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plebian*or*ReviseOne?

CHICAGO...COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTOOD.

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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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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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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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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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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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Originally posted by rubbish heap

i enjoyed reading that.

 

 

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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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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...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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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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Guest schick1

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

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Re: thanks for sharing knowledge.

 

Originally posted by schick1

.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

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

 

http://groups.msn.com/ChicagoOldSchoolGraf.../_whatsnew.msnw

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Originally posted by PlebianRock

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?

 

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

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yah shit is depressing, I mean you are putting shit on the line when you do this. A lot of us have a lot going for us outside graff, but you risk all this shit when you paint. I know its like that everywhere, graff is illegal, but here you have that to think about and also the fact that shit aint gonna rock. Its like.. shit I could all out just CRUSH shit, but you wont leave any lasting impression. People will be all like "DAMN!" and then a week later everything you did will no longer exist.

 

I swaer, I could go to newyork and pant my ass off for 1 week, and not king it or nothing, but really make an impact, and really get noticed. But here, I could crush shit for one week straight (and I have) and then.. its just gone.

 

At times I really just feel that chicago heads need to network, stop the beef and just get together on some shit. Really make some shit happen. I know this is just a silly dream, but Its fun to entertain ideas like this while Im bored in school and stuff. But at other times I just feel like fuckit, Imma do my shit fuck the rest of them. Cuz a lot of people seem like they are on some shady shit.

 

Thats another problem with graffiti in general. Its a very social thing, you do it for the fame, for hte props. Its like a rich cat burgler, you do it to see that shit in the newspaper, yet you cant let on that its you. Because the more people that know you the more chances that one of your 'freinds' is a trick. Ill go to parties and people will be like 'oh you write ****?!" and sometimes Im tempted to be like "yah, what do you write?" but most of the time I find myself saying "nah, I dont do that stuff."

 

So pretty much, its a dangerous hobby that we have, and its even worse in chicago. But daily shouldnt be around long, and he has no son to follow in his footsteps, so maybe we will have a mayor that isnt under the sheets with the mob. Who knows, with all the budget crisis' going on across america maybe the buff will get phased out for hte most part. Like I said, its fun to entertain dreams like this ;)

 

best of luck to all the chi-town heads holdin it strong. Keep that shit up. Now lets all hold hands and sing "we shall over come" :lol:

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Ill tell you whats dope as hell. This writer I talked to from San Fran said all the writers got together and all went bombing to beat the buff one night. Whether that actually happened or not, sounds like something that can never happen here. Youre right GIMIC, we all do have a lot of other shit going on here, I for one like to handle one or more things on my plate cause shit wont ride here, New York is ridiculous. Shit is riding from 99 there...FUCKING 1999 thats five years old!!! I put in a shit load o tags there and didnt even dent the city. Its ruthless with the amount of space to bomb shit there.

 

A lot of good points were brought up by both dremster and Gimic. I agree with both of you guys...this isn't even about the old and new school...its more about the solution and the low tolerance the city has for crime in general. The only thing I can hope is that a "celebrity" writer from out of town tries to face the buff and he'll see what up. I'll say someone dope like Zes or Revok would even get buffed in a day.

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fuck, i felt we had it bad here. it was like 24/48 hours for buff .. as of late with fewer occurances its about a week. its discouraging none the less but same day ... yikes !!!! thank you for taking your time to fill us in with the battle you guys are facing !! keep it up.

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how do people get paint?? do they sell paint at art stores and shit, or is it impossible to get paint there. is it illegal to posses paint only if youre under 18, or does age not matter? sounds pretty wack. sorry about that... must be wack seeing your shit get buffed so often... bump fro zore, he's caught some wreck in SF. props to chi-town (i didnt know it was pronounced shy town).

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spray paint is illegal here. Its illegal to sell paint in the city..you have to go to the neighboring burbs to get paint. its discouraging but believe it or not, we do have a a lot of people putting in work to try to beat the buff...like I said before, its something you feel living in the city.

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this thread gives me a headache, seriously.

As much as i've thought about the buff and the scene and everything else, it keeps my brain going in circles.

What is there to do? As nice as it sounds that all writers could come together and conquer this crap, it will never happen. There is too much disunity, not as as a result of beef (which obviously is a strong factor) but because there is so many of us. You can't expect such a large number of people from so many different backgrounds to all get along.

So many writers are hung up on some egotistical shit I don't even want to bother with them most of the time. Why should I? Because we both have one single thing in common?

 

I plan on moving after I get my BA to a city where i can actually write on things without shitting my panties as to whether or not a Joe Hero or a cop saw it. Why is this such a big deal? Shouldn't the city be more concerned with deep issues (homelessness, unemployment, child molesters, aka real crime and etc) as opposed to a relatively superficial issue such as writing on a wall? I got 2 misdemeanors when arrested, and suprise! the man who got caught masturbating in front of my grade school got a misdemeanor as well. I'm sorry, but this seems a bit on the fucked up side. Masturbating in front of young children is equivelant to writing on a wall! hah!

Most (if not all) of the buff movement is linked to the recent influx of yuppies in chicago. Daley isn't going to attract well-to-do, white middle aged people who want to raise a family in the city if there is graffiti everywhere. Those kind of people (ignorant suburbanites, individuals from small towns, etc) are the kind that smear gang graff and our graff into the same thing. There is no boundry btwn the 2 and they see it as a threat, plain and simple. "Threats" on every rooftop and wall will not woo these people into living in Chicago and Daley knows this. So much change has happened in this city the last decade I'm amazed. We have been whitewashed. Are these people looking more into moving on the northside or southside? Easy question, and thus the buff is more prevalent in the north (lincoln park, wicker park, etc.) than anywhere else.

This city is on some bullshit, plain and simple. Perhaps when the Daley's are ousted the buff will halt, but I find it unlikely. Are these new residents of the Chi really going to want graff back on the streets? Those that do are in the minority, and as we all know, minorities don't have much of a say unless they group together and fight. Which, as already stated, isn't likely.

 

Cheers for being bored at work with alot on the mind.

CW/family blood in the Ukrainian Village since 1907.

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yea the situation here in chitown suxs

 

seems like alotta younger kids are more into skating and gangs than writing ...

 

y ea daley has discouraged a whole generation of writers..but for me it's too hard to stop hittin shit...even if there lil hits now and again ...this whole city looks like shit brown...F*CK DALEY

 

 

fuck a wall

 

that shit is boring I think niggaz gotta reinvent the wheel and start bombin all over again

 

i think this is the only way chicago can hang on

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