Miami Graffiti

February 2008
1) What do you write and what crew do you represent?

The Famous Infoe. STV WH PS TST Vatos Locos Fer Everrr!

2) Where did you get your tag? Any special meaning behind it?

It came to me outta nowhere! I remember that day like it was 19 years ago.....wait wait, it WAS 19 damn years ago! Shit this interview is making me feel all old man! Not a good way to start there pal!! Haha.

Ok, so I was in my 7th grade civics class. The year was 1989 A.D. I had been writing for a year at the time and I remember playing around with different names and shit. Most of them I almost got my ass kicked for. So there I was, in search of the perfect name (or TAG if you will), then Gandalf the grey wizard walked into my day dream and smacked me in the head with his wand (which was more like a twig off some old dried up tree) and I'll never forget what he said to me. He said: "Let there be INFOOOOOOE." It was by far the most insane out of body experience I have ever had (and ive had tons of them.) A true epiphany. and so yeah...thats it. Howís THAT for a special meaning bucko?!

3) When did you start writing and what were some of your early influences?

I started writing "graffiti" as we know it in 1988. long before that I remember being into art and I was always fascinated by letters. I would love to scribble the names of all the heavy metal bands I was into on my notebooks, and on jeans, and in the bathroom stalls. It got real messy. "Anthrax, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Ratt, etc." shit like that all over the place!!! Then I met this dude who used to write "Boner". Now u can imagine why I was drawn to this prick(no pun intended)! He was in my P.E. class, so all we ever did was sit around and bullshit all day. Then he pretty much broke it all down for me and inevitably, I fell in love with graffiti and decided at that very moment, that I'm gonna be all city one day. Bada bing, Bada bang. Few years later.. "I did it mom! I did it!!!"

4) What was your favorite Penit/Wall and why?

Oh dude, are ya kiddin me? The one and only Hialeah Penit. Or as we called it "The Warehouse", all you older guys know what Iím talking about. Its always been my fave for numerous reasons. First off it was huge! It was like a wet dream for a young toy writer. Not to mention, I was one of the first dudes in there. Definitely the youngest by far! I remember when the walls were still untouched. Not many people can actually say that.

It was discovered by the 7UP/TVC guys around 1989 (though i'm not exactly sure about that date). Boner (aka Kvee) used to try and keep it a secret from everyone, but he knew I wasnít a dick so he told me about it and made me swear not to say shit to any outsiders. You can imagine how stoked I was. I didnít even show up to school the next day. I went on a field trip by myself. It was totally rad! Sooner or later though, other writers started to find out about it which kinda bummed me out at first, but I snapped outta that shit real quick because now ALL the writers from all over town were comin in to paint there. I got to meet a butt-load of insane writers I wouldíve never met anywhere else. The notorious "GB" for example (R.I.P.), was one of them. He was such a down to earth dude too. Probably some of the most significant memories in my life were spent there. Ok well not my "life" per se, but more like my graffiti career, if I can say that. Also its my fave cuz it was walking distance from my house at the time. But really I loved that place because it wasnít just about graffiti there. I remember going there just to think and get away from the world. Stupid kid shit I guess? What can I say, this place centered me in a way, I spent so much time there.

Also there was Eric, our poor black homeless friend who I got really cool with. He lived in there before any writer discovered it. I remember bringing him food and drinks n shit like that all the time. Ill never forget that dude. One year we all brought him all these xmas presents. It was awesome. He always had our backs too. We used to do all these "ERIC" pieces for him and he used to help us fill them in and shit. He knew more writers than me! Pretty crazy huh? So yeah, he was a huge reason I loved that shithole.

Oh and one of the very first times I ever boned a girl was there. Pretty gnarly huh? I know! Thanks.

This might sound gay, actually its definitely gay as all hell, but whenever I have really vivid and awesome dreams, oftentimes they happen there. Weird shit. Like if I dream I knocked out Mike Tyson in the 1st round, or if Iím ass fucking Cameron Diaz while she goes to town on Stacey Dash, while all the homies are there surrounding us cheering me on, chances are it happened right in front of one of my wack pieces at "The Warehouse" in good Ďol Hialeah. Next question!

5) Is there any crazy story that sticks out in your mind from the early days?

Oh man, too many stories. Ive already talked your head off enough so Iíll "TRY" and keep these answers as short and entertaining as I possibly can (for all 6 of you reading this, including my friends and family). No promises though, I tend to yap yap yap. Ok here it comes:
Yeah man, ive gotten in tons of fights and police chases, you already heard my sex story. Here is one that sticks out in my head. This one time, about 7 years later, we were out back painting in the middle of the day. I remember it was a Sunday afternoon. By this time I was wanted by the MDPD all over the place and so here I am painting a wall in broad day light. You can totally see us in the distance from NW 37th Ave. if you really wanted to, but at the time I didnít care. I thought I was unstoppable, invincible.. I thought I was a super human.

So this young looking police officer rolls up on us quietly while weíre still painting. Then outta nowhere I hear: "The Famous INFOE, wow I cant believe my eyes" I didnít recognize the voice so I immediately turn around and see this cop in full uniform with his hand on his gun. I donít know what to think or say! I donít know whether to run or speak or just crap my pants! So I decide to just stand there looking like a deer right before he gets nailed by an 18-wheeler semi-truck u know! Then finally I spoke and I said: (in a cracking voice) "Uhmmm dude, are u gonna shoot me for graffiti? Please donít, that shit hurts." to which he giggles and replies "Nah kid, I aint gonna shoot ya, the only reason I have my gun in my hand is so that you donít even think to run." Now Iím really horrified right! So he continues to say: "See I always wanted to meet you. I hear all this jazz about this Infoe kid who spray paints his name all over the entire city." Now you gotta understand, Iím literally clenching my ass cheeks as tight as possible to keep from shitting myself here. Ive seen tons of movies where shit like this happens, and the guy always gets shot anyway. I'm all confused like ĎWhy the fuck is this cop all acting like a fan?í. Im not buying it. Then he says: "I can see from the look on your face that this must be a bit strange for you, trust me, Iím not gonna shoot. In fact, I'm not gonna arrest you either (as he puts away his gun and I slowly un-clench my buttocks). I just actually wanted to meet The Famous INFOE. Thatís what they refer to you as down at the station you know? I donít care to arrest someone for dumb shit like this, especially not you. I actually like the whole thing. How far you have taken it. You should hear some of the shit they say about you man. Iíd be a little more careful if I were you though." Thatís when I put myself on a nice little 6 month vacation/probation. Just like SEEN said in STYLE WARS. This cop was mad cool. He even let me finish my shit. And told me to stay outta trouble and quit while I was ahead because he thought that what I had done was unbelievable, so why continue bombing? It all kinda made sense to me. Plus, I had all this heat on me at the time, It wasnít even funny dude. A major reality check! So thatís my craziest Hialeah story. That shit was a sign, I swear it was!

6) Name a Miami writers work that you respect a lot (thats not in your crew/associated crews) and why?

The Motherfucking DEED (DGS NCT). That guy is awesome. He is the reason I made that strong comeback in the first place. That dude inspired me so much. We ended up becoming real cool over the years.

Also RAGE (big influence), he was the only writer I knew of who was into punk rock and hardcore, which I was heavily into as a kid growing up. He would do all these rad characters and write quotes from familiar songs and shit. Then I met him at a hardcore show (go figure) at Washington Square in 1993 and he was cool with me.

Uhmmm, who else? Lets see: (This is kinda tough cuz most of them ARE in my crew)

CROME and CROOK, I have a great deal of respect for, even though their new generation crew is beefing with my new generation crew over god knows what? I still admire their dedication to this shit. Crome and I have had our differences over the years, but it never got to an all out war level. It was stupid. In fact I donít even think it had anything to do with graffiti. Who knows? Who cares? Crook, Iím cool with. Always have been. Funny story but we actually met in jail of all places. He had just gotten into graffiti at the time. He reminded me a lot of myself when I first started writing. I remember him telling me that he admired Deed and I, which was really cool I thought. So anyway yeah, those guys were killin it for a while. I remember being all stoked to see all that shit. It was like a friendly competition. You know? Back when all this was FUN! Remember fun? Hahaaa!

RAVEN for making a life long career out of it. That motherfucker is crazy. (Whats happening BIRD?!)

DASH (even though he went over me one time for no reason, like a total prick!) Fucken bully bastard! Haha we're cool now. Actually I call him "abuelo" now. Heís always been dope. Despite his Debo tactics. (Whats up pop!?)

KVEE (BONER) obviously, for ruining my life and getting me into this god forsaken lifestyle. (Thanks a lot asshole!) Hahahaaa, I always let him know that too. Everytime I see his ass

A few other Miami Writers that I definitely got love for and certainly respect (that never went over me, or ruined my life) are: (Drums please!) DNEEE (aka MORK who encouraged me to shit on everything downtown) COMA, UCER, SYFO, TEAL, ELEX, FREEK, KNOW 7, RC, KEP, MEK, MEER, DOZE, SEEL6, META4, DEK, TAME, VISE, (Anyone else is in my crew so I couldnít mention yous... sorry bros!)

7) Any good stories about a time you got chased or busted?

(to start see question #5)
Oh yeah man, I kinda got pinched once but they didnít figured it out. I was writing STV on a public phone booth and I get bagged by some shithead off duty cop in a fancy sports car. I told his dumb ass that I was writing the name of my band and that STV stood for "Stop The Violence". Dumb bastard bought it, but still arrested me (cocksucker!). When I got to the station, the main task force jerk off pig who had a hard-on for me was on vacation. Thank the fuck Christ! I still get weird when I think about that day and that was like 12 yrs ago dude. Anyway, so when the court date came around, the judge took a look at me and asked what I was doing writing on a pay phone? I decided to feed him a different pile of horse shit! So I reach into my right pocket and I pull out another lie. I told him I was jotting down a phone number for a job interview and I didnít have anything to write on but I was so excited about the job that I didnít think what I was doing was wrong! Totally improvised (the officer wasnít present so I ran with this fairytale. You should've seen me, I deserve an Oscar for that performance.) The judge bought it. He even apologized that I had to spend the day in jail. Poor me huh? Karma is rad isnít it!

Another time in Key West I got pinched. They caught me and beat my ass so bad! I had 7 stitches on my face which ain't so bad actually. Gave me kind of a tough guy look u know?! I beat that case too because the cops knew they fucked up by beating me, so they dropped it.

In conclusion: Iíve gotten chased, swam across the nastiest canals, jumped out of a 2 story building, spent nights and days in jail, gotten beat up by pigs, lost many bikes, and broken a bone or two. BUT I NEVER got convicted! HOLLER!!

8) Whats the biggest problem with Toys nowadays?

I think the biggest problem with toys nowadays is simple: They donít know how to approach this shit! They forgot how to enjoy it! They beef over little shit, and it escalates to some unnecessary war type shit over nothing. Its sad. So fucking petty, its sickening. They spend all this time (precious time) and energy hating life and going over each other to the point that it consumes them. Theyíve forgotten why they got into this shit in the first place. FOR FUN! FUN motherfucker FUN!

I know I had a blast with this shit. I for one, never gave any enemies the attention they were dying to get from me. If I didnít like you, I either nailed your broad, or if she was ugly, I just went over you a few times in your neighborhood just to humiliate you a little, not in some prime-time spot for gods sake. And sometimes I even regret doing THAT in a way. Its like you're hooking them up on some level. Like "Infoe went over some no-name toy.." then suddenly "Johnny no-name" becomes "Infoeís enemy", which sadly enough, is a major upgrade for them. I had enemies I never even met! Ok, ok maybe I slept with a few of their girls, but I never actually met them.. thatís no reason to hate a guy is it? Is it?

9) Being part of a reknowned Miami bombing crew you've got to have lots of wild graf stories, care to share?

I just mostly remember feeling like I had a key to the city. I was all city king for a while (thatís right I said it!), plus a certified member of the "Specialized To Vandalize" elite fleet. It was awesome. Its like being Brad Pitt, PLUS getting to nail Jennifer and Angelina! It was very much a feeling of what I can imagine Henry Hill mustíve felt like in Goodfellas. Fucken untouchable.

As far as stories go, well Iím not in the position where I can speak freely about those right now. Not until I speak with my attorney (inside joke).

10) What do you think of the Graf Scene in South Florida and Where do you think its headed?

Well if all these beefs and grudges donít end soon, its heading for doom. I think thereís a fuck load of talent out there, but its all wasted on anger and hate. If any of you dorks are reading this, listen to me here. GET THE FUCK OVER IT AND DO YOUR THING! LIFE IS TOOOOOO SHORT TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT GUY DID OR SAID. IF U MUST RESULT TO VIOLENCE TO SETTLE IT, THEN HELL, DO IT. BUT GET IT OVER WITH AND MOVE THE FUCK ON! DO U KNOW HOW MUCH OPPORTUNITY THERE IS OUT THERE FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD?! NOT TO MENTION ALL THE SWEET SWEET VAGINA! And Iím out.

Thanks for havin me. My name is Jowee Hollywood, youíve been an excellent crowd. Be sure to tip ur waitresses. Goodnight folks.