How I became a writer and the early days of RCS.
My life as a graffiti artist started in 1984, whilst I was still at school and was already good at drawing.
At the time, I, along with all of my friends had started listening to Electro and Hip Hop and used to have outline battles in our school books, during lessons.
Hip Hop culture was sweeping the country at the time and it was just so easy to fall in love with it, kids were making crews and having breakin’ & poppin’ battles on the streets and I used to write their names on their lino!
Inspiration was never far away with films like beat street and breakdance and books such as subway art and spraycan art.
Every Monday morning, the main topic in school wasn’t maths or English, it was the Mike Allen Hip Hop show on Capital FM, which had aired on Friday and Saturday nights.
During my early days I had a few different tags before settling with Mace.
My first tag was Joker and my partner in crime was my best friend and class mate at school – Pose.
We used to “bomb” our local parks and streets around Islington and got a real high from it, stupidly thinking that we were getting up!
Graff was becoming an addiction , myself and Pose would sit in my bedroom, listening to Hip Hop and doing outlines, almost every night, then going street “bombing” when it was dark, it was like a natural high, graffiti along with Hip Hop music was all we thought and talked about.
In 1986 we started noticing this writer bombing the local area and he seemed to be up in all of the areas that we were, he used to always tag right next to us and we’d do the same in return, which kinda got us curious.
For months we’d go looking for this guy, wondering who he was, until one day we met and he introduced himself as Redz!
Before long, the 3 of us, along with Spank ( R.I.P ) , Pest ( R.I.P ) and Marc 1 ( R.I.P ) started our first crew TTE – Tougher Than Ever!
By now I had changed my tag to Make and Pose was now Partone.
Soon we were starting to expand our range and started to notice other writers and crews up around north London and Hackney – Robbo, Doze, Prime, Pic, Drax, Seize, Carl, Chrome 307, Punk, Merc 2, Choci Roc, Excel 502, Cine, Faum, Care, Stage 1, Shu2 , Sub, Kez, Envy, Imp, ST, WRH, WD, ACR and TDK amongst others.
Tufnell Park, 3 Corners and New North Road were common places to see writers painting back then and you were always guaranteed to meet a writer, whenever you visited.
By 1987 I was now writing Mace and we had changed our crew name to TDO – The Dark Ones!
And were starting to really batter Hackney and East London with our new crew mate Kusone, making friends with writers like Noc 1, Skram and Mink.
One day we visited an adventure playground at Bethnal Green – Weavers Fields and Redz introduced us to another crew called NSR – Non Stop Rockin’!!!
This crew included future RCS members Masiker, Rocs and Heist.
By the summer of 1988, there were quite a few of us knocking about together and myself and Partone decided we needed a new crew and Partone suggested “RADICALS!!!”
He got the idea from the Public enemy classic “Rebel Without A Pause”.
And the line – “I guess you know, you guess I’m just a RADICAL”
By the end of 1988 our crew members were Mace, Partone, Redz, Kusone, Spank, Noc 1 (Ink 182), Masiker (ex NSR), Acrid, Pest, Marc 1, Rocs (ex NSR), Heist (ex NSR), Jasper, Scare, Pnuts, Slamer, Face, Ease and Skram.
The beginning of RCS was like a new beginning for us and we really stepped up.
I did my first yard – High Barnet with Partone , Kusone, Hit and Ease and we were piecing, tracksides on all nighters.
We were climbing from the canal and into the Hackney council depot, piecing, dubbing and bombing coaches, vans, diggers, skips and every other vehicle in there, on a regular basis.
Another favourite was bus bombing, we’d all buy travel cards and spend the day bombing the insides and backs of buses, then in the evening, we’d climb over the bus depot on Mare street and cane every bus in there.
On Friday nights, about 7 of us would sit in Pests bedroom, until about 12.30, then we’d do an all nighter – Street bombing main roads like Oxford street, Tottenham Court Road, Holloway Road, Essex road, Mare Street and Euston Road, walking for hours.
Insides and stations were also getting smacked, and that’s when we first encountered our friends from CMS – Criminals!!!
Big up Fugi, Stop 1, Audio, Ellis, Funbox, Sure, Side 1, Hoppa, Fabs, Grade 1, & Spaz! (Sorry if I missed anyone!)
By 1989 we were spending most of our time travelling around on the Central line, with our friends and new crew mates – Fret, Cate, Note, Amp and Ebbs.
Our days consisted of travelling around, racking, doing insides, bush jumping, then smacking up a yard or 4, later in the day.
Back then I rarely pieced…
Doing a yard to me meant battering every panel with throw ups and tags, then sitting on the platform, the next day, watching them running, fresh – Satisfaction!!!
Big up Acrid, Masiker, Rocs, Heist, Fret, Cate, Note, Amp, Ebbs, Regret, Cone, Lash, Fest, Crave, Choke, Cred, Series, Cherrish, Frale, Mikhaelar, Little Sue ( R.I.P ) and Nicola Love!
To those that were there, sorry if I missed anyone, it’s been a very, long time!