Miami Graffiti

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

Typoe : TCP AOC

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

I had a shit load of different tags growing up. I remember looking through the dictionary for days just trying to find the "perfect" tag for myself. I was never really satisfied with any of them. The last thing I wrote before I found my name was MINT. I believe it was around 1998 and me and my boy TYREX were painting the walls in my room and while he was throwing up a Mint tag next to his piece he stopped and looked at me and was like.. "Yo, you are never gonna go anywhere with this name. It fucking sucks. Here take my backup tag, Typoe." Ever since that day it has been my name. As far as meaning goes there wasn't any in the beginning, but now I like to study different types of fonts and sometimes spell it wrong and shit. Its fun to fuck around with.

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

My first influences mainly were what I started to see on my way to school and shit around my house and what not. Some of the first cats I knew that got me interested in graff were NEKO, MONK, and AKTIVE. Back then me and my boy "DZ", started out doing ugly tags together, making up completely stupid names, and even stupider crews that had no meaning. I was still in elementary school at that point, but thats where I learned the basic tag and shit. I remember always seeing TM crew. Elemz and Ster used to crush shit nasty in my area, his handstyles were def the freshest around at that time. I remember seeing Raven fills too, back then that shit was so ill. Sitting in the back seat of your mom's car and seeing these huge fills with faces in the letters and shit. That shit was bananas to me. In highschool there were mad crews that I remembered, KMG, STV, BTC, TSC, HA, HIV, GOK, IH, UFD, JUI, PC, GS (not the guy, but grove side), AOK, TM, HAF, DSG, KC, BKC, and so on. My first crews I started always had the same people really: Took, Sort, Dter, Deuce, Me and some other homies, but we changed the names a lot and went through a lot of different crew names back then trying to find something fresh.

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

I liked the Marina Penit. I always thought it was mad ill to be painting and not be hidden in the woods or far away somewhere. It was dope cause you could post up on the roof and it was all wide open. The Army Penit and the Overtown Penit are cool too. I never really went to that many penits though. I always just stuck with my boys and did little spots that we found on our own. Tracksides are always fun, even if I'm not painting, just walking around and finding new spots or old pieces with mad history that someone did mad years before me. I think that shit is fresh.

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

For me nothing crazy really happened at penits. A few soft chase stories. At the marina penit cops on a boat pulled up and ran into the penit and we all had to haul ass. We realized we left someone there and my homie called me whispering and shit and he was stuck in a room and pulled trash and shit all over him and couldnt move for like two hours. that was pretty funny. One time at the Army Penit, I was done painting it was night time and it was my first time there. So I was driving out and I thought I was on a downward hill and it ended up that I was driving straight into a fucking canal. Haha. I stopped litterally like a foot before my car would have flipped straight into the water. Shit was dark as fuck out there!

Probably the best Penit story was like a year or two ago I was at the Overtown Penit painting with 2 homies and one of my homies little sister. I was like 20 minutes away from finishing my piece when I turn around drop my can and said.."Aw fuck"..these police officers were running towards us, they say.."yeah, aww fuck is right buddy!!" These guys had Marine tats and were acting like mad dicks, so for sure I thought we were gonna get an official beat down and go to jail. So they made us back away from the wall and put our hands up. Then I see them kind of whisper to each other and this one guy that looks like a cop from hell started smiling at me. At that point I knew then I was gonna get it good. So they make us all get together and the one cop takes out his "beat down" gloves and starts strapping them on. We are all looking at each other like, "fuck, this sucks, we are about to get it". As the cop is putting on his second glove he looks at my homies little sis and she looks mad innocent like she is about to cry and shit. He pauses and looks like he's thinking for a moment, then he looks at his partner and nods like he doesn't think this shit should go down and he takes his gloves back off and puts them back in his pockets. They end up just giving us PTA's, but I didnt want to leave this shit unfinished, so when we are about to dip with them off the premises, I asked him if I could finish. The cop looked at me and said "I'm not saying you can finish this wall, but I will tell you that we are leaving the area and won't be back for 2 days". So that was a 'yes' in my book. So I quickly took my shit back out and we finished our pieces. I actually saw that cop a week later on a crosswalk in South Miami and he told me not to even go to court that he just threw the papers away. That was fucking awesome.

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

Crome, he has held down his name, brought other people to this city, and does new shit everytime.
Rumor and Gsouth for always crushing frieghts.
Theme for holding down mad spots on every track side, wall and mad rooftops in Miami for many years.
Siner for holding down the clean pieces on the high spots. (billboards, roofs, the watertower)
Dunce and Words for holding down the tags just about all city.

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

About 4 years ago I was out bombing with my homie. We were doing mad throwies downtown, had just hit the highways and just landed on US-1 going south. I saw this stupid little wall that I always wanted to hit, so I pulled over and said lets hit this "one last spot". My boy jumps out and starts throwing us up and then out of nowhere... BLAMMM! A fucking cop rolls out of left field. My homie jumped in and said "HITTT ITTTT!" so like any stupid asshole would do, I fucking took off. Mind you, I am not in my car, mine was in the shop and I had borrowed my mom's whip which was a convertible bug. Yeah. Gay. I know. So anyways, I take off from the cop. I am driving like a crazy person, crossing lanes and at points even driving on the wrong side of US-1. By now there are 2 police cruisers chasing me, and I am dipping with my little turbo bug. Finally I have to pull over cause they are on all sides and trying to ram me into trees and shit to stop me. So I stop.. before I know it I am face down in the concrete with like 20 pairs of boots on my face and mad shotguns on the back of my head. Yeah, they kicked my ass. Then they handcuffed me and called me a fag for like 4 hours cause I was driving a drop top bug. I just ended up going to jail for a little bit and that was that.

8) Whats the biggest problem with Toys nowadays?

The internet. People talk too much. Heres a tip: If you really don't like someone, go to their house and just fight them. Don't talk about it online or with your friends like you are cool. Just go directly to the person and get it done. Most of the time when you confront someone about the shit they were saying, it was a misunderstanding from the beginning anyways. Don't go over people. Like we dont have enough fucking wall space. Your letters shouldn't even touch anyone elses. Thats the number one reason why there isn't as much graff as there should be: People can't find their own fucking spots and do their own thing. Learn from the people before you, give respect where it is due, and take your shit to the next level. Just paint. Thats what we do.

If you want to be cool, join a fucking boy band. If you want to kill someone, go join a fucking gang. This is graffiti and thats what we do.

9) The name Typoe hints at the idea of typography, text, and fonts. Accordingly you've had a number of new and refreshing styles (fonts) over the last few years, comments about them and their development??

Well I like to study letters. There is a lot of history in letters, different styles from different parts of the world and different extensions that give different looks. For one I get too bored doing the same piece and thats usually why I always change my shit. I just like to have fun and try to do as much as I can with my name. I always think there are new levels to get to and I don't want to stop until I get there. I'm not sure if I will ever get to where I want to be with my shit but I am constantly improving and trying to outdo myself.

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

It has been better and it has been worse. We have our ups and downs. I think right now it is on the up and up. We as a city are getting a lot more recognition and making some more noise nationwide. The city itself is growing too, which is good for us because with every new building is an alleyway to paint and with more buildings are more billboards to hit and so forth. There are also a lot of newjacks in the scene bombing which is good, as long as they are being taught the right shit. More people are interested in coming here to paint which is good, and I think in the next few years the scene is going to take off a lot more. We just have to stay on our game. As long as everyone is hitting news spots and constantly being active then shit will get loose. Fe sho.