Monday, 24 August 2015

REGRET SMC..

What is your earliest memory of Graffiti growing up?

I was on a bus with my Dad around 1984 and I saw the tags Deville and Quet, I remember asking my Dad what they was about....you know you are going to get into it if you ask your Dad about it.
The TV programme The Equalizer also had some tags on it from Tragic and Hectad, this made me really want to go out and start bombing.
From round my estate there was alot of bombing from Cash, Sease, Charp, Drone and Plaz...they  was everywhere.
Crash 51 and Cuet also had really good styles....Crash 51 walked through Nunhead and bombed every bus stop one night and that inspired me to go out and paint.



 
   Who were the first writers who took you out painting?

   No one really, I just went out and did it alone at the start but Cash and Sease were the 2 biggest influences for me really. Alot of kids at my school wrote as well...you had Vash from hit and run, Demo, Pro 51 that were up around 88.
Other influences for me were Kasa on the big met...he had the first runner I ever saw near Wembley and Neasden. Then there was Froe and Hack, Hack took me to do my first ever yard at New Cross and Froe did me some sketches in that classic North London style as we called it.


There has been many a great double act over the years... Batman and Robin, Morecambe and Wise, Shearer and Sheringham etc.....how did you first meet your co-dee Choke?

The first time I met Choke was at Edgware Road platform in 1990. I was with Fiasco and Poem and Choke was standing there looking at the tube map. I knew he was a writer and when we got on the train I asked him if he wanted to do a tag....he had a good handstyle from back then. After that we just hooked up with the south lot like Kros, Frae, Tale, Task who were all bombers.





South London had a big history of Bus bombers back in the 80's and people now still talk about the classic handstyles people had. What are your memories of this time?


On the buses it was Tough Arts, Cash, Pream, Cred, Crash 51 and people like the Peckham bus kings.
Tragic and Soe also had really good handstyles, probably the best in south.
Because South didn't really have tubes the buses got smashed. They was so wrecked that it was hard to find space at times.
We bombed buses a lot but we was more streets as well. A lot of people are shook of streets and back then no one really painted tracks either it was mainly insides, streets and trains. Another thing was no one really had a throw up back then. Throw ups seemed to come later.




Your from a notorious part of London with some infamous gangs, did you have any run-ins with them?

It was like running the gauntlet every day. There was the North Peckham boys and The Ghetto boys from New Cross. They would always ask where your from as you walked past. They hated each other because they were from different areas. You would then go down to Bermondsey and they would all be asking where I was from. I was In Nunhead one day and I saw about 20 of the Peckham boys when one of them shouted "Oi Reggy you pussy" I got round the corner and legged it before they got me. Some of them wrote back then and they either wanted to fight with you or write with you, It was what you was up against every day.


   What has changed for you most about graffiti over the years?

   Racking the paint back then was like having a full time job....we had a set agenda every day.
I would go to a phone box, ring up Choke then go and meet him at Morden. We would go all over London totally free bunking trains and racking as much paint as we could for that night.
The paint we racked back then was Japlac, Homestyles and Smoothrite. Going out racking all city also let you see who was up in other parts of town. We used to see a lot of Rate, Era, Acrid, Drax when we travelled about.






   The famous shoe bomber Richard Reid who is serving life in an American prison for trying to blow up an aeroplane was from your part of town, is it true he was a writer?

Yeah I knew him from back then, he used to write Enrol.... him and Moet taught me how to rack  around 88.
He was up a lot on the buses around South and we took him Golders one night.





   What one night sticks out above the rest?

   After me and Choke got bagged in 92 we got banned from the London underground for a year leading up to our case.  Around the same time The IRA were bombing a lot of the UK especially London.
We decided to carry on painting and went Barking one night. There was a big fence on one side and the other side there was a small fence you could just jump over and you was in. Yards were so easy back then. While we was in there that night I saw a shadow out the corner of my eye while we was painting. We carried on and then left. A few days later the old bill knocked on Choke's door and said "we know you was in Barking painting the other night because we saw your tags, we aren't interested in that but did you see anything or anyone?? Tell us the truth or we will hand you in to the big boys" Choke said he wasn't there and that he was in bed at home and they left him alone after that. That same night the Old bill were asking about an IRA bomb went off at Barking station.


Another mad one was when me Rate, Neat, Scream, Name and Sham went to paint tracks and some freight trains at Neasden about 93. A driver must of seen us cos all of a sudden the trains stopped going past. The next thing there was a helicopter above and by the time we had made it onto the road there was old bill everywhere. We got split up and I ended up in Stonebridge. I asked some people how to get to the station and they sent me into the estate on purpose. I was walking through and this bloke came up to me and said "do you want to do a handbag? I said no mate i've got community service in the morning...next thing he grabbed me and said "your doing a handbag with me"
 I got away from him and saw an old bill car go past so I jogged behind it until I was on the road.
I was still lost so I asked a big African bloke how I can get out of there and he helped me get back to Neasden.
By the time I had got back the trains had started running again and I bumped into the others on the platform. I told them what had just happened and none of them believed me.





   SMC is what I would call a proper London crew that is tight. How did the crew first start?

  SMC started in 89 by Condem 36. He asked me to be in it and after he passed away I really wanted to get it up to leave a legacy. We sweated blood to get it up and out there over the years.
The original core members are Condem, Rok 1 and Cone, then came me, Choke, Masika and Corps. Later we put Anik, Wiko, Pine, Rude. Imps, Name 26, Done 1 and Pickles.



   Active German writer OZ who was 64 recently passed away...do you think you will still be writing at 60 plus?

Yeah we are waiting for our freedom passes in London then it's on...all city!! I will never give up, I haven't stopped yet so why would I?? When I was coming off the booze I had a lot of time on my hands so I started doing a lot of sticker indoors. If it's good enough for twist in America then why not? Stickers are a good way of getting up in the day, normally you have to bomb London streets at night. Some people look down on them but it's better than nothing. I don't like the printed stickers, they have to be hand done.








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