SNAKE, SATAN, KOOL SPADE 175, SOULFUL SONNY, MR LEE, BIG TIME TOP-CAT, MR SMOOTH, IMPOSSIBLE DUCE, MAD DOG 117, KING KAT, SIR KNIGHT, COOL CAT, WAP, BLACK SATAN and CZAR 3. These names got around and still stay fresh in my memory.

SPEAR : I was just young kid when the EX: VANDALS hung out in my neighborhood and did not realize how important they were then until now. I'm very lucky to have started at such a young age. I hanging around LA SABRE, SIN 161, VAN 1, LIL DIP and getting to met the great DINO-NOD was an honor. Shortly I would meet HONDO and he would take me under his wing and take me along to rack up paint. There were two HONDO's writing in the 70's, one in the Bronx and another in Brooklyn. The one I knew was the Brooklyn writer who hit the LL's, J's, M's etc and was up on the Chocolate trains. Funny thing is that the HONDO from the Bronx eventually come down to the BMT's and killed them. He did PIT 163 pieces that looked nice. I'm not sure if the two were aware of each other or met one another?












We would like to thank the all the writers on this page  for sharing a little of his history with us. Subway Outlaws would like to thank KR ONE for his support over the years. Photo credits go to KIT 17 and the M.G Boys. SPEAR ( DS 3 ) WG ( WICKED GARY ), LA-ZARJOUST, JUICE-NSA, QUIK, BLADE 1 , FLINT... FOR THOSE WHO DARE , plus the team at Subway " CHECK IT OUT! " Just off the presses. Click here.  For any question or should you like to provide photos. Please contact us at  MESSAGE@SUBWAYOUTLAWS.COM