Transit Original Printers TOP Inc., Crazy Insides Artists CIA Inc. The Legend, The King, The Icon.
I first got into graffiti when I was going to Jr. high School 111 back in the winter of 1971. My brother came home one day from school telling me and my cousin Jorge about how he was writing his name in the school's bathroom. This kid was writing his name, so my brother ask him for the marker to write with, that same day when my brother told me about it I started writing on my note book. When I wrote my given name, he said "What are you doing? You're supposed to make up a name" I said "What for?" That's when he said, "So nobody can know who you are if the school finds out who you are you'll get in trouble stupid." Little that I know this writing would turn out to be a long search. That one day I became DURO ONE. By 1973 I taged up my first train, by this time I was beginning to realize that the name of the game was fame. My first tag name was TRACK 111. I try all kinds of names these are a few of them. CHAP, MASH, KINO, DIRTY 130, SONO ONE, LEAN MEAN MACHINE and many more.
In the winter of 1974, we moved to East New York in Brooklyn. I wasn't a real writer yet, because I only had tagged on trains a few times. I started writing around all East New York where crews like the Ex Vandals was very well known. Then in the summer of 1975, the TOP crew was a well known crew. Writers like IN aka KILL 3, TO TOP aka MICKEY 729, CRAZY DIKE aka CD, HURST TOP aka OI, JESTER aka DY 167, SID the KID, CRAZY IK aka THE HULK, and JAMESTOP aka JEE 2, was coming around the block because dDIKE and SID which are brothers moved on the block. I can remember it like if it was yesterday.
DIKE was doing throw-ups all around the block. I was like "This guy lives around here or what?". His brother SID I knew because he was always in the school yard playing hand ball. Little that I know that his brother was DIKE from the TOP crew. From that day on I knew a real writer. The rest is history.
From this point on I will take you, my readers on a trip, about how that one day, when my brother came home and told me about writing in the boys bathroom would change my life. Fame, graffiti wars,loneliness, hurt, pain, dangerous 3rd rails, murder, gangs, jail, drugs, and treatment, sex, betrayal, TV specials, front cover of books, movies, magazines, dreams, death,loss of family, art shows, and all through this, it took me years to find out who I really am, inside and as a person. In 1984 I turned away from myself, and the one thing I love the most graffiti. The fame, and drugs, not knowing to deal with my feelings took me on a road to self destruction.
At one point I lost my so call friends,family, and almost my life. My art work has gone all over the world, but I have never followed my art work. Now that I have saved myself form death, the dream that I once dreamed about, and believe in could someday come true. The history of graffiti has been written, in so many books, magazines, and movies. My place in history can never be taken from me. The New York City transit system is missing 30 years of history. The transit museum has not yet accepted the fact that graffiti is art. I might not get to see the day, when the transit museum finally accept the 30 missing years of graffiti art as part of history. Maybe it will take another 30 years to see the dream that I dare to dream, but I too have been to the mountain top, and seen the dream come true. Keep the faith, and help in the dream, because true kings, and dreams never die.
The Legend, The King, The Icon. CIAMEN, TOP, RTW, RocStars. DURO MUNDO UNO/ONE HARD WORLD.
P. S.The bio from my book is coming out soon.
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