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CHICAGO...COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD.

Discussion in 'Third Rail' started by plebian*or*ReviseOne?, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. plebian*or*ReviseOne?

    plebian*or*ReviseOne? New Jack

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    CHICAGO...COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD.

    Discussion started by plebian*or*ReviseOne? - Feb 23, 2004

    I don't know how many of you want to read this long ass thought, but I feel like a lot of out of towners really dont know anything about the scene here, yet love to talk shit about a city struggling to keep its graffiti scene alive.

    Just a little background as to the politics of the city...

    I want to first say that we are known as the windy city...not because we are an actual windy city, but because the name was a label for its city's shady politicians (although lately we have become pretty windy) in the late twenties early thirties. We are also know as "chi-town" (pronounced shy), we are also known as the "second - city." Second to New York. We are the third largest metropolitan city in the U.S...third to Los Angelos.

    We have a pretty vibrant art scene and a semi booming economy. Our tourist dollars have gone up almost 200% within in the last decade or so. Chicago is constantly being marketed as a getaway for out of towners and suburbanites of Chicago. Our mayor is Richard J. Daley son of Richard M. Daley who was also mayor back in the day. We have been governed by the Daley's since the seventies...Just a little background of how things are run here.

    Graffiti has been here since the sixties like most other cities...Gang graffiti became predominant as our city is very segragated in many ways...financially, ethnically, racially, and gang related...(like most other cities I imagine).

    The layout of the city is pretty strange as well...a lot of private residences...a tremendous effort to bring condominiums to gentrify neighborhoods, a complete transition into turning the city into a suburb is taking place.

    I wasnt there when graffiti was at its peak with its minimal exposure in spray can art with Trixter representing the midwest. I know driving around the city with the family in the mid eighties, graffiti was booming. Tags covered everything, the rooftops were murdered with color, etc. etc. Each neighborhood had its history of writers..even up till present day. It was alive, it was dope. Mad crews formed, beefs and battles erupted, paint flowed, it was public, it was getting exposure...it was Graffiti the way it was all over the U.S. Nothing got buffed...the history of our graffiti scene was right there on our way to any destination in the city. The book "Bomb the Suburbs" came out, which became sort of the unofficial bible for our chicago graff scene by Upski. The book collected stories of graffiti stories, hip hop gathering, slang...it was the epitome of what hip hop was, but it was graffiti based and influenced. This is the mid nineties...

    Crews like CMW, ABC, DC5, SB, Ice pack, MOM, DAD, WET, FAT, the list can go on forever...were destroying shit...graffiti looked easy. We actually had a generation of writers passing shit down to the younger generation thinking this scene could only get better. Shit was good, it was hot...CTA (our transit) sponsored actual graffiti events and donated walls and paint for the cause...I mean are you kidding me?

    I KNOW I MAY BE LEAVING OUT A LOT OF INFO CHICAGO, BUT IM JUST WRITING THE GIST OF THINGS. SO YOU CAN CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG...

    Then the storm would come in...The Buff. Mayor Daley introduced the new graffiti blaster program, new laws against graffiti including the ban on spray paint possession in the city of Chicago...as well as selling paint in stores...(no hardware store in the city carries paint...only suburbs). New tougher laws for the charge of vandalism...this is only the beginning. Whether it was him or his administration, nobody thought the "graffiti blaster" program would last...the name sounded retarded it self. It started with hardcore sand blasting...a mixture of chemicals that would be able to thin down paint and dissolve the formula for spraypaint and other inks. Then the brown paint came in and rather than dissolve...the administration decides to just layer and cover...cheaper than the chemical formula for dissolving shit.

    This program was implemented hardcore in the late ninties...Every single rooftop on every single line became the familiar shit brown color. Every street spot, garbage can, wall, chill spots sported that color. Our graffiti history became liquidated in a matter of weeks. All the old school writers became nameless for the younger generation...this would create a huge gap for the younger generation.

    This takes us to present time. Everything is still pretty brown. The new generation of writers (including myself) have a new task along with just painting shit...absolutely making sure we take pictures. Flicks is all we got to go by to prove we do shit. The buff will come and obliterate almost everything in a matter of hours to one day. The modern day chicago bomber has to put in almost double the work to keep shit up for even one day. Something I see off of the line in the morning will be gone by dinner time or even lunch. The graffiti blaster is non stop. Minnesota adapted its program. Its pretty effective...The north side of Chicago where most of its population resides is where its hit hard the most, obviously because most of the city's traffic happens up here...but the bad neighborhoods still get the buff as well, just not as fast as the north side. This shit puts the writers in a whole new situation...I alone have a shit load of pictures missing from my collection because I didnt have a camera at the time or because shit got buffed too fast before I could get a picture...I can imagine a real hardcore bomber's dilemma.

    There is a lot of history here. Our transit gets bombed daily as well but you would never know unless you lived here and knew the dedicated personally. Ark - probably the king of CTA cleans will never get the recognition he deserves because trains are cleaned almost immediately upon painting it. Freights are getting buffed, tags on poles, stickers, wheat paste, everything with a marking. Graffiti costs the city almost 10 million a year to clean. They use every cent to make sure the suburbanites moving into the city and the tourists who spend the dollars dont have to see a tag anywhere.

    This would make a lot of writers feel insecure and jaded due to a lot of work someone could have put in but on one would ever see due to the lack of exposure. The buff is tough, graffiti is out here and a lof of writers put in work, but its just a matter of how hard you're looking and being at the right place at the right time. Its easy to shit on a clean city when you dont realize all the little factors and politics of the city. How can we expect someone to know too?

    Out of towner graff heads will never understand shit until they see their illegal shit disappear in one hour or even a chill spot disappear.

    This thought isn't a cry for help, but rather an understanding of where a lot of the writers are coming from. We have a great history of writers and some of the worlds best came from here or have ties here such as
    Totem, Giant, Tyke, Ages, Kuaze, Pose, Agent, Revok, Saber to name a few.

    I know this is long, but I left a lot of shit out and I could make it longer but I wanted to spare you readers...Thanks for your time.

    Genghiswon79@cs.com

    Im hopped up on caffeine as well....
     
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  2. why write?

    why write? 12oz Veteran Member

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    why write? - Replied Feb 23, 2004

    thanks for letting us know about the scene over there, i was always interested in the chicago graff scene..ive been wanting to travel there for awhile...nice thread
     
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  3. rubbish heap

    rubbish heap 12oz Senior Member

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    rubbish heap - Replied Feb 23, 2004

    i enjoyed reading that.

    sitting in the back of my head, i've always known chicago has it bad like that - handstyles are felonies, spray paint has been banned from the city, the graffiti blaster shit, etc. i never knew the buff was as bad as you said, or that freights were gettin the scrub, too.

    that said, i've only been to chicago once, and you guys have some nice ass toilets in your airport.. haha
     
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  4. SterOne

    SterOne 12oz Member

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    SterOne - Replied Feb 24, 2004

    shits just about the same in the next city north..........shits harsh
     
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  5. plebian*or*ReviseOne?

    plebian*or*ReviseOne? New Jack

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    plebian*or*ReviseOne? - Replied Feb 24, 2004

    Thanks for the feedback fellas. I feel like a lot of writers have to get into the "scene" to fully comprehend how hard it can be sometimes. Tags, fill ins, trains, freights, roofs, still get done...You just have to be aware of its short life span. We are such an easy city to shit on because we dont have much to show graffiti wise, but man Ill tell you our girls are pretty hot. Seriously though, Graffiti is a way of life here in the city for a lot of cats..a lot of dedicated writers are definately putting in their work. I dont expect people to understand nor feel sympathy for us. I mean what can we do??? Graffiti is illegal no matter how you look at it. This city just happened to implement a program that works before it got completely out of hand like NY or LA. Real writers who rolled through here like Kept AWR know about the buff...even he couldn't beat it...his tremendous rollers and fills were no match for fat cap the graff blasters had. This kind of exposure brought magazines like either mass appeal or graphotism to cover the story of the buff...I mean how does Europeans know about this city more than the U.S. citizens??? They knew though and wrote a story on it. Its not that we're lazy, we just dont like wasting our paint...imagine doing a hot burner only to see it brown like it never existed...its heartbreaking. Effort can be easily destroyed in a matter of seconds. Its unfair but fair at the same time because you know graffiti has a short shelf life, thats what it was made for...it would be ridiculous for us to think that a fill in would stay up forever in this city. I mean its us against them. Whoever them maybe, it just happens to be the blasters and now ourselves. New York still has fills riding since 99...ridiculous. My longest fill in....a week tops. WE get lucky by doing a virgin spot, but not likely...
     
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  6. rinse

    rinse 12oz Member

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    rinse - Replied Feb 24, 2004

    wow. sorry fo'ya. its an interesting thread though.
    i was up i chicago about a year ago and saw a fair amount of curbside handstyles scrawled in ink + a handful of stickers but transit was clean as a whistle, even buildings that ran along the lines. i didnt even see any use of paint until i got deep into south chicago(probably bordering on the city limits) and that was only a few throwies and maybe a tag or two. i remember walking around with my girlfriend ranting about how disapointed i was about the lack of scenery. i guses now i know why. it must really be hard on yall that live there. its odd to think that a city could have the local writers in its clutches instead of the other way around...
     
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  7. rinse

    rinse 12oz Member

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    rinse - Replied Feb 24, 2004

    hey SterOne... just wondering if your the same ster that put together '57 coup.
     
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  8. AngerCMKill

    AngerCMKill 12oz Member

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    AngerCMKill - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    i like that story ya got there.Plebian...true, true, true....
    props for taking the time to defend our city....
    SouthSide!!!....
     
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  9. Overtime

    Overtime Dirty Dozen Crew

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    Overtime - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    very much so, i thought it was very impressed at how well it was written. I had an idea of bad chicago was, but not that bad. Mad props to the ninjas who keep up there, amazing that that much dedication and time go into something that dosent roll for long. With that, i must ask, is there much beef up there? because if a piece dosent ride long, it cant get bombed over by beef or somthing.
     
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  10. plebian*or*ReviseOne?

    plebian*or*ReviseOne? New Jack

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    plebian*or*ReviseOne? - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    i must ask, is there much beef up there? because if a piece dosent ride long, it cant get bombed over by beef or somthing.

    hell yes...there is a lot of beef here...mostly the same as every other city, but a lot of beef does get centered around pretty trivial shit like most beefs. A lot of writers do hate on each other here, especially with the size of the city as well as the amount of writers who dwell within it, it can get pretty crowded.

    I also feel like since the buff is tuff here, a lot of peeps get insecure about hella shit so a lot of shit talking starts there as well, because someone won't believe one writers efforts, or a writer would pretty much lie about his/her ups. blah blah blah. trivial shit you know?
     
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  11. porque

    porque 12oz Senior Member

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    porque - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    ...yeah i've been to a few cities with similar stories...i'll be comin through chicago in a month or so...i guess i should get night flix huh?...
     
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  12. dremster

    dremster 12oz Senior Member

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    dremster - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    well said plebian.

    i gotta say this real quick cause i got a flight to catch at ohare tonight and haven't even packed.



    -I was born in 1977, and got into graff about 1991, (8th gradeish). The reason I got so into it was because of how much of it I saw - and the varied styles. I remember taking a field trip in grade school and would just stare out the window to see any new shit in a neighborhood i had never been in. Thats when I got the hunger. Unfortunately, I hung out with mostly south side skateboarders-a few who painted, or whom where interested in it. I painted with a crew called CFA Cause For Alarm-we didn't paint a whole lot, but we painted north and south. I would hang with guys from SAW Crew and eventually hung towards the end with TMS. I remember the way the buff started, and I remember the way it really got to me. Painting for me became less and less frequent. Today I'm 27, getting married in a year, and working...I love graff, many of you may know that I'm constantly driving around in my free time looking for flicks. The biggest problem though, which was previously mentioned by Plebian- is the lask oc history passed on down. Back in the day you KNEW who had what names and what would happen if you even tried to steal a name. Today, I see the most obvious "graff/hiphop" names all over. Secondly, the styles in Chicago can be really really good. But I think they would have reached more and more writers and be even better had these youngin's taking the bus on their field trips and stared out the window at the new stuff in new neighborhoods like me and some of the other older cats. Props to the people in Chicago that do put in work, it doesn't go unnoticed. More people see it than you think, even if it is gone in one day.
     
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  13. schick1

    schick1 Guest

    schick1 - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    thanks for sharing knowledge.

    .......everyday i think about this shit and question whether bombing is worth it here, its so hard to be motivated to bomb for extended periods of time . it just mad depressing to visit other cities like ny, sf, la, paris, rome and see their schene, or too hear about what used to go on hear in the eightes and early ninties. well at least we have a dope train scene.
    fuck daley's mob ass
     
  14. MOTIVE ROK

    MOTIVE ROK 12oz Junior Member

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    MOTIVE ROK - Replied Mar 3, 2004

    Re: thanks for sharing knowledge.

    isnt that the truth....but anybody thats talking shit about chicago...hate on this flick
    http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0XwDbAokce0dCH2eouvhKJTjtYpUwgBxn8XHjcEMq*NG43u17ahFW3dWuJxP6WKGg*ESzBqVQvwHg52ODdzzHNfCb60rGtGTPjqF!UwYLZomELjbJaX!fvWJLH2hF8GhDBgjMVdXH05U/hip%20hop%203%20153.jpg?dc=4675457711164857511'>
    some of you cats from the northside may reconize this roof....for more visit this site, its on point

    [url=http://groups.msn.com/ChicagoOldSchoolGraffiti/_whatsnew.msnw]http://groups.msn.com/ChicagoOldSchoolGraf.../_whatsnew.msnw[/url]
     
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  15. Overtime

    Overtime Dirty Dozen Crew

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    Overtime - Replied Mar 4, 2004

    i basically assumed there was, but i assumed their was either a bunch less, or a bunch more.
     
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