Monday, October 16, 2017

1st Things First With Letters First

Many crews in the New York City graffiti scene seem to naturally gravitate toward the idea that quantity is more valuable than quality. This has led to almost every writer being more into the aspect of bombing rather than devoting time to the formation of their letters. There is one crew that focuses on letters first--namely; Letters First (@letters_first_crew).

 Letters First is an all millennial graffiti crew--originally formed by RIME (MSK) as a booster crew to The Seventh Letter. As a crew; the Letters First members devote themselves to the study of form and symmetry. Their goals are lofty; having set out to  master each letter they put up. The group consists of 7 writers the majority of whom currently reside in New York City.

 More than just driven by a uniform desire to master the alphabet--this group is unique because (as far that I know of) Letters First is the only reputable crew with a female president. However; this is not what they hang their hat on. Reason being; crew president, Chare (@Chare_L1st), has put in all the requirements to be respected as a leader of men and has nothing handed to her on behalf of her gender. Chare, as a writer, has put in more grunt work to earn her recognition within the last four years than most dudes can fantasize about in their lifetime. From starting out as a studio assistant lugging paint across the globe for RIME--to bombing the gritty streets of Brooklyn and bandos across the states. Chare has worked by the sweat of her brow to be herself in a culture that is heavily influenced by misogyny. The rest of the crew (all men) not only support Chare's leadership but derive a sense of inspiration from the fun energy with which she approaches writing.

I had the opportunity to watch a few of them paint over a generous chunk of wall at Terracycle; provided by RAS(@basedrasta). Members from Letters First such as Klaus, Knor, Modus and of course Chare put their best letters forward on a professionally executed team collaboration.

Personally speaking; I was excited that I would be meeting one of my favorite current writers; MODUS (@M0du5_L1st). There are very few pure letter technicians in the newest generation of graffiti writers due to many younger writers being easily persuaded into aiming for fame instead of glory. As a writer, Modus has been laying down clean letter forms that he has been known to manipulate from time to time. No matter where you live; be it in the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens: if strictly good writing captures your attention; chances are the penmanship of Modus has caught your eye.

From end to end approximately 30 feet long; every brick had a story to tell. From right to left, Klaus, Modus, Chare and Knor laid down blockbuster forms with silver fills. Interwoven throughout the wall; each piece had it’s own moniker-like character from Arthur the Marc Brown inspired 90’s television series which still runs today. I stood back as they worked the characters in waiting for my chance to inquire about the significance of characters; only to find out to my dismay prior to final shots that it was all for shits and giggles--having been brought to their attention by recent memes that have gone viral.

There is no moral to the story on this wall--only ethical takeaways which is just as good. There is a growing trend of fear amongst writers that are debuting today. Fears of being found out for  imperfection and scrutiny from their peers. And it is certainly true that many old-school writers weigh down unprompted “constructive criticisms” to the new breed of writers on the execution of experimental styles. Letters First is an amazing band of cool writers that paint for the love; with love. This is evident is the unique expressionism each of their forms take on.


Klaus has an aggressive, undaunted approach with which he lays down larger forms accompanied by minimal manipulation. More emphasis is given to the little things like stands and serifs than kicks or connects.

Modus brings a clean flow to his letters. In my opinion; he is definitely one of the most talented writers on the NYC circuit with the ability to burn with the best of them.

Chare shoots straight with her wide variety of font selections. Bringing to life a fun vibe on every piece she executes with her designs and color schemes. Observing her work calls to mind her attention to detail for the fact that I have never seen her do the same thing twice. Her affinity for shades of pink raises her work to another standard as she always seems to find a new way to apply it within her schemes. It is also worth noting that she carries herself as writer who does not expect anything handed to her. In the moments where services like carrying heavy crates of paint have been extended; she politely declines--dedicated to show her commitment and strength to the artform on the merit of skill and hard work-- not having anything handed to her.

Knor (@knorcrap) is a quiet dude with loud characters. It is surprising that he does not get more recognition for the consistency of work he puts out. His unique skillset pushes the group to incorporate characters within their own pieces. In fact, if not for his presence; the final look of the wall could have been completely different.

Be sure to follow them on instagram and keep an eye out for their future projects. They have amazing projects in the works that will be sure to shake up the art world.


 

Friday, October 6, 2017

**BIG NEWS COMING**

We don't want to spoil it but we are currently negotiating with another graffiti company.


....and we are stoked about...

STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wu Wednesday

....umm, is it real?

Do we really have a new Wu-Tang Clan song and video? Someone pinch me because it can't be real.

Such fire and as if they picked up where they left off.  Enjoy cause your week can only go down here from here, ha-ha!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wu Wednesday

Speaking of Benefit, check out this dope collab with Matisyahu, Benefit, Kyon Williams and Mr. Green. It's a really dope YouTube account and recommend a subscribe.

From the videos descrption,

"For this episode we wanted to do something  different, so Sam and I set it off by meeting up with Matisyahu in NYC. He's been crazy busy touring all over the place, but he was cool enough to chill with us for a few minutes, lay down a dope verse and do some beat-boxing.

After that, I took his vocals back to the lab, threw some effects on them and put a beat together. 

Next, we traveled out to Philly to get my former beat-making student Kyon Williams to
play some piano (FYI I used to do an after school program called "beat school" at University City High School in West Philly). 

It was crazy, I had a melody in my head, I sang it to him, and then within five minutes he had already laid it down perfectly. 

Then, I took the piano parts Kyon played back to the lab and mixed them into the beat.  Finally, I took the full beat and sent it to my homie Benefit.

We are mad excited to have Benefit on the show because he's an underground legend and one of the first artists in history to use the internet to spread his music across the globe.  He hasn't dropped any thing in a minute and we are really proud that he chose to use 'Live from the Streets' as his platform to make a comeback.

Be on the lookout for more Benefit x Mr. Green collabs in the future as well as Benefit's upcoming self produced solo album.

I also want to take this time to announce that in 2014 we will be dropping an official "Live from the Streets" album featuring the songs from all of our best episodes along with some
surprises and extra stuff nobody has heard yet. 

Thank you for watching so far, we aren't even close to finished, -Green"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wu Wednesday

If you were alive and into rap in the late 90's early 2000's and were using P2P web platforms like Napster, it is nearly unavoidable that you did not download music by BENEFIT.

He is still around and kicking, still making some fresh music (especially by today's standards).  Definitely recommend going down memory lane and checking his tracks off his YouTube. If you have never heard of him and you like today's music, well, you're lost anyways...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Artist Release Party (LA)

Its almost time!  We are just over 2 weeks away from our event in San Pedro, Ca. We want to thank Machinestudio for hosting us!

We will be featuring artist prints from New York's infamous PER1 from FX crew.  Bringing a unique old school New York style, one of the pioneers of graffiti, these prints are rare as he does not do canvas and shows.

JABER is one of the most notorious freight writers of all time.  If you've ever benched for more than day, you are almost guaranteed to catch one of his head characters or pieces. Legal, illegal, freight, wall productions, bombing, international painting writer, he has done it all.  Arguably the most well rounded graffiti artist in the game.

Painting longer than almost any two writers you know combined, ESKAE has paid his dues. This style beast freestyles every piece.  Notorious for finding odd and random places to put up a burner gives a unique way to paint that even the mainstream art community respects.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Artist Release Party (LA)


We are coming for the West Coast! We teamed up with Machine Studio's in San Pedro just outside of Los Angeles. This September 7th we will be featuring our artist signed prints, t-shirts, stickers and more!

Come hang with us and check out our prints and enjoy the good vibes. We will be holding it during San Pedro's art walk. This is the second even after we held one in Fort Lauderdale back in May.

We will be featuring work by, PER1, JABER and ESKAE.  All prints will be available for sale and includes a certificate of authenticity signed by the artists.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

Ha-ha, seriously!  This is great! We want more! Graffiti fails and chases are really entertaining, well as long as it's not you getting chased. This is only part 1 so we can't wait to see what else they got coming.  This was professionally put together and highly recommend as it's only a few minutes long and will leave you wanting more.

(8.5 out of 10)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

This is a SEEN interview by Hong Kong Tatler and although it isn't necessarily a full length feature film or any extensive painting it is extremely informative.  Go inside the mind of the godfather of graffiti and hear him discuss the past, present and future of graffiti. As short as it is at just 3:28 run time, it's chalk full of history and goes in depth to how he explored graffiti in the 80's.

(7.5 out of 10)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

We recently watched, 'Saving Banksy' which is streaming on Netflix. This was very entertaining and although the main subject is Banksy, the core subject is street art and how it is finding its place in the art world.  The duality of Banksy's fame in the art collection world versus the street art world.  This documentary follows one mans attempt at saving an original piece done by Banksy from being destroyed or auctioned off. As we are a team of writers, we thoroughly enjoyed this mans integrity to pass up, $200k, $500k and even up to $700k to sell this piece because he wanted to see it in a museum. It was well done and never lagged as it was entertaining throughout.


(7 out of 10)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Graff Inc Artist Prints Release Party


On Saturday, May 6th, Graff Inc Trades will host our first ever show. This show will feature three world class artists, live painting, collectables and a unique venue for Floridians to experience graffiti culture. 

In this day and age; graffiti enthusiasts tend to interact with the art form on their phone rather than appreciating it in person. For the past three years; we have scoured our think tank to bring forth something new to the graffiti experience. On May 6th, we will make available a limited run of prints from the artists featured in our show. The three artists featured will be PER, JABER and ESKAE. 

Each print is a ¼ inch thick metallic collectible. Similar to a baseball card. There are three different prints for each artist featured in this particular show which means one could either collect each card or trade for another featured artist. 

[Our event is located at 405 NE 8th street in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  It is in the center of their MASS Art District off of US1 and a short drive from I-95 by heading East on Sunrise BLVD. Once you get to the Sears plaza, just make the U-turn on to US1 Federal HWY. Go only two blocks and make a right onto NE 8th street and the event will be on your right.]

We went with this approach because it puts graffiti in the hand of our consumer without diluting the artform as something less valuable or important. Printing each set on a high quality surface ensures the product's longevity as well as conveying how much we value the work of each artist. This is a collectable that one can frame or enjoy many years down the line because it brings the artform literally into the palm of your hand. 

PER (FX), brings with him so much rich and colorful New York City history. When graffiti transitioned from the train era to the mural movement; PER was not only there--he pioneered the evolution of our culture. He was unquestionably a part of the wide-reach graffiti grew to have--even if some people did not know it was his work they were appreciating. PER was there. Before the paint technologies and pretty caps--PER was painting walls with his crewmates back in the day that people could not replicate today with projectors and artsy paint.  

That is why we had to get PER in on this show. When we compiled our list of possible artists for this specific show--we knew we needed a unique New York writer who has a standing historically and artistically that still burns to this day--and that is why PER is representing New York City in this upcoming show. 

We also understood that the Midwest and Western region should be represented. Jaber was a natural choice given his longevity and how far his work has reached. From throws to burners, Jaber kills it from permission spots to freights. 

Being based in Florida; getting ESKAE involved on this show was a no-brainer. His work is always clean and crisp. Our staff and anyone familiar with the scene here has taken note of his work. You could be driving down the highway and spot his pieces on the overpass--or navigating swamp infested areas and pass a burner on a water-tower. ESKAE is becoming synonymous with the scene here and that is why his work is featured in this show. The last few years is when his notoriety has skyrocketed but he remains a down-to-earth, approachable dude who has been putting in the same work for years.      

We have curated the event to be an atmosphere full of beautiful artwork--including live painting by our three featured artists, good vibes and most importantly a scene where everyone is approachable. For those of you who are coming to this event as your first graffiti showcase; sometimes, it can seem that the artists are out of reach for the average show attendee. In this venue, we chose a more close-knit and interactive setting where we can all engage with each-other. That will lead to more books being signed, possibly collectibles getting exchanged and more importantly a rare opportunity of getting to know the artists personally. The artists that we have secured have not always made themselves available to the general public--making this event all the more invaluable.    

Here is what some of the artists had to say about the event:

JABER--"It is nice to know some of my work will be around after I am long gone. That is in it’s own right; the reason we create as artists. 

I think these pieces capture a little of what graffiti feels like. I mean that in the literal sense of having graffiti given into a handheld collectible and also figuratively because at the end of the day they are still viewing something that only I experienced as the artist.



If I had my way; all of my photos would be printed on metal and I would cover the great wall of china with tiles of metal images. just so I know my body of work is immense.

I met Todd in person at Art Basel, I was doing an art show out of a haul truck because all the venues wanted ten grand for a gallery. He presented this idea of metal prints and I was on board. I didn't know if it would happen or not because when you meet people at events they say the best elevator pitches ever; give you a business card and disappear like a magic act. This project actually happened and now here we are--albeit three years later--we were finally about to see this come to fruition.

super hyped to be in a series with artists like Per and Eskae. If you follow the graffiti culture you will know why. If you don't then you’re gonna have to trust me when I say these artists have a huge and impressive body of work.


I am always grateful for my supporters who purchase my art because they are the reason I am able to do more trains, travel, do more shows and the whole gambit. Since these are a limited run it puts a special uniqueness on the pieces. I also feel most people have not seen my work in Spain, so it opens their eyes to a portion of my travels. Thanks to Graff Inc for putting this together. I know I am grateful and I hope the community is, too."

PER-- “Those who know me, know that I do not usually give interviews or participate in shows like this. However; this one is different because I got the sense that it was really in the best interests of the artists participating. 

For a long time; graffiti was not accessible to the general public. What I appreciate about this venue is that people will have access to the artists while we work. In my opinion; this is a venue that will build the community’s respect for our work. At the end of day, I am excited about this because I think people will see graffiti as a craft.”     

Come in person to hear what ESKAE has to say and have a good time. We look forward to connecting you with the culture that you love. 



Wu Wednesday

...because its MF Doom, thats why!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Feature Artist

Almost every day we feature a different writer on our Facebook page and this week we will be featuring 1 of our 3 artists every day until the event. We dont cater or favor an artist and try to keep a healthy mixed bag of styles and flavors while avoiding any politics.  However, we want to help promote our artists and the event as we are VERY excited for Saturday. Please like and share our posts and come out to support these talented artists and this event!  Here is yesterday's featured artists, HELM & ESKAE but only ESKAE will be there. 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

Dope video of some South African clean trains on the Metrol Rail in Cape Town City.  The video description bosts that it's "in fact the first first graffiti whole train in Africa!!" Featuring the following graffiti writers, Blak, Wer, Sure, Ink, Slate, Toe, Name, Raze. A very short and to the point of benching these whole cars.  We love a more put together video of action shots and 'b-role' and finished product but you just cant front on a whole car, not to mention a whole train of whole car's. The track by Richard The Third, but we recognize that maybe this isn't our taste of music, doesn't mean it's not yours and shouldn't hurt the overall rating.

(6.5 out of 10)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wu Wednesday's

Its that time of the week and this reminded us of some late 90's early 2000's ...enjoy!
Ras Kass - Bars in the Booth

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

Need to buy a clue about graffiti ...this should help!

Seriously, this is a well done short piece on the history of graffiti done by PBS.  Informative as it dives into the historical relevance and the evolution of the graffiti scene as we know it today. Interviews by the authors of "The History of American Graffiti,"as they explain a bit of the scene and its history.



(7.5 out of 10)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

Definitely a dope DVD for the freight writer, has everything a freight writer would want to see. It drags at times, especially at the action scenes, but once you fast forward through those times it picks up again. At 1hour and 42min running time, you def get your money's worth. This video was definitely made by freight writers for freight writers.  Made back in 2004 it does show its age given we now have widescreens and 4k video; however, it doesnt take away from its legendary status and relevance today.  Features some live action painting and train hopping with KWEST and SENSR, and a hobo interview with Malachi aka ''RIDE HARD RETARD''.  YouTube description brags that "this film had worldwide distribution with over 7,800 copies being sold." A real dope original soundtrack mixed by SOE1 throughout the video

(7.5 out of 10)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday's Underground Lowdown

Graffiti Verite' 5 -  A real breath of fresh air when it comes to a graffiti documentary. Not just another video of the same couple of dudes bombing and boring you. This video takes place in a town in Iowa that you probably never heard of which maybe will lose some of its interest but the attitudes and opinions remind me a lot of those of early hip-hop. Very entertaining with a different perspective on the graffiti documentary genre. 


(7 out of 10)