(COSE TDS Bronx above)
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 1979 in my neighborhood as a young kid. In fact, my first name was GAP 1 MGA.
MGA was a crew that I was the prez of back then. It was around 1980-81 that I decided to create a new name “COSE”.
Who were some of the writers you first wrote with?
BEO ROC, MANE 167, SCAM ONE, JOEY TDS, VAIL and BUST ..
When did you get put down in the TDS crew?
I was introduced to BEAR 167 TDS by my high school friend and writer MANE 167 TDS. BEAR 167 and myself clicked off the jump. We went racking for paint smoked angel dust, he called me his little brother.
We had some great experiences. S.I.P my brother (It was 1982).
Any crazy stories from when you were younger while painting?
The year was 1983, I was 16 years old of age. BEO, VAIL and myself were at the Zerega Avenue 6 line lay-up like we did every weekend.
As we were inside the lay-ups I realized that BEO and VAIL were ahead of me talking to someone between the subway cars. I asked who were they talking to. “These guys want to know what we write” they replied.
As I approached and these guys got a view of me they replied “Don’t run Anthony”. At this point I said “Run! Those are the Vandal Squad cops! (“Hicky and Ski”) We ended up sliding down the pole and escaped that night.
However, they already knew who I was and came to my messenger job the very next day. They knew me beforehand because I had got caught motion tagging by them.
As a result of this arrest I was put on the Daily News newspaper as well as given 15 days in jail for vandalisms.
Who were some of the big writers or crews up when you first started writing?
The crews that stand out the most in my mind are primarily the six line crew on my home line (6 train) crews like United Artists (UA) and The Local Partners (TLP). Then you had CIA, ROCSTARS, TDS and OTB etc.
How did you get the name COSE?
I got the name “COSE from my favorite soap back then. Coast soap.
What was NYC like back when you were growing up?
When I was growing up in the Bronx, the South Bronx was known as the Boogie Down Burnt down Bronx. Lots of abandoned buildings, lots, gangs and a whole lot of oppression!
This is how Hip-Hop was born. From oppression and neglect. We created our own art forms in NYC.
What keeps you motivated to keep creating pieces and making moves?
My primary reason for creating art is that it is a form of therapy in my life at this point and time. It has also become a passion of mine.
After 30+ years of substance abuse and overcoming these issues 7 years ago. I exhibit my work in galleries and have also begun to curate art exhibitions.
If you could collaborate with any writer or artist dead or alive who would it be?
I have been inspired by several writers and artists dead and alive. However, I truly don’t have any particular ones that I would like to collaborate with.
SEEN UA, DONDI CIA, LEE QUINONES etc. All of the fore mentioned have inspired me in one way or another.
How has writing culture changed since you started?
The writing culture that I came from is, the NYC transit system writing culture. No more subway vandalism, however.. we now have freight trains and Street art.
Some subway transit writers do not respect the prior 2 fore mentioned. I can understand both perspectives.
However, I respect all forms of art and will continue working towards my particular aspirations and will remain in my lane.
Any countries where you would like to travel to promote your artwork?
I have recently been to Paris, France to promote myself and my fine artist other half (Leia Sands). I will continue to promote worldwide as I write these words.
Any shout outs you want to give to anyone?
I give shout outs to any human being that has overcome obstacles and continues to pursue all of their aspirations despite what outside forces think and say.
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INTERVIEW: MRC PROMOTIONS
IMAGE: COSE TDS