The Infamous Archives: Legend

Mone

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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.”
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SB One

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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.
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Easy

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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.
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Comet

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From the Gun Hill layups of the 1970s to the galleries of 2011, Comet has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt.

Interview by Boots119

What do you write and how did you come up with your name?
Comet:
My name is Comet and I started writing in October of 1970. I was living up on Gun Hill Road and staying out with my friend Joey. One day in school he says, “I’m starting to write Ajax on the wall with a little magic marker.” And I said, “Maybe I’ll write too. I’ll be Comet. We’ll be cleansers, you know?” That’s how that started.

What crews do you push, or did you push?
Comet:
First crew I was in was The Mob. It was me, Ajax, Silver Tips, Shake, and that was the first group I was in. After that I joined the Ebony Dukes. Staff 161 put me in the Ebony Dukes at Gun Hill Road on the Third Avenue El, on the platform. And I bought my first Nee-Jee from him, a marker, for one dollar. Then I joined 3YB – Cliff 159, one of my old partners, put me in the 3 Yard Boys. The Crazy Five – that was Vamm, Crachee, Blade, Tull 13, and Death. They put me in The Crazy Five. Those are the crews I was in through the years.
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Terrible TKid 170

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The legend grew up involved with gangs in the South Bronx in the early-70s. After being shot, TKid traded the gang lifestyle and became devoted to subway graffiti.

What is the story behind your name?
TKid170:
I came up with TKid 170 while laying in bed in a hospital room recovering from gunshot wounds back in 77.

Who were you influenced by?
TKid170:
I’m a bastard son of many fathers when it comes to graffiti style. My biggest influence was Padre DOS (BOC); when it came to style he showed me the ropes and made it simple for me to understand that a piece is something that moves and flows like rhythm in music: letters sing to you and tell you a story. Then Tracy 168 influenced my characters style and showed me composition and broadened my mind by telling me there is nothing that can’t be done when it come to letters. He also showed me the commercial value of graffiti. Gotta say: Tracy168 was a genius in his day.
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