Sunday, November 15, 2015


     Do you know what unconditional love means, true respect, 100% friend ship, a nigga that will ride for you till the wheels fall off, true honor amongst thieves? Do you know what it is to be loved by your brother not matter the situation? A nigga that will pay the ultimate price for you because he loves you that much? Well I do... and that dudes name is James Santa Cruz, aka JAMS FYC. I got friends that I know since 1986 and no where do they even hold a candle to my nigga. They couldn't  be him in a million years and I say this not to take away from the friends that I do have. Im a special type of person that when a person meets me, they gravitate towards me. They want to give me the world. If you know me, you know I'm not full of shit. All I got in this world is my word & my balls.

     But this nigga JAMS FYC was a different type a nigga, He didn't give a fuck about him self. If you asked him, he would tell you he's no one. As far as he was concerned, his existence didn't matter. Thats where he was wrong. My brother was loved by everybody he came in contact with. I thought I was somebody and that I was loved, I had it all wrong! I never met a person that hated on know one. I never heard him say one bad thing about anyone, including his enemies. He was just that good hearted. If you had a come up, a new whip, if you came off & didn't break him off or what ever good fortune you came across, he was genuinely happy for you. Even through all the pain he went through in his life. You would never know it because he hid it so well. when you met him, he was always smiling & happy. you never heard him complain about shit. As a friend he always put your needs first and asked know questions. I would tell him "yo, my man DINK needs me to ride out for him, take the ride with me" and because JAMS was a loyal friend, he wouldn't ask any questions and ride out.

     My man wasn't a violent person, he wasn't gangster in the streets or a tough guy, but he wasn't know one to fuck with either. He was the type of friend that I could put a gun in his hand & say I need this dude dead and he would ask no questions and just do it. Thats the truth. His loyalty ran so deep, he would do anything I would ask him. How many of you got a friend like that? The nigga would take a murder rap for me cause he knows I have a child and a lot going for me. He was just that loyal. I know 99% of you mother fuckers don't know have a friend like that because they are few and far between. He thought he was lucky to meet me & be in my life because of who I am, but thats not the case. Im the one that was blessed to have a friend this loyal, like no other and I know I will never meet another person like him.

     When I met him, all his boys didn't think he was shit with in the graffiti world. They would diss him and say he wasn't shit. They wouldn't give him no respect. Then he started rocking with me, I passed him the knowledge I had, put him on and took him places with me & introduced him to the upper crust of who's who. All my peoples saw he really was about it and that he was a genuine dude and that he was 100. When his peoples realized this, the hate really grew. They would say, why you fuck with that dude OLDNYC76. He would just say he is good peoples. He had a genuine passion for graffiti, he didn't care about fame or if niggas knew who he was. He did it for the love of it for him self which is the right reason.

     I still can't believe your not here Jams, your death is the hardest Ive ever dealt with. Harder then my mother passing. Ive had a lot of death in my life and have gotten to a point where it doesn't effect me. But my brother I can't stop crying, I can't believe your not here. I refuse to morn you, but to keep you alive. I know your not here in the physical, but I feel you in the spiritual. You was suppose to come with me to court to beat my case like you always do & every time he came to court with me, my shit was thrown out. So this last time I went, I brought your pray card with me and my shit was dismissed. It was a speeding ticket, the cop gave me a 66 in 30. Thats 36 over, thats not getting dismissed! And sure enough I did like you promised. You told me, don't sweat ill go with you and it'll be thrown out. You kept your word my brother. I know you are pain free and that God has a special place for you. I know you sit'n in V.I.P. nigga. Hold a spot for me brother and continue to look over me. You are my angle and I know you are looking out for me always. I feel you presence.

     Through me you will live for ever. I will keep you alive as long as Im alive. The amount of respect people have paid you is crazy, people that never met you be put'n you up and continue to pay tribute. You have touched people beyond belief or your imagination. I love you my brother. You are one of a kind, cut from a clothe like no other. No one could ever say anything bad about you or put dirt on your name and I won't let them.  You are my heart. I love you Jams. You ripped the crew FYC harder then anyone who is down besides me. thank you. Hand Salute & a 16 Gun Salute to you cause you earned it.
     On Dec 12th a Jam for Jams will be thrown to celebrate you life at Koda lounge in Bushwick. I will never R.I.P. you because you are not gone. I feel you still here watching over the ones who love you. Instead I choose to celebrate you life and raise you up to that higher power. You will be missed, but not forgotten. You are not apart of the greats who have moved on to a higher power. I know my peoples are up there holding a spot for you. JAMS FYC FOR EVER....

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hell On Earth

     I have so much to say, but yet nothing comes out. A million emotions race through me at a non stop rate. Its like one emotion is beating up the other emotion to get out. Its crazy, a fuck'n Royal Rumble of emotions, yes thats EXACTLY what it is. Ive been trying to paint, write & be productive in terms of producing peaces of art. Originally I learned to paint from all the pain & suffering in my life. Its a big part of me being able to cope & reset my mental clock. My life was filled with (what more then the average can handle) abuse. So the painting helped a lot to escape to another place and leave it all behind.

     And then there came a point where I fixed a lot of issues in my life, persevered & have moved up in the structure of adulthood. As you get older you should be doing a lit bit better the next year. So now that Im happy in life, I wasn't able to paint anymore and produce art work, because now Im painting from a un failure place and I didn't know how. As time goes on I figured it out and that too, I have stepped up my craft.

     So as time goes by, life is like a roller coaster ride, you encounter many ups & downs and for me Im in a place were I have become stagnant. Im beginning to not be able to produce because of some  things I'm going through personally. I have a daughter thats 14 & Im going through the emotions of a little girl becoming a young lady in her own right, but just a little to quick for me. She has the knowledge, but lacks the know how that comes from the actual experience of life. Shit thats enough right there to throw you off, but over all I know I have done well with my daughter. With all this going on it has me struggling to produce.

     Today (01/30/15) I woke up from a dream that was more then a dream. It was a portal from the after life and my mother & grand father came to visit me in a very odd setting, too difficult to describe. Non the less they came at a time in my life when it is needed. My mother came to remind me of my past. All that I have gone through, the struggles, bad times and her drug problems. It wasn't to make me sad & drag me down, but to motivate & remind me what I have over come and have accomplished in life. And my grandfather came to let me know he was proud of me, that I was an HONORABLE man. He was aware of my accomplishments and that I was not done. To keep pushing forward, I have more to over come. Only my grandfather hugged me in the dream and I know it was real because it was that exact feeling every time he hugged  has me. I just know it was.

     New York City has always been a beast. Except for now its more of a financial beast then a survival of the fittest beast. Never the less life doesn't slow down for no one. That bitch just don't give a fuck about you, she is cruel and will throw everything at you including the shitty ass toilet too. The one thing I can say is that being raised in that raw Old New York era & overcoming the odds has prepared me for what ever that bitch can throw.

     In life its so easy to get caught up in the rat race when things fall out of whack. Its like working a production line and they turn up the pace on that bitch. It becomes harder to keep up and thats what living in NYC is beginning to feel like. I ask my self continuously what am I fighting for? I just don't know any other way but to keep fighting. I guess in this life you go through all the pain & suffering until there is no more and you die. I just hope 1 there is a next life &amp 2 that its pain free and the greatest thing ever. Until then, Ill just keep going through the motions and lessons of life.


Thursday, January 15, 2015


     2015 Tryna hop back on that horse, with a new year should come some up grades in your life. Never sit stagnant. With that said, I know when I started this blog, I was a very angry person.
at the time I had a lot going on in my life. Life was full of painful moments, but with the right women in my life I was able to push forward and become a stronger man.
As you get older you should be growing as a person and minimizing the drama. Life is suppose to be easier as you get older, but it all depends on what you put into it.

     Its crazy to see my culture become so relevant in the millennium. I mean if you would've told me that this Polo culture & Graffiti would be as big as it is now I would have never believed it, just like if I wasn't there to see it for my self, my chilld... I wouldn't believe any of the stories I have to tell or the ones my friends have to tell. 

    As most know, I am from the UWS, but I have been in Brooklyn since 1993 so I claim BK all day Kidd. In the recent news, they were talking about the UWS. How mom and pop stores are disappearing because of high rents. They just can't compete with that corporate dollar. So ultimately these stores get ate up. So what has shaped the UWS much less New York are disappearing. Ultimately these stores are the essence of what New York is or rather was. It saddens me. Personally amongst others, they are erasing my past and childhood. I know I have it in my heart and the stories with pictures, but its not the same as going back to the old hood, going into stores and see people that have seen you grow up. Those are the people that are comprised as my family growing up.

     I see the similar things going on around me on a parallel level. For an outsider It can look foolish as hell even retarded and what Im talkn about is this Polo culture. But Its who some of are as people. It has put money on the table for a lot of us at times, allowed us to get fresh to death and show who we are as an individual and as a group. Its no different then the 80's. This is what was spawned from it and transformed with the time, but keeping that same essence of a true New York feel. Its amazing to see how this Lo Life culture has grown world wide and influence hip hop as well. Its great to see new people get on board who are genuine, thats what keeps the movement moving. 
     With the pro's comes the cons (and before I go further, Ima throw a quick side bar in here... In any culture or even in general, life & your job, people new to the game or to a position at work don't just show up and try to run things. You learn and build a place for your self along with a reputation & respect. You earn your way which is the honorable thing to do). But in real life you have groupies & frauds. So now that you can easily go out and buy what ever pieces to be a big time player in the game, you got frauds front'n like they been down for years with this new found respect falsely earned and some aren't even old enough to make that claim. That shit kills me. Growing up you had to earn respect & put that work in to be down in this culture. Shit if you was a fraud you found out real quick. You just got ya shit jacked. I can remember dudes get jacked for stupid shit like Jansport strings, now that Im older, what the fuck kind of shit was that. Ni99as got hurt behind that. Listen, like I said its great that you have new comers. It helps to preserve the culture and make it stronger and possibly open doors for some. But these new comers gotta play their part and the old timers need to put dudes in their lanes. At one point, not just anyone could throw claims with out putting in work. It just didn't happen that way and honestly I just don't see how it happens now. 

    Doesn't anyone have some sort of pride in them selves to just be them. Your a much better person that way. This day & age mother fuckas be living in a dream land believing their own lies & shit. Then you got your hand shakes from the fakes as my lady would say. Yo if I don't fuck with you, then that means I don't fuck with you. I can be in the same place at the same time & still be cool. Just you do you & ill do what I do, but fools be wanting to smile and take pictures with one another and call each other brother and sister. Then when your not there, they talking mad shit, throw subliminals on social media at one another. Just keep it real homie, you don't gotta like me and I don't gotta like you. Whats sad is that most of these type of people, if you took away their social status, they would have no life and be a nobody. Ill tell you this straight up, None of the social cirlces I run in define me as a person. I have defined my self by the trials & tribulations I have been through. Being true to who I am and putting in that work. I let my actions speak for it self. But what defines me most is the father I am to my children and the amount of growth in my life.

     When it comes to graffiti, the true essence is being lost. Growing up, we all learned from someone. The history, style and secrets were past along from some sort of mentor. Styles were past on along with knowledge to become a master of your craft. When it came to graffiti, notoriety was the end result of mastering your craft. First you had to learn how to make your own tools, where to get supplies from and how to execute all of these trades to only then go out and bomb. To get caps, you had to do a lot of walking, going to stores & pop tops. Paint, markers and stickers, racked. And now its all stripped away by companies taking that leg work out the game. O.G.'s still resort to the old methods,  but others can get what they need now at a store, fuck they even have spray paint thats made especially for graffiti. I mean for me, graffiti was all about the mission you go on and being able to execute a plan put together and the relationships that are built along the way.  These days you have people who just paint legal walls, the internet giving instant fame w/o put'n in work all tryna front. Its crazy, just like with all that Polo shit. Fools entering a culture under false pretenses and no work put into the game. Straight culture jacking. At least for my self, I feel blessed to have been apart of what I was, growing up. Shit was more stand up and honorable then the times today. With that said, Happy New Years. Make that new years resolution to keep it real to your self cause you frauds are not fooling anyone. 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day

     Dear Mother, its been 24 years since we last spoke and it wasn't a good conversation either. I had said some hurtful things and it wasn't right of me. I was too young to know, understand and just know  how important you really were/are. 

     See my mother was all fucked up on drugs and that meant there was only so much she could do. Although she was fucked up, my mother always did for me first then everything after. Mother, I want you to know that I wouldn't trade you for any other Mother in the world. I would gladly go through all the pain & suffering all over. You have raised me well by showing me what not to do and explaining why. You let me see 1st hand & hid nothing. You were Women enough to be honest about things in life that you did that was bad and explain why not to do them. The rights from wrongs and how to be the better person. You have giving me something that most kids will never get. 

     100% Honesty, most parents hide the truth in order to protect their kids.  My mother didn't, She took me everywhere, if she hung out till 2, 3am, I was right there with her. She would take me with her to cop drugs uptown all over harlem and it was nuts. I look back and wonder how she never got caught while I was with her. My mother used to rack shit with me all the time, I hated you for that mother. I also hated that you copped drugs on blocks where kids I went to school with would see. And for that I had no friends, I got made fun of joked about always. I mean life was all fucked up. I was just fresh off a 5 yr bid of the fucked up foster care system of the 80's. Foster Care at its finest. So here I am surrounded by Junkies, Hoes, Crack Heads, Pimps and everything under the sun. As I got a little older, I started to understand my surrounding and of course the friends I had were My mothers adult friends. 

     Mother, you have giving me a life filled with knowledge, stories, and experiences that few and far could imagine but only see it in a movie. Thank you for making me a strong person, a kind and loving person, yet you have also shown me how to turn off the world & be as cold as ice as well. You have really shown me everything in life good & bad and for that I thank you. I now know that you forgive me  for the things I have said and the way I have treated you in the end. I love you, feel your presences here on earth everyday and know you guide me always. I know I have done very well by you also and thats because of you.

     So for those that don't know... Always Love Ya Motha, Cuz You'll Never Have Another. Once you lose her, she is gone for good. I had thought I hated my mother for all the wrong she has done in my life and I had wished her dead and told her Fuck You as well. I also said I hope I never see you again... And I didn't. 3 years later she died. It destroyed me. The first thing that came to mind was YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER MOTHER AGAIN. That shit fucked me up for a long time. Im glad I was finally be able to put a close to it in my life and move on. So, Happy Mothers Day & love your mother for she put you here on this earth if nothing else.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Interview With OJAE.

     1986, A young kid who was clueless and afraid of the world and everything in it. Ojae was born in the 70's to a mother who was a junkie and a post traumatic stressed farther who was in Viet Nam. The common denominator between the two was heroin. In return this determined the future for OJAE, or did it? Well your about to find out...

     1982, OJAE was taken away from his mother on B'way & 78st. by the cops and he had no clue as to why. He was placed into foster care due to his mother and father being junkies and not being able to care for him. This was the start of it all, a long road through hell and back. A road that would strip him of every comfort & security he knew, to only later build him self back up into the man he is today. 

     Graffiti for some has changed their lives for the better and for others, it has changed it for the worst. This interview with OJAE is rare. So you will be privileged to a one of a kind post/interview from me about someone who is not only a True Old New Yorker like my self, But one of the last of a dying breed so enjoy.

OLDNYC76: So, what does graffiti mean to you, how did you become involved and at what age with graffiti?

OJAE: Graffiti means the world to mean in some aspects, but in others it don't mean shit. I try not to get my self tangled in all the drama that there is. At this point I have a life and responsibilities to take care of first. But the love is always there.
     Graffiti peaked my interest in the 1980's when I had returned from living in a L.I. foster home. I came back to the UWS where I was originally from to live with my mother. For that first wk being home, it was a major overload of  information and visually mind blowing and the one thing that caught my mind the most was the graffiti on the trains. When I saw it, I knew at that moment I wanted to be apart of that world. At the age of 10 it was kind of hard to find out about it. Plus I knew no one.

OLDNYC76: Wow that's a little bit crazy, When you say visually mind blowing, what were you talking about?

OJAE: I can remember in the beginning of the return to my mother, I was not in school that first month so I went everywhere with my mother. I spent a lot of time around the Bellevue Hospital area because my moms went to a methadone program there. So on the bus ride down there I would see all the ill stores and theaters on B'way going through the 40's. I just couldn't understand all the titties on the marquee's. I mean I was 10 and seeing tittes was a big deal.
     Taking the train was my most favorite experience being back with my mom. I use to love the way the lights would turn off on the 2 going express. The train felt like it would rocket through the stops and being surrounded with the graffiti made me want to rebel like a mother fucker. I was very intrigued by the griminess, the noses and lights of the subway system. Its ultimately what lead my to write graffiti.

OLDNYC76: I can definitely see the appeal. How did the name OJAE come about and does it mean anything to you?

OJAE: After I was home for about a month, I started the 3rd grade at P.S. 87. My mother wasn't fully clean but in some what good health standing. And because she still got high, the other kids knew this, so I was an outcast sort of. The bad kids is who I wound up hanging out with and the older kids in the area as well. There use to be a ShopWell supermarket on 78/77st and B'Way. I met this Kid named Brian who at the time wrote CHOOCH 156, but goes by MENT TVS now. As I began to hang with em, He would put me on about graffiti and he would take me down to the freedom tunnels to paint and hang out. It was a wild place in the 80's. All kinds of trash, burned cars and all sorts of odd shit. CHOOCH was also the first to take me to do tunnels and to the Ghost station on the 1 line.
     Through out the year, I played around with other tags but the only thing to stick was the OJ. Thats what it was originally, Just a O and a J.  A year after I started getting involved with graffiti, I became involved with skateboarding. There was a wheel company called OJ's so I chose to keep the name OJ. It holds a lot for me through the skateboarding, because of the people I know in that community as well. Ive made some really good friendships through skating.

OLDNYC76: How do you manage to go out and paint at such a young age and how did you get paint?

OJAE: Well, like I said before, my mother was getting high. It came to a point when she would be passed out all night or I just didn't care what she said, I mean, I saw it as she's doing what she'e doing and that aint right so who was she to tell me I can't do what I want to do. Life was hell and I just didn't care.
     My mother was the ill con artist and booster/shop lifter. Her main scheme was Older men, she use to swindle them for mad cheese. And when she went to sleep, I would peel a $20 bill out from her stash. To get paint, I wasn't old enough, so I knew some pimps that lived over at the Bellclair Hotel on 77th and B'Way and what I would do is by em a 40oz so they could get me paint. I spent all my money on paint until I learned how to rack paint. I remember once my mother gave me $100 to get some ice skates, I made it all the way out there to Wollman Rink to only turn around and go all the way back to my hood and spend it on paint.

OLDNYC76: Can you tell me about the first time you went bombing in the streets, what was that like and who were you with?

OJAE: Damn, I can remember it like it was yesterday, It was in 88. The night Mike Tyson knocked out Spinks. Earlier in the day I met this kid named KEV CM and he asked me if I wrote graffiti and I was like YESSSS! I was siked. He then asked me if I wanted to go bombing later that night and I did. Kev said meet up at I.S.44 school yard at 9pm. When I got there, There where a lot of people there to go bombing. It was KEV, his brother NICEO, STILE, WISH, WISE, BLASH, MEER, ARMOR and REEZ. we kicked it there for a few until everyone showed up then we took the C train to 14st. and got off. We were bombing everything like no one was out side, it was a free for all, just straight nuts! We walked up 10th ave back to the hood on the UWS. It was a night not to forget. After that night I was hooked.

OLDNYC76: Do you have any crazy bombing stories you would like to share?

OJAE: I have a few stories I can tell, actually I have enough to tell stories for days, but anyways. I can remember this one time I was leaving a club called Nasa downtown. I was trip'n on acid and when we got to the 1 train on Canal st, I started to bomb all the polls. As the train pulls in, there was a cop on it and saw me. When he got off the train he put KAZ and I on the wall. He started with me first, going through my pockets and he found my marker. It was a Sukura SG7 filled to the brim with some marsh ink. The marker was wrapped in tape, in a rubber glove and inside a potato chip bag. As the cop starts peeling the layers off, I keep saying "whatever you do, don't open it" and in my head I was like because it'll spill all over you. So it got to the point where he un-capped it and turned it sideways to look at it. All the black ink poured down his hand and into his sleeve all over him self. The worst part is this is when the cops were still wearing the light blue shirts so you could see all the ink soaked into the sleeve. I don't know why he let us go, but he looked at KAZ and told him he had 3 seconds to get out of here and then he was going to fuck us up. So we took off so fast and just jumped into a cab.

OLDNYC76: Wow! That sounds pretty crazy. Now that you are older, How would you say graffiti has affected your life?

OJAE: Graffiti in some ways have helped me through the hard times in life. When I was younger, graffiti was my escape from my problems at home and it work wonders. When I was a kid, I use to have bad outbreaks when I got mad and I would break and throw things. Graffiti helped me to control my emotions. It has also helped me express my self as an artist in my paintings as well in my adult life. Still to this day, It helps me in many ways. After all graffiti has played a huge roll in my life in becoming the man I am today.

OLDNYC76: Who are some of your influences as you were growing up?

OJAE: When I was first starting out, I use to ride the train from 72nd street up to 103rd on the 1 because I could go and transfer to the other side to back and forth. The 1st time I was at 103rd, I figured out they laid the 1's up in the middle track so I would sit there for hours looking at all the JON 156, SEPH TCW, CHOW, OMNI & PRAZE pieces on the train. So all the 156 crew played a big part, especially OMNI & PRAZE lived in the same hood. As far as hand style goes, I loved seeing REVOLT & ZEPHYR tags in the area and HANG10 tags too.
     My friend lived in the Bellclair Hotel and his mom hung out at the neighbors house so my friend Mark and my self would hang out there too. One day there a bunch of people over and I was scribbling on some paper and some dude asked what I was drawing, He saw and started to show me some outlines and tag style for me to learn. That dude was KEL 1ST and his brother MARE 139 was there too.  I wound up becoming friends with both of em not knowing how important they really were to the whole movement.
     Really the first to take me under the wing was TOST WOL & DOS TEK. My style and how to draw in the black books come mostly from TOST. As time goes on, you should naturally progress as you keep at it. Ive definitely have taken little things from an array of people Ive met over the years. 

OLDNYC76: Where do you see your self in the next 5 years with your art and or graffiti?

OJAE: Well I have several projects in the works and I have been focussed on producing paintings as well. Im pretty close to finishing up a book also. As far as the graffiti goes, Im kinda done. I feel Im too old to be fighting and beefing over it. I have done my thing so I have nothing I need to prove, not that I ever had anything to prove but thats that. Id like to focus more on some personal projects and live in peace. Graffiti can be a big headache so I have manage to cut a lot of that out of my life and Im  happier w out the drama. 

OLDNYC: Do you have any last words or anythings you want to say or share? 

OJAE: Hmmm, lets see? Be sure to check out that State Your Name 2 when it drops! ~> SYN2



Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Once again, Im back from a hiatus. For those who know me, know I like to vanish for awhile and for the ones who dont, I pop in and out, but I always come back with a good story or two. Life moves at a fast past and sometimes for me, I just cant keep up. Even being from NYC where I live my life 1 NY minute to the next at such a fast pass the rest of the world has a hard time keeping up. Even I fall behind in the rat race we call life, but some times you have to take a time out to reflect. With everyday that goes past, The Old New York I once knew is becoming further away in my rear view as I move further on down the road. Dear old friends are gone by death or jail who are New York legends who will NEVER be forgotten. But life goes on with or with out us.

As I sit idle with time on my hands away from home during the week for work, it leaves me with the voices in my head, yeah we all have em. Im not nuts, ok may be a little, but you have to be some what crazy to get through life and understand what its about and with that said let me get right to it.

Recently I/us have lost a very IMPORTANT person and I say us because he was loved by so many people and has played a BIG part in shaping the 90's as to what it was growing up in NYC. As a young kid with no home to go to, I would go to w.4th street and meet up with all the RFC heads. I felt safe and I had others to break night with. The one thing I didnt know was that I was about to take the lessons learned in the street by my mother to the next level. Now I was no dummy in the streets being that I have been in them since Im 9 years old coming from a mom who smoked crack, shot dope, popped pills and the list goes on. I was about to learn from my peers what they had learned in the street and in return teach what I knew. We were all seasoned vets by the age of 13 which I cant even fathom when I think about the things we were doing then. We were all out there in these streets hustling along side the grown men and we were just as bad as them as well. Talk slick and niggas buck 50 ya face real quick. That was not me & Im not even gonna front like it was, but I was there went shit went down and threw joints too right along side my comrades.

May my brother ARK BUTTA'S 911 rest in peace. The first to set it off and last to run. Becoming friends, rather family with him, I never knew it would be a blessing. Through him I have grown stronger by watching his actions. ARK was a man of his word and fearless. I never met anyone like him to the extent that he was. I dont think he was ever afraid a day in his life and thats the truth. He had the talk and the walk of a Old New Yorker like no other. ARK could back down 20, 30 niggas and this is no lie. Those who knew him, know Im not lying. Yo, they dont call him Mr. Go Hard for no reason. He went harder then anyone I knew. You would be in a club and he would rack bottles, yes more then 1 from behind the bar. Then ARK would son the Mexicans who worked in there to bring ice, juice and glasses so we could pop them bottles in the club. Mean while ARK had 3, 4 stacks in his pocket. Its just what he did.

So through my brother ARK, I learned a lot. Especially how not to be afraid and stand up for my self no matter the situation. ARK you are deeply missed, but far from forgotten. There are too many of us around to let Ark's name die. ARK you have made your mark on life and have carved an unforgotten legacy out of life with your orange box cutter. I know your in a better place roaming free, but by being selfish, I and many others wish you were still here even if you are running everyone over in your wheel chair. Hold it down up there for us along side Harold, Sedi, Casper and the others we have lost.

Time is too short, dont let it pass you by because it will. Let the ones you know and love, know that you love them before its too late. If you knew ARK, you know he would want you to go harder then ever in your life and thats in a good way, as his sister would put it. Forget about him in the streets and what he has done. He has inspired friends to get their G.E.D. and so many other good things to become better people. So remember him by going hard and sharing the stories you may have. It should not have taken his death to make me write again, But when one door closes, another opens. Trying times and adversity is what makes you a stronger person as long as you push through and believe. So in the words of ARK BUTTA'S... "GO HARD".

P.S. the Picture is not mine. It does ARK justice so Im using it. Props to the person who did it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Good Ol Fashion NYC Fun

Living in the New York we live in today, there are not many consistencies left from the New York I love. How ever there are a few things that are still consistent and graffiti would be one of those things. Graffiti to me is one way Old New Yorkers still exist, kinda like "if your going to move me out then im not going w out a fight" attitude and thats what I love about it. I can remember in 85 moving back to NYC from L.I. and man it was an eye opener & a half. It was a sensory overload with the music I was hearing and the graffiti I was seeing. I knew nothing about it, but I knew that this was what I wanted to be apart of.

Growing up on the UWS, the first writers I met was
Kel 1st & Mare 139. It was cool because at the time I had no clue who they were. I was 10 and I had know clue what I was about to get my self into. Then I met this crazy white boy who was about 15. He was trouble from the start, but he let me roll with em and thats all I cared about. Life was fucked up with a moms always fucked up on dope and so this became my escape. So I rolled with this kid Chooch 156. Through him I met most of the 156 crew and kicked it with a few of them. Omni 156 has always been one of my favorites of all time. By the way even a true writer is a fan of some before him. Any ways, graffiti is not the same to everyone who is involved. For me it was always about going on the mission, going places and seeing things that you are not normally privileged. Through the years I have seen a lot change. When I was growing up, Your graffiti career would end by the time you finished high school, Now graffiti has become a grown mans game. Its kind ill to see where are priorities lie at the age of 35 and some niggas that still kill it are older.

If you look at the writing on the wall, you will see EASY tags, Now thats a blast from the past. This man and his crew changed the whole street bombing game for ever. Now all of a sudden outta no where EASY has taken over one more time. Seeing them EASY tags really floats my boat for the simple fact that it takes me back to the 80's and man do I love that time frame.

Over all the whole graffiti game has changed in a lot of ways, but never the less its still here and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. People even come from out of town just to paint NYC. Graffiti is definitely a staple of New York and has played a major part in shaping Old New Yorkers lives in many ways. As for me it will always be apart of my life in some shape or form. Its an addiction that cant be shaken for some.

As much as I love this shit, there is a lot of shit that I do hate about it. The respect of things and the aspect of it all is not the same. I use to love to go racking for all my shit because thats what you had to do to get supplies. This means fat caps and all that and that was part of the whole fun of it. There was no ordering that shit online like you do now or special made paint just for graffiti. You had to be crafty son, it was a trade just like a shoe repairman or a locksmith and if you was gonna succeed in this game then you had to learn & be good at it. This was all the fun for me, every thing you did leading up to your actual mission. Although it has changed, I am very happy it is still here. Its the one thing you will never get ride of. Keep bomb'n then streets son!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Old New York Event

Recently I have met someone that I grew up with in my life through his music. That would be G-BO THE PRO! One thing thats Old New York is mix tapes & its something that has played a big part in shaping the 80's & 90's. My favorite mix tape by far is Dj Rei Double R & G-BO The Pro, but there are many more that has done there thing as well.

If you know about this era, then you know what the 80's/90's music means to an Old New Yorker. For me, its like the bible. Its the music that has shaped me into a strong man and to be able to make it through rough times & places.

So you know this show is going to be a treat & half, right!. As a Old New Yorker this shit is a MUST SEE, theres no better way to revisit them days then a show like this. Let them take you down memory lane and make it feel like back in the day one more time. Peace ...Old New York.

Monday, April 4, 2011

No Longer A Place But An Emotion

See the Old New York that you always here me talk about is gone, but a lot of Old New Yorkers are still here even though are beloved city is dead & gone. So now Old New York has become an emotion and a state of mind now more then ever. Ya know whats crazy? As I am sitting here writing this, Im watching Iron Mikes show on Animal Planet about flying Pigeons. Now I do not know where it started, but I do know thats some Old New York shit. I just wanted to watch it because it was about Iron Mike, but I got a nice surprise. The show is chocked full of Old New Yorkers & their attitudes. I fucking love it. So for that BIG SHOUT OUT TO IRON MIKE!

As I was saying, You fuckers have taken the Old New York away, but you cant take the Old New Yorker away from the person. We just LOVE this place way too much plus I think its a DNA trait too. An Old New Yorker has a way like no other. The walk is one of a kind along with the talk & attitude, we own that shit and dont forget the sarcasm on top of it all. An Old New Yorker does not have to be a person that is born here, Shit most of us come from all over the world. It is NOT a life style, but a way of life and most important, its something thats in your heart and drives you in your life. This is not something you can imitate or fake jacks with kid. You could lose your life behind it. That how real this shit is. People think we are rude, mean, assholes, and heartless. Yes this is true, but to a point. See, we do not have the time to be nice to everyone that comes along. If we did this, it would put us in a place to be vulnerable to the ones who deceive and scam. There is a place and time for everything & when it comes down to it, we always help out our fellow New Yorkers. Us as Old New Yorkers have some of the biggest hearts you will ever find. This comes from the things in are lives that has made us an Old New Yorker. Some of the things that has made me an Old New Yorker would be first off my Blood being that my mother & father are Old New Yorkers, Hard Core in the street New Yorkers.

 My mother has taught me a lot of bad things first hand, but to educate me on the streets and to steer me away from all of that. Then comes the broke down foster care system (Little Flower) that I was placed in at the age of 4 where I beat, starved, locked in the closet for days and a lot of other bad shit to go along with it. All except sexual abuse thank God. The public school system has given me a chance to socialize with my peers and a chance to build with others and learn about my culture. For others who are not from here, there trip to NYC to follow there dreams and make something for their families & them selves brings a long road of obstacles to over come. Not being able to speak English and maybe having to live in the street when they first arrive here in NYC, but many push through and accomplish what they set out to do with hard work & dedication and because it was possible back then (up into till the late 90s). It takes a certain kind of person to become a New Yorker. One that is strong willed and determined no matter what. These days New Yorkers are definitely not made the same. We have become a breed of people that are cut from a fine clothe that is no longer available and are population is growing smaller. The rules of NYC have changed from what they were when I was growing up which in return has restricted us from being New Yorkers. Its like taking an animal out of the wild and placing it in a Zoo to live now. You lose your edge and your senses become not as sharp. 

The ability to shoot a fare one is gone and this was crucial. When you were able to duke it out, it did a number of things. First off at the end there was not a loser because you got the respect for standing up for your self also most of the time now that beef is dead. It also allowed us to straighten out others that stepped out of line. As long as it was kept to the fists, the Boys did not get involved. Just so you know. You will never be a New Yorker, because you moved here to use my city as a status symbol or because you thought Sex & the city was how it really was. You may have taken over the city and changed it around, but you will never be a TRUE NEW YORKER! Its just not how it works. The kind of time, trials & tribulations you need to put in is just not there for most for you to go through so that you can fully understand my city. Now there are some that do get passes, but thats only because some one has brought them in and let them be down by law! So for the rest of you trying, just coat hanger your self, call it quits and go home because I or we as Old New Yorkers dont want you here. Those who do want you here can leave with you as well. Fuck a non New Yorker, I could care less about how you feel so put that in ya crack pipe and smoke it bitch!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That Old New York Shit

This one here is for the love of the Old New York & the ones that love this place as much me. There are a lot of things that are gone and a lot of shit that we as Old New Yorkers use to do that we just cant do anymore. As a kid, I always road in between cars with my Sony sports Walkman on blast pumping some Gbo The Pro mix tape or Doo Wop shit. From time to time you could catch me burning one down between cars with my people. I use to love & still do ride the back of the last car on the outside, but you just cant do that shit any more. Yo as kids, we use to do some dumb shit in the streets for fun and to just past the time. My man Marc & I got a hold of some epoxy shit and we was gluing the receivers to the pay phones down so we could watch people get jerked as they picked up the phone. Yo it was funny to us as kids, but what was more funnier then that was while we were in are process of gluing one phone on B'way and 74th it rang right after we hung it up. See now back in the days the pay phones use to ring back and the Bindi's in the news stand boxes use to use them shits as there personal phones. So as we were done doing are thing, the phone rang and the dude in the box came out to answer it. Now this is happening on a cool fall day so when the Bindi answered the phone, he must of not felt the glue on that shit. Plus he got a turban on with the chin strap and all that hair as well. While this is happening, my man and I are playing the corner like OH SHIT! Is this really going down? We stayed and watched. When he was done with the call, he was stuck to the phone and could not hang up. When we realized this we started to fuck with him by taking his candy like picking and choosing what we wanted. Mean while this dude is watching us as were taking his shit and we are laughing at him. Yo that was some crazy shit. Oh well! The stories go on & on. From Joy riding Yellow cabs uptown & back to cop trees and shit to throwing all kinds of shit off the roof or out the window of our buildings. My favorite shit was going to the Deuce to B'way Arcade to play video games and Play Land. Now that I think back, that was not the safest place for an 11 yr old to be at night. But when I was 11 I didnt have a care in the world and I went everywhere in NYC. You know whats crazy? Times now are more safe then the Old NYC days, but I think then it was safer for kids to be in the street then it is now. That shit bugs me out right there! As a kid we all hung out in the school yard. We spent our money on video games, nickle & dime candy and garbage pale kids. That was my shit, fuck'n Graffiti Pete son. One thing you couldnt do was ride your bike alone cause yo shit would get took. I know from all the bikes I got robbed for and all the dudes I robbed for there shit too. Times was rough then, but more comforting to me. Buying drugs out of abandoned buildings, shooting galleries, hookers on 11th & 12th ave and marching down avenues 10 to 15 deep just bombing the streets. Nigga's would be running like roaches to catch a spot on the gate just to cop a tag. Its all so crazy. If I wasnt there, I would think I was making it all up. True story. We really use to wild out in the streets as kids with pea shooters and wrist rockets braking shit and fucking people up as well. Yup, no bueno! But as kids we didnt have a care in the world. Yo how many of you made pea shooters out of ya moms hair rollers or cut up a quarter water? Dont lie! Or who knows about the Magic Dollar? We were crazy son like a 40 of Crazy Horse. Yeah meng! Those were the days. No doubt hopping the train was nothing to us, its how we got around or riding the back of the bus on the out side. As kids we lived a thrilling life with less consequences then kids now. With cell phones and cameras everywhere, you cant get away with shit anymore. Big bro be watching like a motha fucka! I miss seeing the girls jumping rope. What happen to that shit? I guess these young girls got too much titties & ass these days to jump rope. Anyways if you was there then you know what im talking about. Oh yeah, another thing I miss was if you was not from a hood, didnt know someone or had no biz there then you just didnt come around cause you got jacked or beat up. These days the hipsters walk by like they are taking a tour of the hood. SMFH! Well thats all for now my people! Stay up & stay strong.