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THE FAB 5 FREDDY DEBATE CONTINUES

Revok recently pulled Fab 5 Freddy’s card calling him a biter and a fraud (check Revok’s blog post HERE). This accusation has drew a line in the sand with people opposing and supporting Fred’s work.

Today I received this harshly retarded email from Holland’s Shoe aka Niels Shoe Meulman…

In this email Shoe talks of the good ol’ days in NYC and how it’s all supposed to be. How MSK style graffiti is wack and how we should all bow down to his expansive knowledge of graffiti…

Why Fab 5 Freddy deserves his check before Sever gets his
By Shoe CIA.

Any graffiti writer that didn’t bomb trains in New York during the 70′s and 80′s should shut the fuck up. Period.
Everybody in the culture knows this.

I realize it’s somewhat of a paradox whilst writing this, but when I read this lame attack on graffiti icon Fab 5 Freddy by Revok I was too tempted to break this unwritten law.

In New York, in the the 80′s, there was graffiti and there was hip hop culture. They were one. Futura was hanging out with The Clash, Keith Haring was designing record sleeves for Malcolm McLaren and Blondie sang “Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s fly, DJ’s spinning I said my, my. Flash is fast, Flash is cool. Francois sais pas, Flashe no deux. Nobody knew what that meant (still don’t) but it did made the world spin faster. Dondi did the video for Buffalo Gals and the rest is history.

About ten years later, kids in Germany and Califonia got the message (partly) and started to do their ‘awesome’ letter styles.

Catch my drift? That airbrushy-fantasy nonsense is going nowhere. When Bando and I where concentrating on the basics of letters and rocking silvers all across Europe, these soon-to-be graffiti fascists were still in diapers.

So, let it be known that when kings like Futura and Lee decide to do a show with Fab Five Freddy you have only one thing to do.
Bow down.

NSM

ps.
That suggestion of bitten letters has no foundation whatsoever.
———–

(below) The Exchange book

My response to Shoe

Niels,

You are completely out of line sending this response out and attacking our work to justify your claims. If our work is “airbrushy-fantasy nonsense that goes nowhere” why did you ask to have our work in your gallery? And why did you come down to LA pushing to collaborate with our crew / Known Gallery in some fashion? Shame on you and your out of touch idea of what graffiti is.

Your idea of this magical hip hop rainbow over New York City during the 70′s and 80′s can only be believed by a naive European like yourself. I’m from New York, born there, lived there, and started writing there. My idea of graffiti and the people that do it is not some sort of distant fantasy, that was by chance packaged in a digestable way, and exported to my town. It was happening and was not as sacred and pure as you make it out to be. Anyone is open to being called out for direct plagiarism. There is nothing sacred or divine about so called hip hop or those who peddle it to the world.

You’re from the countryside of Holland. You happened to go to a Dondi art show in the 80′s, copied that style and you’re now trying to claim it as your own? I was never influenced by you or Bando whatsoever. Credit Dondi’s canvas work before your own, and even then you are still out of the loop going 20+ years. You have an outsiders view about graffiti post 1989 and have lost any true understanding of lettering style, trends, or concepts; so your opinion is worthless.

(Below) Fab 5 Freddy steals a Yes 2 “Y” and an “S” & “E” from Sever out of The Exchange book

(Below) Aroe, Sever, & Yes 2, Los Angeles,2007. Notice the Yes 2 “Y”

Despite our differences in opinion here are the facts:

Fab 5 Freddy helped to bring graffiti and Hip Hop into the mainstream with “Wildstyle”, music act tie-ins, and hosting Yo MTV Raps. Not really a writer himself, he did hang around with a lot of notable writers and helped to make shit happen. I grew up watching him introduce music videos and respect his contributions. Just like you Neils, Fab 5 Freddy is completely out of touch with modern graffiti. This would be okay if not for his attempts at making art out of current peoples art.

Fact: Creating art for the Three Kings art show, Fab 5 Freddy took a copy of The Exchange book, cut out pieces in the book, poorly collaged them together and ran them through generic filters in photoshop. From there he digitally printed it all onto canvas. The work cut out from the book was used as the centerpiece within each printed canvas. No mention of The Exchange book, the writers work he used or anything related was given by Fab 5 Freddy. Besides Sever, Freddy used parts of a Yes 2 piece done in Los Angeles in 2007, Rime / Bates exchange piece done in Sweden in 2008, an Aroe / Sever exchange piece done in LA in 2007, and others.

(Below) Another Fab 5 Freddy piece using a Rime exchange piece cut out from The Exchange book

(Below) Rime/ Bates exchange painted in Malmo Sweden in 2008.

This would be cool if he knew whose work he was using, gave credit and explained his intentions. As far as I know he has done none of that and most likely wouldn’t know where to begin.

Joe

——–

and
Revok’s response to Shoe

Shoe,

Eventually you & I will meet face to face, when we do PLEASE tell me to “shut the fuck up”

R.


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GRAFFITI BURNERS BOOK

Graffiti Burners
by Björn Almqvist

The crème de la crème of graffiti pieces collected in a new Dokument Press book. 145 of the best and most recent work of the world’s foremost graffiti writers, more than 70 of whom comment on the pieces and say what burners mean to them.


Contributors include Askew, Bates, Ces, Does, Dwane, Egs, Ether, Horfe, Kacao77, Kem, Nomad, Os Gemeos, Poet, Puppet, Revok, Rime, Skore, Smash 137, Swet, T-Kid, Vans The Omega, Wane, Yes 2 and ZZ Top.

“The meaning of a burner is when another writer looks at that
piece and says that shit is on fire. Even the average person will
look at it and say it’s hot!”
- Bio, TATS

“A burner needs to suck the life out of every other piece near it
and stand alone, as the focus, the centre of attention.”
- Aroe, MSK, HA, 7TH LETTER

I was asked a series of questions to go with my contribution in the book. Here is a bit of what I said…

What is a burner to you?
A burner has energy and attitude. It is a revealing look into the painters soul. It’s large and has depth. It’s sophisticated but clear. A great piece explains style, maintains tradition but abuses it all at the same time… Like getting a compliment from a witty sarcastic fuck who has had too much to drink that night; subtle but in your face.

What is a burner, what makes a burner, what is the meaning of a “burner”
The word burner is a bit out dated. Shit sounds like the name of a gay club.

What are your goals as a writer?
To understand myself through my work

Do you have any “trick” that you could share about how to create a burner?
Be yourself. You are influenced by everything that makes you feel something. Nothing laid out for you is a perfect fit. Sort through it.

Get your copy HERE



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DUBLIN MINUS REVOK

So yeah, we were all supposed to be out this year to paint at the All City Jam in Dublin, Ireland. Leaving the day after 4/20 (weed day in the USA) was a pretty difficult task. My girl decided to throw a 4/20 BBQ, marinating kabobs in weed butter. On top of eating that, she shoved a piece of weed cake in my mouth as I was getting ready to pack for Ireland! Somehow a half hour chore lasted all night as I lost track of what was going on. That high lasted up until several hours after arriving in Dublin. It took a day for us to realize that Revok did not miss his flight, but was arrested at the airport. We did our best to carry on and make the most out of our time in Dublin.

Sick ass Charlie Brown burglar on a tight white tee…

Host 18 stopped by the wall but decided not to paint…

The center spot between the Rime & Aroe was left undecided until we returned on Easter Sunday. With no ideas of what to paint and the constant ringing of church bells marking the holiday, we decided to pay tribute to god with a thugged out graffiti Jesus. Hats off to Aroe for nailing em’ (no pun intended)…

As far as I know, the parking lot attendant took some left over spray cans left in the lot and decided to paint this on the wall. Not sure exactly what’s going on here?…

While painting the Revok piece, this Polish Hip Hopper was watching out of the window of his 3rd floor apartment building. He was so hyped that he set his speakers up to play music down to me. He figured out that I was down with anything Wu related and played a whole Cappadonna album on loop…



Anti Easter street gang…

Many thanks to Olan at All City for hosting us and organizing another successful event!


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MILAN, ITALY

While fishing for paint we came across some horror movie props-

Aroe painting a Rime piece. The beginning of his one man NETCH-

Freestyling a Roids piece-

Mr. Wany-

Aroe’s Rime piece went through such a huge transformation from beginning to end. It started off flat and angled, then morphed into this organic, in depth battle that flowed from letter to letter. All I can remember is Aroe shouting every ten minutes or so, “I’m netching” or “I’m lost in the netch!”. The second half of his piece looked really fun to do-

Finished name swap: Rime by Aroe, Roids by Rime-

Aroe by Roids-

Full wall includes: Bepsy, Aroe, Rime, Mr. Wany, *Puppets – skull by Pencil, unfinished Wany, Aryz, Swet, Roids, unfinished Rebel-

*Puppet – An Italian term used to describe a character; used in place of the word “character”

Aryz-

Opiumer-

Zeuser-

Aroe-

Mr. Wany -w- Roids

How about Swet’s crazy reaching S’ to T’ connection?… Jeez-

One of the only restaurants open on a Sunday was this American themed spot named after the great Swayze classic-

R took on the Roadhouse special… Enough to drive the mildest vegetarian to tears-

After days of painting and a good night of drinking, we ended up at a local rec center where some of the visiting writers were sleeping. I saw the opportunity to organize a series of midnight dodgeball matches! We played for hours up until the alcohol wore off and our arms were thrown out-


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Sick Ass Table Drawings In Milan

On our second night in Milan, Italy we ended up at this really official pizzeria restaurant in the cities center. After a full day of painting and some drinks we got into some seriously demented table mat collaborations-

Our first pass around drawing was of crude dick -n- pussy characters. Somehow Fido Dido ended up in the mix?

Aroe representing-

The shit that kings do-

After that joint we wanted to dig into the mental and explain life and shit. I set it off by drawing God standing on the moon with his cock stretched towards earth. The cock is birthing people to earth-

Roids adding in some parachutes-

Shooting to create the most offensively funny drawing, we turned the dickhead into a crown of thorned JC, added in JC’s other two crucified buddies on the shaft, Rad skating dog, E.T. plotting on God, Elliot & his buddies biking down the shaft, and spirits flying back to God-

See you in Hell-

On another note, this restaurant was quite nice inside, a bit fancy and all, like a proper sit down place. I found it really strange that they do not offer a toilet seat in the unisex bathroom. It’s like they don’t want you shitting in there or something? Props though on the foot applied flushing mechanism (back right)-


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Graffiti Battle in Melbourne, Australia!


I am pleased to announce that I will be competing in Clash Of The Titans – October 31. 2009

This is an every man for themselves, winner take all battle for $20,000! No bullshit themes, sideways rules, or collaborating on this one. Just solid style and an attempt to prove who wants it the most! I’ve been waiting for years for something like this to come along! Expect a lot!!

A legit roster of artists chosen by REVOK will be competing, including: AROE (UK), ASKEW (NEW ZEALAND), CES (USA), DEMS (SPAIN), DMOTE (AUSTRALIA), EWOK, (USA), POSE (USA), RIME (USA), SOFLES, (AUSTRALIA), VANS (AUSTRALIA)






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Tribute, UFC Halftime, & Collaboration



Here is a recent wall i worked on for AROE. I worked on the piece one afternoon and left it to go watch UFC matches at Tyke’s . That night I got a visit from an obsessed fan. This person really has a crush on our crew! So this sort of became a collaboration between this idiotic tool and myself. I have been getting pretty good at cleaning crossed out pieces. We look forward to catching this clown one day.

On another note, it turns out that this piece could say both AROE and GARY. For the record that is not the Monopoly man. The Monopoly man was supposed to be a John D. Rockefeller type Industrialist. This guy is a tea sipping English gentleman, I drew while at the beach last month.



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