1) Where and when did you start writing?
I started "street-tagging" in "Ozone Park", Queens New York City, in the fall of 1972. I started writing SCAT and SQUIRE on the green bus line as well as hitting my name up all over the public school I went to in Queens.
2) What were the first names you seen up back then?
There was a guy that only did street level stuff. He wrote "Rague". I also recognized, on walls, writers from"102park.Guy's like the original "Duster-1(r.i.p.)& Duster-2, Torch-1-2,Mike97,Shorty13,Vinny,& a host of others not as popular. It was common, back then, for one name to have two guys "pushing" it so it appeared the name got up more than it was. On trains, VINNY was king! ClIFF159, was up pretty much, TEE & STIM (r.i.p.) were everywhere. FRANK 207 ( Was the original king of the A -line ), ODD, PRO 2, SPIN, B.ONE, FLINT 707, COMET, AJAX, yeah there was an SOS & BRILLO also, CHINO, (not sure which one), SHIEK, UNCLE JOHN, TEAR, JAP, KINK, EVIL 13, CA (Captain America) ALL-ONE, MINGO-1, STEVE 61, GUMBY, EARL ( aka SHASTA / POET ) MICO-1, INK 76, SNIPER 131, MORT 131 (r.i.p.), SUPER STRUT & TASS, A-TRAIN, TRUE -1, TRUE-2, (one did insides & the other outsides), TAIN-1, Mad 2, F99, (just did insides, with "uni's), SOUL SLICK, CHECKER 170, MOVIN 2 (aka TI-149), STAY HIGH 149.These are just "some" of the recognizable tags & pieces!
3) Could you tell us about your first experience hitting the trains and what was going thru your head while doing it?
The first time I hit a train I was with "Evil13". We "racked-up" some "Red-Devil" paint. (also known as 'supreme quality'). I grabbed a can of "Chinese Red",& a can of "Empire Blue". I did two "IKE" pieces, (below the blue line!!!).Boy they were"fugly", but at the time I thought I did something! That evening rush hour I saw them running, well, the rest IZ history!
4) How did you find the name " IZ THE WIZ". And what were you writing before that?
I started writing "IKE 327" before I wrote " IZ THE WIZ ", which I got from a poster that read, "The Wiz iz a Wow" (This appearedon a on a transit billboard for the musical on Broadway ,"The WIZ" which was a modern version of "The wizard of oz") I switch it around and got IZ THE WIZ out it. the first time I put it up, I said this is to good to be true. The name worked out great . You see when the two letter throw up craze took off in the mid 1970's, there was a Whole plan behind doing IZ pieces or throw ups on the the trains. I would place the IZ in the little corners, the IKE in bigger corner and VINNY or whoever else would piece in the middle panel. The plan was to take up room so TO ( MICKEY 729) the late founder of the TOP CREW ( THE ODD PARTNERS ) and IN couldn't get the corners and be forced to hit the middle of the train, where writers with longer names thatwere doing big pieces would go right over them. But I gotta give IN a lot credit since he was a little bit before me with those two letter name. He was definitely was an influence on the path I took. IN started on the IRT's in Brooklyn, Then He was up in the Bronx writing KILL 3. It got devastating once he hooked up with MICKEY 729 and the THE TOP CREW, Those guys did some serous damage. But my the late mid 70's IN was fading out , and I kept on going.
5) What lines were you hitting back then and who was your first bombing partner?
The first line I hit was the "A" line. (my 'home 'line) The next line I hit was the "E-coalmines" .Evil13 & I chose this line to conquer because nobody liked to hit those rusted trains. But we had a plan! Then I teamed up with "FI-one". Every once in a while we would go to the "J's". Then when I teamed up with VINNY, ( under Duster-1's advice), well, lets just say all hell broke loose! We both become kings of all the coal mine, We took king of the A's and CC's and then moved on to other lines, it was fucken insane how much paint we had and all the damage we did together. Years later a lot of writers would ask me, why didn't I ever hit the D yard? Why would I, they had had all the same trains parked in the A yard, so why go out of my way.
6) What were the earliest writing groups you were in back in the 70's?
Besides neighborhood nonsense, the "first" crew I was in ducted into was "P.O.G. ( Prisoners of graffiti), by MAD 2 & TAIN-ONE, presidents. (They were a couple of latino brothers from the "LL's" at the time had a lot of windows down pieces running, who were impressed with me bombing capabilities and made me Queens pres). Originally the Queens pres was a writer by the name of SAVE THE WORKER, but was demoted for not getting up on the trains enough. The next "Big" crew I was put in was "T.C." (The Crew). JESTER-1 ( DY 167 ), Pres., put me down personally in that one! along the way I was put in the group 3.Y.B ( The three yard boys ) But I really didn't make a issue in putting that up. Then some years later I was put in T.M.B., after a vote. "The Master Blasters" is run by me till this day & will stay with for life!
7) How did the TMB crew ( The master blasters) start. Who were all the members of the group?
T.M.B. was out before I joined ."KAZOO 2 & WEO (aka,AT-1) were the earliest members that I'm aware of. Then there was ,CJ, CL (L.7) CE, PEO ( CISCO ), CAZ-2 ( CY the kid ) & yours truly of course. (When SEEN was writing OD3, they put him down to watch the 6-yard which is where the boy's frequented & wanted a neighborhood lad to keep an eye on there pieces).
8) What was your favorite yard or lay up to hit?
Pitkin yard, Oxford to Greenwood elevated lay-ups, on the "A'A". Grant, back in the day Halsey on the "LL's" was used by me & VINNY often, 6th ave on the LL's, City-Hall, Fresh Pond Road yard the M- yard, which I loved! It didn't faze me one bit to take a girl to that yard and do a piece for her. after would take her into the insides of the train and get a little action. back then the paint was free and the women were free. The One Tunnel back in 74/75,Union turn pyke, Ghost yard, Broadway winter "GG" lay-ups, Morris park, Tracy Towers, Zerega lay-up on the 6's.......just to name a few! A lot of people use to asked me way I never hit the D - yard? Because I could catch all the same trains at the A - yard, So it made no sense to take the trip to that other side of town. I also enjoyed hitting the 7- yard and the 7- lay up's that were around the same area. In Queens you always had to be twice as careful, they didn't want any graffiti out here. Every line that went through Queens got buffed the hardest. Also, The stain less steel trains were the easiest to clean. They had allot of them out here and they went through the buffing machine as often as possible. To keep your crown on those line you had to bomb constantly. When I first started writing, I was mainly using Red devils and Rustoleums. Whenever I'd use Krylons, I could just see right though them. Later I would discover that they worked pretty good on the stainless steel trains, so when I went racking I wouldn't pass them up and take the rusto's only for the flats.
9) Who was your favorite partner and could you tell us all the writers you have bombed with through out the year's?
My favorite & probably best partner was "SACH-T.M.B! We did major, major damage together, We "racked" tens of thousands cans of spray paint! We ate ,slept,& lived for graffiti. Other writers I teamed up with were; FI-ONE, EVIL13, SHORTY13, STOKE, COLT SSB, DIME 139, VINNY, UNCLE JOHN 178 ( UJ 178 ), EX~1, ODD 1, PRO 2, BLITZ, CAZ 2 (aka,CY the kid), PEO ( CISCO ) WEO ( AT ), CJ, SLY 108 ( MC ), CL ( L-7), HE 3, SON 1 - PAL & PRO 1 PAL, SEEN-UA ( OD3 ), FUZZ-ONE, SAR-ONE, SIKE 112,, ST 3, CAV, STAN 153, DASH -TK ( The Original ) MAD 2, TAIN, LEE - TF5, SMOKE- TKC ( YE ) MIDG (LB), SAB, SIKO ( aka BAD TEK or BT 2), PUMA 107, NO TMB , KIK 1, NO - TMB, JOEY- TPA, FANE / PI-2, CIPPY 13,, SAKE 102 - park, TRAFFIC, 2 IL , INK 76/ IY189, DEAL-NSA, GHOST- RIS, QUIK RTW,RICH 2-TNS ( RH ),, MIN-1 ( NE ), REVOLT, LADY PINK, DURO 1, PAID - TVS, NIK-Tss ( KN ), KB - TSS (KRAZY BOY ), SIR-TKC, EPIC -1&2, MONZA, BEAR , JESTER ( DY 167 ), OO-ONE (CADD), JASON ( TERROR161) & PJAY, BLADE, ALE 1, JAMES -TOP ( JEE 2 ), The "G" crew, & many more!
10) Do you have any raid stories you can tell us?
Myself, SAR, MIDG, & GK, were scooping out the fresh pond road freight yard. Since GK was the "NEW JACK",we sent him forward to take a look at the condition the condition was in. Then out of nowhere ,seemed like out of thin air a mad raid came down upon us. MIDG & GK hid behind some bushes. They were so short they could hide that way ALL night if they had to! But because SAR & myself are like 6ft. plus & 180-190lbs,the "man" gave us pursuit instead of looking for the other two. We were the obvious targets at this point. We ran past the last stop of the "M's". (metropolitan ave.). Through the freight tunnel. They kept chasing. After going through two tunnels I was really winded. I asked SAR if we could chill & wait for these bums. (Thought being that by the time they catch on to us they would be winded& we would be rested). Then we hit them in the head or something. SAR replied, "IZ, they got guns".O.K., We start running again with SAR grabbing my jacket, pulling me along. ( I didn't care at the time what they had. Definitely NOT my most scholastic moment!) We eventually ran up an embankment to a chain link fence warehouse wall. Lucky for us there were no dogs. Then we hopped the outside fence onto the street. Once on the street we instinctively split up. We automatically knew "the man" was looking for two big guys. But now we were two individuals. We each jumped in separate cabs at separate times & we all met at MIDG's house, safely. I also remember a big chase while I was tagging my neighborhood right across the street from P.C Richards. I was tagging on a wall , as an off duty officer who was probably just on his way home from the 106th priecent, When he saw me, He gave pursuit. I remember running from him, back then I could out run any body so it was no problem getting away, but he had a walkie talkie or something because before I knew it there were police cars coming out of every where. So I ran and jumped a couple of fences. I over heard them saying " hey we have him cornered ", little did they know I climbed a tree and laid on a garage roof. While on the roof I took all the fat caps out of my pocket and dropped them to the floor, they found the caps which they figured I had dropped as I was going over the next level of fences. They were down there for about fifteen to twenty minutes looking for me. That was some crazy shit!
11) Could you tell us about any war's you had with other writers?
Didn't really have any. A few minor beefs with crossing out, but thats all.
12) What do you think it takes to be a true writer or to become a true king?
Dedication, Loyalty, and most of all Persistence.
13) Who do you feel is the most underrated writer?
FUZZ-ONE, If he didn't do time theirs no telling how much damage he would have done! He also "carried" many guys on his back.
14) When was the last time you went bombing?
Amnesty is 7 years, see me then & ask me that question!
15) Any last words?
All I can say is keep it real. Know your true history. This thing we do iz a beautiful thing. Keep it that way,and all of its purity. Shout-outs to;SACH, SAR, QUIK, SIKE, DANGER 59 & TERO, Cippy, Revolt, Zeph, Keo, StayHigh, Star, Stan153, Sir, Eko, Chino, @Ilskirockwell, Pulse, Blade, Somber Pat & Ruben,Ron718, FUZZ-ONE, & ALL the rest. And a special thanks to Ms.D. Molina,without your kind heart & supportand the special warmth you bring with you ALL the time, this life just wouldn't be worth a damn. Your the best!