1) What do you write and what crews do you represent?
, the poom poom pander fatty fork fucking flanders repping DME EP WBB EKA IFC BTC MCR YNC (&) crews from Miami to Peru & Germany, to the Moon. Yea it's a long list.
2) Where did you get your tag?
I started off writing the most common names ever in the universe in 1993. Then I was like, "Oh shit, let me write Skeme." That's when my homeboy Plet (who started EKA) told me about the NYC Skeme and was like, "Yo, why dont you just drop an E and write Skem?" and I was like "Yo, that's what i'll do." A couple days later he liked the name so much he wanted to take it, ha! As you can see, I never gave it back. Shit is mine!
3) When did you start writing and what were some of your early influences?
Like I said, I started writing in 1993. This guy SNOOP (lol)(who we local boys know as humberto (humminbird) ortiz), he was one
of the few dudes who got me into the whole graffiti thing. Aside from my homeboy PLET and this dude BIG JIT, who before I had a tag, got me into characters. I didn't know a damn thing about graffiti. As far as I knew there was no graffiti outside of my local area. I didn't get around much, but I do remember seeing some big Crome Car things off the highway up north when I was 11, but I wasn't writing then.
As far as my influences goes. It started off mainly with these dudes, in no particular order: LACK LOOTES OIL WAR FUDGE SKAT LEENOS FLECK TASE STOCK JROCK CREST ASPEN MASTER7 SEIS LADY-EIGHT ACRE GASP (this guy had the greatest hands for back then, extremely dope connections, I still look at some of that shit this day) PLET POE SEX JECT AIR DEPOH DEUM BUNDEE INFO (dtm) SECK FELOS DAIM(shy-d) TONEE LESTER STER(another one) ROTS BREEK BRIX. Crews like HR FUK IAG RDC RMS ESM. Bigger names like MOTE SBP WBB MIKE129, those were like my hood influences. Then when I started frequenting the BEACH HIGH WALL, people like IHS FS BSK started to become somewhat of an influence to me. The 16th St. Penit off Collins. Also the SUICIDE piece that ran off Collins and 24th for like almost 10 yrs, maybe longer, but I couldn't read a piece for my life. I remember standing in front of a piece for like an hour one day until I could make out the letter structure.
My main thing when I first started, what I really got into, was tagging. My main influences for that were GASP WAR and OILER. I used to think it was all about super wild tagging. In the beach during that era, 1993-94, where I was living most dudes from what I noticed just did tags. Later when I started hanging with June and Lack at the mansion, people like GS ROOMER BASH SMASH & BASER, were my main influences, mentors, whatever you want to call them. RUMOR would try and drill shit into my head, me being the ignorant fuck that I am, hard headed, took me a minute to get what they where saying. I remember when I did a piece on a PORT ST JOE car, it was CHSME, ME on the door, and GSOUTH. My shit was tiny tim, little black book syndrome ass shit. I'll never forget it, I got ranked on forever, they where like "Your shit is four letters, and GS is bigger than yours... hahaha!" YO, that shit still haunts me till this day. That piece came out in at least 4 magazines and some books and pops up every now and then online. I hate that shit. Siner was the dude who got me on doing GOOD SPOTS and eyeballing dope shit and hitting it up. He got me to that next level.
4) What is your favorite Penit/Wall/Spot and why?
As I was saying earlier, I didn't really get into piecing till later on, and only in sketch books. I was mainly a tagger for a minute, a long minute actually. I used to just hang and party, not really paying much attention to penits or piecing at all anywhere. I thought it was a waste of time. I did go to some penits, probably like once a year starting from 1995 till about 1999. After 1999 I frequented Hialeah Penit a lot and fell in love with the place, but thats when I actually started taking graffiti a little more seriously. Putting effort into actually practicing what I was doing for so long on paper. Only to find out how WACK I was. hahahaha. shits real. AIR used to always try and make me go to Hialeah Penit. That guy, for being who he is, was pretty bout it for going to Hialeah solo. He must have done like 50 pieces there, probably a lot more in I dont know how long. That's back when he was dropping the same outline with just different fills. When I started frequenting Hialeah in 1999-2000, it would be me and the DMEKA crew, LACK TANK FORGE MISTY. I started getting a little schooling from TERMS, started frequenting FS/WH parties. Mainly because I grew up with most of them from the beach. OIL LACK JUNE WAR etc etc..... But back to Hialeah, I liked that place because it held so much history. I could look up at the tops of anywhere and just see so much tag history. Taking all that stuff in (since Miami had been crazy buffed after 1995, especially downtown) that place was like a bible. Other places I'd frequent were Marina Stadium, Bobby Maduro, and Krome, but really only for a year or two. After I got mine in, I saw those places as useless. There are so many walls to paint, why keep going back to the same place with all the toys over and over again?
5) Any crazy story that sticks out in your mind from a Spot?
Yeah, that primary flight throw up. BOY, I was like "Aye, Sin, let me get one of those new fancy cans you got there? Those nitro Montanas. Ha. I need some high pressure shit to get my quickie on." Yo, I hop the wall and start my shit and fucking BOTH CANS of yellow had no pressure in them. I was like this is unbelievable. Hopped back over and returned em shits to Sin, he gave me some reg Montanas and I did the work the next night. Almost falling on my face because I leapt over the wall with too much force... haha. shit was clowning.
6) Name a Miami writers work (not in your crew/associated crews) that you respect a lot and why?
I don't really respect anyone A LOT, I do give respect tho. I like a lot of peoples graffiti that's not in our affiliate crews or whatever. If I had to give it to one dude, it'd be FREEK. Ever since I saw his stuff, I liked it. Nice simple with flavor. His style carried on from 80's, through the 90's (which is where most of my favorite graffiti dwells), till today.
I'd like to add that even though there's been a lot of heads out there who have put in work. They die out and take breaks. It's not about how hard you can go for a few months, it's about the longevity of it. There is a lot of talented writers out in Miami, but I dont particularly like their style. They they can paint "well", but it's not my cup of tea. Like I said, I like 90's graffiti, mostly 70's and 80's NYC traditional shit, and old school Miami shit. Just like how people like traditional tattoos, I like traditional graffiti. EAST COAST SHIT. Although I have experimented with other styles. The traditional ones weigh out the few, like 50 different things, I've done.
Call me old, a has been, no style having, no progression moving, to many arrows bubbles n stars, lucky charms ass nigga; but I won't change what I like for the peanut gallery
7) Any entertaining stories about a time you got chased or busted?
ONE TIME...... oh wait that's never happened.
8) Advice for Toys nowadays?
Everyone does dumb shit. I'd suggest linking up with someone who really knows the roots. Just because someone is old school and you used to see him up when you where young or did their "thing" back in the days, does not mean they can school you properly or that they even have credibility. Take a look around you and your affiliates, and really ask yourself if these dudes know what they are saying? If you're in it for life then recognize that there's more than just Miami, and that there are people who have been here who have put in solid amounts of work on the streets.
9) You are private about your flicks and graf, not sharing or promoting any of it on the internet. What are your feelings about the effect the internet has had on graf?
This is a touchy subject, and ironic since I'm doing this interview and supplying flicks. I like the internet, it's a place where i can just type my name and look up my flicks. I love the feeling of fulfillment when someone else likes your work so much that they would not only flick it, but post it. If I paint something and it runs and no one flicks it, or it gets buffed the next day, I'm not gonna run and post it. I'm ok with my friends posting something I did if he flicked it, he has the right to do whatever he wants with the flick. If it was benched online somewhere, why not post it around? I think everyone is on some quick fame shit, want to be famous in one day type shit. I have mad respect to people who do not even take flicks of their shit, but I also hate them for it. ETCH EROK! I have only posted my shit online once a while back, and I felt like such a fucking loser afterwards that I never did it again. You shouldn't have to run to your computer, iphone, or whatever the fuck is plugged in your ass, and upload your flicks automatically. That instant gratification shit is cool at home. But it makes you look like you just want shit too hard when you do it yourself. You know whats it's like to have exclusives? Like REAL exclusives? 5-10 year old type shit that eventually pops up in a book and maybe online. That shit is where it's at, if you do graffiti for yourself, then that's where it's at. If you want fame, me me me! Go post your shit right after you paint it.
The thing that REALLY sucks about the internet is the LOSS of regional styles. Kids just go and jock the next guy because it looks cool (the fonts trend... its cool once in a while... but come onnnnn). Now granted there are places who DO NOT have an older scene, so kids have to take from what they can.. maybe freights or mags or ...the internet. But to me, if your shit looks like it came from another city, and you are not from another city, you just look like a jock.
And finally it gives every fat fuck, retard, and toy a voice! And heads get mad corny. Makes me shake my head, really. Yo niggas, back before all this shit, the only heads who had a voice were people who were up. Thats your voice. If you got problems, you went over each other or solved it in person or both forever or squashed it. You'd write what you had to say in paint. If I could have anything done to the internet, I'd probably erase all the forum blahblahing bullshit
10) What do you think of the Graf Scene in South Florida and Where do you think its headed?
Uh, I'm not sure. I've died down a lot through the years. I like to see new dudes doing their thing and evolve. Shit is cool. Keep it up. I'd also like to give a shout out to my homies, and everyone who has linked me up, or linked up with me and treated me well.
REST IN PEACE OIL, ALOT we'll miss you man, you were my close homie and taught me some good shit.
I've also provided ya'll with some flicks, not my best shit, but my favorite pictures. Two from every year that I have pictures from. I've got tons of shit that no one has seen, but im trying to keep all my exclusives for when I'm like 50, and I'm sure by that time no one will want to see any of the old shit anyway, Ha! FREE KALY, MOTE.