The Infamous Archives: Profiles

The Infamous - Profiles Department

Mone

INF6_Mone_1

One of the original giants of the freight scene, Mone AOK TFP, talks about his career on the walls and on the trains.

What do you write and where are you from?
Mone:
I write Mone. I’m originally from Mount Vernon, N.Y., which shares a border with the Bronx. I’ve been writing for almost 24 years now. I first took notice of graffiti back in 1984 while riding the subways with my mom, but I didn’t actually start to write until 1988. I moved out of New York up to the colder north earlier this year.

How did you come up with your name?
Mone:
The M stood for something personal at the time. My tag actually was M.One. When I started getting up people would just pronounce it as Mone. At first I didn’t like it, but after a while I just dropped the period and said, “fuck it.”
Continue reading

Kaex

INF6_Kaex_6

Kaex is a bomber’s bomber, and bombers in Philadelphia know exactly who Kaex is. Keeping his name alive for the past few years has been almost instinctual, and his recent resurgence on the streets has been unavoidable.

What do you write and how did you get started?
Kaex:
Kaex. I met Speez in high school and he was already writing, along with all of my other boys. Since everyone else was doing it, I rolled with did it, I came up with a name I liked and just started, nothing too monumental. I thought it was super dope to be this mysterious guy that everyone knew of, but no one knew personally. I liked the talk that came with my writing.
Continue reading

Naisha

INF6_Naisha_3

The Queen of Brooklyn, Naisha YKK, Discusses her graff life as the Infa*Miss bomber.

Interview by Sophia Varoumas

What was graffiti like for you growing up?
Naisha:
I discovered graffiti in my neighborhood as a young child in the late-1980s, early-90s in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Trim, Stak and Crack (aka Fat Joe) had tags on my block and I admired their tags. The real Dek, Asp, OE, Chino, Ket, JA (the ultimate writer), Skuf, Kez5, Veefer, Easy and Joz too. Their tags were prevalent in my neighborhood. It was a wild time.

I remember the stairwell to my junior high school being bombed-up with spray can tags! Tags were on the gates in the shopping district, on the inside of the trains, the train stations, rooftops and tunnels. I liked to look at it. I’d always think how fun and exciting it would be to do it. My Mom thought it was the silliest thing to do. I had straight As yet got expelled from school for graffiti when I was younger. (I tagged up the school.)
Continue reading

SB One

INF5_SBOne_1

Network crew founder and Steel Wheels creator SB One looks back on three decades in the game.

What do you write and where are you from?
SB One:
I write SB One. I took an interest in graffiti in 1983. I was living in Brooklyn, N.Y., and it was during a time when crack was still an infant and Hip-Hop wasn’t even called Hip-Hop yet. I got into it mainly from some kids I met in my homeroom. They had black books and Design markers and I thought what they were doing was pretty cool. So I got involved. I just doodled for about two years and in 1985 (when I was 14), I took the subway for the first time. From that point on my life was changed forever.

How did you come up with your name?
SB One:
A writer named Ven gave me the name Serb in about 1986, and for short I wrote SB. But I was still writing Cole then, too. I took the name SB seriously when I moved away from New York in 1989 and began bombing freights. Being from Brooklyn, I was always into two letter names and throw-ups. You could always add a “one” to the end or write out the word sound (i.e. SBEE) to make it longer if you had the space. When I got to college in ‘89, SB became an acronym for Smokin’ Blunts – or whatever other acronym I could think of: Slut Buster, Stealth Bomber, Soul Brother, etc. It became my identity at that point.
Continue reading

Persue

INF5_Persue_1

With 24 years of experience and down with crews such as COD, TVC, SUK, TRANSCEND and THE 7TH LETTER, Persue keeps creating amazing pieces with loads of style.

How did you come up with your name?
Persue:
It was given to me buy an old classmate in high school. It was an original name so I pushed it.

How many years of experience you have under your belt?
Persue:
Twenty-four years.

If you could only use one cap, which cap would it be?
Persue:
Fat cap.

What crews do you push?
Persue:
COD, TVC, SUK, TRANSCEND and the 7th Letter.
Continue reading

TooFly

INF5_TooFly_1

TooFly focused on her come up in the early nineties. Her natural artistic abilities got her noticed right away in school and on the streets. Her ideals motivated her and with TooFly’s family backing her up, the opportunities became infinite and this female figure did it all with original New York character.

Interview by Sophia Varoumas

The female dynamic has always been fascinating to most within the graffiti culture, and though the paint on the walls or the name on the streets has no gender, the moment it is revealed within the graff community that a female has come onto the scene and into the limelight, the men in the game flock like paparazzi to learn any detail about them. There are women in graff who are ruthless renegade bombers, fearless freight painters, and memorable muralists. There are female pioneers paving the street art world and graffiti culture and this genuine group of fearless women who have the strength and integrity to catch that rep and our attention are… The Infa-Miss.

Continue reading

Abno

INF5_Abno_4

Having emerged from the deserts of southwestern America, Abno PIGS bombs savagely, stylishly and on his own abnormal terms.

Can you tell us briefly where you are from and how you got into graffiti?
Abno: It all started when I was running around the wilderness one night in a loincloth and a can of Rusto fell out of the sky and landed right next to me in the dirt.

You’ve been bombing pretty hard the last few years, with a distinct style and some fresh concepts that are usually more common in the piecing world. Can you talk about what “bombing” means to you, and your take on trying to innovate while still keeping it savage?
Abno:
Bombing to me is more an attitude than anything – it’s got to be raw, like a wild Bengal tiger running down the sidewalk. Style, style, style. Style is magic – you can’t define it, and you either got it or you don’t. The streets know, without exception. Some are born with it, and others work hard for it. I’ve been working hard at this for years, studying graffiti like it’s a Ph.D. I’m just really excited to be doing graffiti in 2011, where all kinds of new innovations are happening and the borders between everything are being hammered down, brick by brick, like the Berlin Wall. Graffiti is kicking everything’s ass right now – it’s way more exciting and powerful than art or “street art” (aka “Rollerblading”).
Continue reading

Cedar

INF5_Cedar_1

Somewhere between getting drunk at Mardi Gras and breaking into abandoned buildings, it got a little out of hand and ended with me falling three stories through a roof and, against all odds, not dying.

What do you write?
Cedar:
Cedar. It comes from the name of the neighborhood where I hung out when I first started getting into mischief as a little kid.

Where are you from and what is the scene like?
Cedar:
I’m from Baltimore, Md., which has a rich graffiti history and a wide variety of original styles. Over the past three decades Baltimore style masters have killed the city and developed truly unique graffiti ranging from hand styles to intricate burners. Sadly, the scene in Baltimore has slowed down significantly, although there are still a handful of people painting.
Continue reading

Easy

INF4_Easy_3

Going into his third decade in the game, Easy TDM RLB TNR, continues to go anywhere without fear and do his thing, thug style.

Photography by Brian Dwels

Have you ever written another name?
Easy:
I believe towards the middle or the end of 1982, at that time I was using my rap name, LC. A total newbie who didn’t have too much knowledge about graffiti, I only knew of Sen4, Fixer and Dillenger. Sen4 is like a big brother, Fixer was a good friend, and Dillenger is my older cousin as well as Josh5’s older brother. We go way back, I mean right after we got out of Pampers. What’s so ironic is that these weren’t the guys who inspired me to write graffiti. It was my older brother who manipulated me into this art form. I remember going to the 3 Train to watch his back while he was motion bombing his name, SinOne, inside the trains with shoe dye. When he got to the tail end of that bottle, he forcibly passed it to me and told me to take some tags on the door and I said, “What I’m going to get out of this?” He said “fame.” I reluctantly took some tags on the door and knew that it wasn’t for me.

Until that one day I was going to school with a few friends. It was two weeks after taking those tags my brother forced me to do. I’ve seen them while going to school on the 3 Train and told my friend “Yo, I did that and I’m SinOne’s brother.” They were in awe because SinOne was my brother. All I can do at that point is remember what he said to me two weeks prior: “You do this for fame.” From that point on my ultimate goal was to get fame no matter what it took, although I did not have a game plan at the time.
Continue reading

Curve

INF4_Curve_2

A discussion of style and history with the versatile and sure-handed Curve TGE NSF.

How did you come up with your name?
Curve:
I just remember struggling for months to come up with a name nobody else had. I tried so many different names like made-up words, noises, two-letter names for throw-ups and then I noticed some people wrote actual English words, like “Shame” and “Revolt.” I thought that was classy and I wanted a five-letter name like that. I don’t know how I chose Curve, but I think the word comes up a lot when talking about letters, art, etc.

What crews do you push?
Curve:
The Graffiti Experience and Non Stop Fun.

Who were you influenced by?
Curve: Some of the first graffiti I remember was on handball courts. One was in the projects I would see from the school bus window that said “King Pepper” and another at my own school with a piece that I could never read but next to it were three pool balls that said “K,” “G,” and “B” along with a character with Elvis hair and a quote that read “Cuz everybody knows me.”
Continue reading