JOEY TDS INTERVIEW
©2005 @149st Do not republish without permission.
What part of the city are you originally from?
Harlem. Spanish Harlem.
What Year did you start writing?
Started about '76.
What inspired you to become involved in writing?
Living in Spanish Harlem, coming up I used to watch people like SLY 108, my man SPACE 107. Guys like that from the neighborhood. I used to be watching people do school yards. I used to go to a school called P.S. 171, located on 104th Street and Madison. My man Z-RO. He used to write Z-ROCK. He used to have pieces on the school wall. His brother used to write T-REX. T-REX used to hang out with PAGE 505. FLINT and them, I used to see LAVA I from early on and I just got the love for it.
Where was your first experience writing on subways?
The first line I went to was the 2s and 5s. It was in Esplanade. That was like 1981. It was esplanade on a Sunday morning. I was with this kid I used to go to school with who wrote SKAM. So we started to go there to hit the 2s and 5s. We started doing insides. That's how we started bombing. From there we started doing throw-ups and them doing pieces.
Were there any writers that inspired you?
You had people in the neighborhood like FED ONE. My man he had a crew called the Crazy Partners, him and MACE. Then you had SPADE that was DEZ. Growing up we seen them and then we started writing.
What was the first crew you associated with?
The first crew they put us down with was The Crazy Partners, TCP. That was FED and them. Then after that I was in high school with my man MACK. Then I ran into ELKAY on the 6s with SLIM ONE, the TLP crew. From there, me and DELTA started hanging out. Then we came out with our own crew KA, Kings Arrive. Then after that later on we ran into BEAR 167. He had put us down with TDS, but we never put it up, 'cause we ain't know PART and KOOL 131. After we met PART and KOOL 131 then that's when we started writing it. That was like '82-'83.
How did you meet DELTA 2?
Basically what happened was that me and DELTA used to live across the street from each other. He was already writing. He was writing with SHARP. Him and MACK. I already knew Ôem. We just got together. We started hanging out. We grew up together in the same neighborhood.
Did you have any conflicts or beef with other writers?
It was a peaceful thing. I never had no beef with nobody. Always kept it gully, but we robbed a lot of people though. I robbed a lot of people in my time in the tunnels.
Did you visit the writer's bench at the 149th Street station?
I used to go the bench when I was younger. When I was in junior high school I was going to the bench in the early '80s. The first writer that I met when I went over there was SMILEY 149. I met AGENT, DUPE TNT, a lot of writers.
Have you ever been raided?
We got raided on the 6 line Castle Lay-up. Me and DELTA, my man SKAM. DELTA got arrested and I got away. I got shocked on the third rail, but I still got away. I never got caught writing.
When did you stop painting subways?
I started slowing down about '87-'88. I got deeply into selling drugs. I still had the love for graff. I still wrote, but my main thing was making money on the streets.
I don't write no more. I don't paint no more. I lost interest, because a train moves, a wall don't move. The drive that I had was seeing my name all over New York City. Seeing it go all over to the different parts of the different boroughs. A wall donŐt move and thatŐs why I donŐt paint walls. I lost interest in it.
Tell us about the Graffiti Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is my back yard. I used to hang out at the Hall of Fame. DELTA, PART that's our back yard. I used to hang out at the Hall of Fame when I ain't have no money. Somebody would come by with a camera or somebody comes with paint I'm a take it. I was like the gatekeeper of the Hall of Fame. I was taking people's paint and cameras.
Are there any writers that you feel that don't receive enough historical acknowledgements?
A lot of writers! We don't get all our props that we deserve. You got a lot of other writers that get props, but I ain't mad. 'Cause I ain't a hater.
Do you have any closing words?
I'm just a quiet person. I just observe and watch.
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