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SaYoH, April 24, 2009 in Brick Slayers
I met Kyle in '84 in a social center down-town. I used to like to chill there cause I would meet old Savage Nomads (gang members) that were coming out of prison, and trying to get their act together. Reagan was president of the USA and Koch was mayor. There where empty crack bottles everywhere. Like a winter snow fall in December. Old English and blunts. 42nd St. Play Land, Coney Island, Ghost yard, the ' One Tunnel '. Kyle and I would hang out in this social center, drawing and talking about our favorite subject: bombing. I told Kyle one day: ' what about us doing a train together... on the ones? '. I told him that I knew that tunnel inside out and there was going to be no beef. Now Kyle could draw his ass off. He never went to art school. He was a natural born killer, capable of drawing anything. What set him apart was the fact that he could paint with depths using his imagination. The rough edges gave the pieces character. And the way he coul d coordinate colors in t o intricate pieces made him a power house. Above all he was a trooper. When toys would run cause they would see a work bum or a cop, Kyle and I would just change lanes, and smoke a blunt, drink a quart and just wait...
Kyle was ready to do battle, to pick up the sword and chop heads off, getting inspiration from Ninja Turtles to sexy robots. Roach Motels, and especially and most important: from the writers we had around us, cause they where important in stimulating and inspiring us. That is the most powerful message and force: you give when you paint on trains. Now I look back 14 years later. What we did not know at the time was that we were closing the chapter to a glorious and historical train line. That we wuz the sons of the original pioneers and were writing the last chapter on the iron horse. Just like the cowboys did to the Indians, the MTA was winning the war. We knew our history. Our aim was to express something as powerful as had been done before by the old masters of this art form. Our ultimate goal was to do 10 whole cars like Lee had done. We only succeeded in doing 3 and a half. The night we went for 10 whole cars, we got raided bad. That day the c ops were waiting for us. When Kyle and I started our run on the one tunnel, the ones was chillz. You could go down there and not run into mad heads. Stan TSF was being put away for shooting a cop. He made it to the front page of the Daily news and the New York Post. And the Ball Busters were dying down. Now for you that do not know the Ball Busters, they wuz a crew that use to live on top of the tunnel on 137th St. Just the mention of their name to certain writers brought fear and terror. Cause if they did not like you and they didn't like anybody, they would jump you. They use to hang out in the tunnel waiting for writers to rob or break their teeth or steal their sneakers or give a beat down and go over their piece. It would be like, you would be in the tunnel, and you would see two B.B. and they would not say nothing to you, just walk past you and stare in your eyes. Five minutes later you would see 30 of them pointing guns and knives at you. So if that was not enough to think twice about going down to the tunnel, there was the vandal squad to worry about.
I mean writers were still going down there every now and then, like I remember seeing a Seen and Pj whole car which was a big shock cuz they was strictly 6 line kids. Or I remember seeing a Zephyr and Revolt window down that was slamming. Or the Sharp and Roz whole car, with the Woody Wood Pecker. And Case 2 with his mechanical computer style. Headz to this day can't fuck with that! I don't care how clean your outline is, or that your lines are crispy and straight. What it lacks is soul, and Case 2 had too much of it. Or the B-52 bomb that T-Kid T.N.B. threw on that tunnel... Damn I've never seen nothing like that. I mean he brought that 'up in the Bronx where people are Fresh there was one T Kid 'who could pass any test. Flavor to the tunnel, I mean T.N.B., Boozer, Cem 2, Rac 7, Kenn, Bio, BG 183, Mack did work. TNB one of the top crews that ever existed cause so many of the members went on to become rock stars. I remember the Cem 2 silver end to end o r the T-Kid Boozer full cars, they were the shit. I felt history in the making. I would be down there watching T.N.B. paint. Mack would be getting crazy loose and Bio always represented and there he was, T-Kid the legend from the Bronx ...wow! The one that chills with the original Vamp Squad, the one that hung out with Shock 123 or Tracy 168. Tee Kid put some order in it and opened the door for the last wave of killa bees. Yeah Bronx represented on the ones. I went down there one Saturday, and it was empty. I was walking down the lanes putting up tags and throw ups. I noticed somebody doing a piece. I changed lanes to sneak up behind him, so I appeared from behind the shadows and we both glanced at each other. I realized it was Aone, wow! He was wearing a trench coat and brand new sneakers. He had two big bags full of Krylon flavors. He was alone and had no fear! He didn't talk a lot and was just in his own little world, painting these incredible characters with the dopest hands and letters to grace the one line. It was for sur e a Bronx Style coming to Manhattan. I remember seeing that train running and seeing what Aone wrote on the side of his window down: ;quot; Burning the iron horse ;quot;. That came to symbolize in a way what you could expect on the ones. People where always pulling out cars. I remember the first time me and Kyle went down to the tunnel to paint a whole car was a Friday at 11:30 pm. Kyle took that long train ride from Queens and met me at 145th St. He had his colors and I had mine, 40 cans! Back in the days the colors you racked where the colors you had. So if you didn't have a certain color, well you had to do without. And caps, shit! it was only about speed and precision. We got a couple of quarts and copped some bags of weed and some Phillies, so then we jumped the turn style and walked to the end of the station. We walked down the stairs and proceeded to set up camp, took out the beers while they was still cold and stashed half of the paint and took the other half in case of a raid or beef.
We opened some of the doors on the train that was parked, turned on some of the lights and it was on. Kyle took out a flat white and started to draft the car. Drawing these incredible characters and land scapes. I started to get busy on a pannel doing some freestyle. What made Kyle and me click, is that we had two different forms of expressing ourselves. One was a figurative form and another was abstract. The respect we had for each other made it come together. He was painting a panther on one corner of the car. It was a Black Panther and I remember it took him 8 hours to do that corner. Kyle had patience to do things right. He was in no hurry and nobody was chasing us out. By Saturday 8:00 am we was still working on that car. I went upstairs to get some breakfast and some cold Old English (ghetto beer) and just lamped for a few lighting up a blunt and seeing how the train was advancing... catching a nap inside the train. By Saturday 1:00 pm some writer s walked into the tunnel It was some Ball Busters so we had to be on alert. They saw what we were doing and let us be. Never came back. Then West rolled up with his crew. We was like 'yo what's up 'and they went to work right away. By now Kyle started to work on his piece, cracking some fresh colors from the stash. It was Saturday 8:00 pm we just freaked out on that car. Other writers would pass by and say' what are you doing?' By the time they had finished painting their whole car and bombed the tunnel, clocked in their hours and started to get ready to leave.
Somebody should go to a gallery he shows at, take his poster off the wall, cut it up into lil pieces and then post it in the streets where his grubby little fingers can't reach.
Afrika Bambaataa's 40,000-Deep Record Collection
Which one, One or Two.
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