Which island are you from?
Born and raised here, on O’ahu.
Your first memory or Hip hop experience was?
My earliest memory would be in Wahiawa, where i first witnessed cats poppin, lockin, struttin and rockin. It was also the first place I’ve seen MCs and DJs, but as far as writing, the older kids were doing Rick Griffin type letters. That had me buggin and it got me looking for album covers, to copy.
What year did you start writing and what has kept you inspired to keep painting?
I started writing in 84′. What kept me going for many years, was the rivalry. Now, it’s to see how far I can take my craft, to keep evolving.
Breakdown your letter style and your approach to constructing letters?
My style is a combination of everyone’s style, done my way. I always freestyle. I never sketch my lines on the wall, I get lost in the mess. I’ve always done my letters, by building. I’ll rock my Q first, almost completing it, before jumping to the next letter.
If you could paint with one artist who would it be?
I’ll paint with anybody. But the one would be brother P.H.A.S.E. 2 (Rest In Peace).
What particular artist(s) inspire you to move in your current direction?
I have to give thanks to P.H.A.S.E. 2, EAST3 and REAK! I knew EAST3, since the 80s, when he wrote BREAK38. Easily, the definition of Hip Hop and without a doubt, one of dopest writers, I came across, ever. We kept it cool with each other, during our crew beefs, which later in life, we had the chance to talk about it, squashed it, and turned the page.
We’ve been tight, since. You have to bring your a game, when you paint with EAST3 and my recent burner is the craziest, to date, thanks to Brother EAST3. He didn’t even tell me what I should do. He let me figure it out, on my own, as if he knew what I could do, before I did it.
He introduced me to brother P.H.A.S.E. 2, and the world I previously knew, was destroyed and is being rebuilt. When I stepped in, I was trouble, to a lot of cats who stepped to me. I always stood my ground.
I thought it was all about fighting, racking and getting up. Brother P.H.A.S.E. 2 told me that was all bullshit. He let me know that it wasn’t that way, in the beginning. It was all about the evolution of style writing, not all the foolishness that surrounded it.
He dropped many gems on me, before his last days. I don’t tell the young cats that they need to do all the things I’ve done, to be relevant, anymore. I have a wife and a son. It would be extremely irresponsible for me to continue preaching nonsense. His words are straight fire and life changing. That’s my Sensei!
Before I got down with brother REAK, I was totally not on his crew’s level, at all. He invited me to paint at a nightclub, and I had to bring it. I dropped my best piece that day, I went completely out of my comfort zone, for the first time, out of fear for being called wack. At that time, Brother REAK brought out the best in me, and continues to do so.
Does your indigenous background influence your art or imagination and how?
This Hawaiian got exposed to the art, by style writers of New York. They paved the way and I picked up on it, ran with it, put it down like no other Hawaiian could.
Do have a favorite spray paint brand or color? A favorite piece?
I don’t really have a favorite color. I’ll work with any color I got, but as far as brands go, 80’s Krylon.
Dream country you’d like to travel to and paint?
I don’t think about painting anywhere else, But wherever I end up, I’ll be painting.
Last words or shout out?
Shouts go out to my family (especially my wife) for their undying support. Reak, East3, P.H.A.S.E. 2, MRC Promotions, DJ 1Nemcis, Cowse, Retsy, Pateo, Dzine, H8tr, Swade, Edz, Shako, Chino, Russ, Big Mo, Recky, Jong… Big mahalo for the interview!!!
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INTERVIEW: L. Reed