Miami Graffiti

April 2009
1) What do you write and what crews do you represent?

I write Jel and I represent Inkheads(IHS), Da Graf Staff(DGS), None Can Test(NCT), and Hard Ta Kill(HTK)

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

I got my tag when I was in elementary school between 5th & 6th grades. The main thing behind it is that I was young and didnt know any better. So all over my elementary school there was tags of DEED, RIME, and DW crew (Devoted Writers); as well as Lords Of Crime(LOC) and People Nation. The courtyard had graf all over the floor, there was a big (P) block letter for people nation. Later Deed (DW) and Deal (112Boys) came and turned it into an upside (d) to represent their names.

So since my real name is Joe, I love the letter (J), so I picked the tag: JEED. I didn't know Deed at that time, like I said I was young and I didn't know any better. I wrote it in pencil all over the school, Deed wasn't too happy about that. So I come to school the next day and see my tag crossed out by Deed. I had a fear that this guy Deed was a big strong black motherfucker and was gonna beat me up, so I was scared. Well it turns out that a friend of mine named Lenin lived close to Deed. Lenin also had a tag, he wrote LEED (and we had another friend who wrote Seed). So Deed had a talk with him and told him "Yo, you and your boys can't write jeed or leed or seed." So Lenin asked him "What should I write then?" So Deed gave him the tag: Del. So Lenin comes to me and tells me "Yo, Deed told me that we can't write JEED or LEED or SEED. He told me to write DEL." So I tell my boy Lenin "Yo, I'm going to write JEL." So then we all had names to write so we went bombing all over, it was Jel, Del, and Sel.

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

Once I really started to like the whole thrill of it, I would see Dac tags on almost every stop sign in my hood in Westchester. I fell In love with Dekay Doze Mural shit, so amazing. You'd think they were magicians; on Bird and roof tops of Miller shopping centers. Mek and Merlen with the mickey mouse and the mask man on 826. Meer and Dekay battling Quatro at McMillan. Dekay, Rage, Ese at Formula One on Coral Way and 826. Seel6 AIM crew. The TWA wall. Seel's Bridge. 7UP crew in Hialeah. Some guy that wrote BBOP all over the building where my grandparents live. Kvee. The A-sports wall in downtown with Shie, Sar, Ease and Edec. This is all way before I was in any crew. I was painting, but I was painting either alone or with Deed. These are the people that inspired me and gave me the drive to paint and do pieces.

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

My favorite wall is the wall I discoverd in my neighborhood in Westchester around 1990 between Bird Rd. and 48th St. on 107th Ave. The first piece on that wall was MTN for (Motion), a Face character by Cien (MBS) in the middle, and a JEL Piece. The character was never finished because I got into a little conflict with MBS (Miami Bomb Squad) crew. Which was a big reason why I started to practice more and more because they had dissed me saying I was a toy. I just wanted to paint. Well after all that, there has been a lot of other writers on that wall, SCBSC (South city bombers bombing south city), Meer, Poem, Rage, Deed, DK, Shie, WOW crew, Ener and maybe a few others I can't remember right now.

As for penits: I really never liked many of them because it was mostly a waste of paint now that I think of it. But if I had to choose, it would be the Hialeah and the Malibu penit.

5) Is there any crazy story that sticks out in your mind from days at that Penit/Wall?

I really haven't had any problems at the penits or walls, just met a lot of writers.

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

Well the only miami writer that comes to my mind when you ask that question is Meer. Even though he represented the Ink Heads later on, but I always saw him as WOW crew. I love the way he made the beginning of his pieces match with the end, and made the two E's face each other and of course always very well balanced.

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

One night Deed, Rye, Stell, Wilson, Abe and I went to do some freights behind the Holsum factory (in medley, off of 826). We went there in a car that my friend Wilson had at the time. The car was so ghetto that it looked stolen, it was a Toyota Tercel. We parked it behind a big bush. The cops found the car and ran the tag and called Wilson's mom to ask if their car had been stolen. Will's mom paniced, she thought he was kidnapped or dead. Meanwhile I was focused doing my piece, Deed was doing a get up, and everyone else was having a blast climbing the train all over and writing all over it. The Medley police were watching us the whole time, I looked to the right and spotted the glasses of one of the officers. I shouted "5-0" and everyone ran. Stell and I had planned our escape when we got there just in case. Deed hid in a swamp. He was there from 2am until around 7am, the cops were walking all around him, he could hear their boots squeak. Rye, Wilson, and Abe got busted. Stell and I were hearing helicopters, so we decided to swim across the Okeechobee canal and then we crossed over 826 all wet and hitched a ride from some people that were getting drunk in the parking lot in front of Sports Authority. They drove us to Westland Mall, then we walked to Taco Bell on 49th St. and my boy Jorge came and picked us up around 5am. The next day I met up with Deed, he had mosquito bites and red rashes all over for about a week.

8) Whats the biggest problem with Toys nowadays?

I don't think there's really a problem with toys. I like toys styles, it is different and it is part of the ballgame. Everyone is a toy in the beginning. I was a toy once, no one starts off fresh. I think I might go back and become a toy, or at least a toy state of mind. Just so I can flip tha script on myself, and do something different for the game. Maybe they can copy my Toy Style, or start a new trend. Who knows.

9) You were involved in the classic Inkheads production on the Hialeah Tracks (just west of the Penit). How did that all come together? (flick)

Well, none of that production was really planned. Everyone just called each other that day, we all got together and everyone did their thing. We never stressed anything in the crew. Everyone did what they wanted. Everything would naturally come out fresh because it was meant to be. Everything just came spontaneously.

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

I don't know where its headed, but it really feels like it's back. (or was I gone for so long?)