Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LA pioneer Soon One interview no holds barred!

A few months back, I sat down with Soon One for a quick interview which has taken me forever to publish, but here it is. There's no debating the influence that Soon had in the early LA graffiti scene, while some will most likely make claims to the contrary, as a young NYC train writer, Soon relocated to LA and brought New York style graffiti culture with him...I'll let Soon tell his own story, but a word of warning, the man pulls no punches, and feelings will get hurt, but there's no doubt that Soon's contribution to the culture and place in LA graff history needs to be recognized......
Zone: What do you write? Soon: SOON1.
Zone: When and where did you start writing? (Did you have any mentors in NYC)Soon:I started writing in 78 in the hallway's of CO -OP city in the Bronx NY and on the trains. Zone: Tell us about the Poem Soon Train on the cover of the Subway Art book.
Soon: Wow that was a long time ago. I remember I started doing my swirl style throw up, you know getting it down, and Poem was like, “SOON, make me a throw up with the swirl,” so I did, and he came up with that piece. We did crazy pieces together. We had a Halloween whole car we did at the Gun Hill lay ups. We did so many, but never got pictures. We never thought it would end, so we did not get all the pictures we should have. Poem was my partner back in the days he was a few year's older then me. I met him through Robert Cruz a kid in my class he was telling me about, a kid in his group home named Chris Nunez aka CN. This kid was nice; Poem got a lot of his style from him. They all lived in the group home. The piece that Henry put on the cover and left me out was fucked up I think it was some racist white shit by helping certain people out an fronting on others.
Zone: What was it like being an experienced New York writer moving to LA when it was virtually virgin territory for NY style Graffiti? Racking up, Toys, spots etc..
Soon: It was fun, the only thing I feared was being the only one on the walls, so I would bring someone with me who was not a writer like my man Trinity, AKA Soul One. He use to go to school with me John Burroughs JR High it was a lot of crossing out by toys, then it started picking up with just tag's by Al ski, Legit, Rival, Miner, Zeus, Zodiac, and Geo… but all of the guy's I mentioned knew. I did it all. The Rack's where insane, so easy to get paint. 10 can's at a time killing shit all the Fed Safety color's no problem's, getting paint too easy. My man SNO showed me how to rack when I was younger. He said all Grand opening are rack's and I never forgot that and I was rewarded with crazy can's of paint, ink markers, black book's, Pentels, Magnums, Pilot's and Unis. All the shit you need for an all out bomber. I knew all the trick's of the trade. I had to teach LA dudes how to rack's paint and the real deal on how to get up. It was not that friendly shit that is going on today. We would straight rob a nigga in those days, so it was best to be on the low.
Zone: There’s been a lot of different accounts as to as to who did what in LA’s graffiti infancy, False claims Etc…Break it down for us through Soon’s perspective. Who’s the real deal and who’s fakin’ the funk?
Soon: People act like LA was getting down with graffiti in 80 or 81 but a tag on a cardboard box is not what I consider getting down. That's that cornball shit not like real writer shit because you didn't have to be a B Boy to write on the walls. It was corny, I mean I did it on the walls, but I was into Hip Hop, it was not brand new to me. I was seasoned in the Hip Hop culture and graffiti but it started getting like MTV style hip hop bull shit, and that's how it was packaged, and me being from New York, it was wack. Cat's running around in graffiti/hip hop corny shit when I was putting work in, racking paint and going all out the right way. You got cat's talking about they Break Dancing Crew when I was talking about a graffiti crew and the one I mentored who was just a corn ball with a car, a real good actor master bitter big time dick rider. If he was a bitch, he would have run through all of LA, the way he rode dicks! What I showed him, he fronted, like that was his style. Then he ran with what I showed him like a real bitch , and never spoke on who taught him what he knew. He made it seem like he was living like that, when he was just a rich dude, who didn't have to steal paint. But I made him, because that's the way it was, the right way! If he didn't do it, he would have most likely got fucked Up by my crew the kid lived on Mulaolland Dr, and when I hear him tell it, like he brought graffiti to the hood, it's just the funnest shit I have ever heard! Just the fakest dude you could ever meet! I'm talking about RISKY a real bogus dude !!!
.. Zone: Tell us about the “Bus In” wall in the book Spray Can Art.
Soon: The Bos IN piece was just a burner I rocked with my boy IN One from Pasadena with a subway train and a few robots in the front of Pan Pacific it came out hard I rocked the whole joint and helped Risky and Cooz do they piece right next to mine. I did the Sky line, the final out line, I freaked the shit out because it got out of control. Cooz did the girl on top and the mountain Risk did the letter's but he got lost and I had to finish it and they took two week's I did my joint in 5 hour's and then he came back and wrote that 4 wild, heads I never rolled with know shit like that, as a matter of fact Risk was down with me and Legit's Young Lord's and the Wanted Writer's before WCA was even made up. Zone: What was the deal with the rumor of your death and do you know how that got started?
Soon: When me and Legit got pinched for attempted murder, we went on the run and that's when the rumor's that we got killed came from, but by then we was back in NYC. Legit went back and got caught and did his time but when it caught up to me they didn't want to come and get me because Legit and the other kid did the time, and I was a minor when it happened, I was 17 so they dropped my case I was good ! Zone: Who was legitimately mentored by Soon?
Soon: Legit, Risk, Max1000, Mike C (RIP) J Kool, Dim126, Rival (RIP) Zone: I’ve seen elements of your style in a lot of what came out of LA in the late 80’s into the early 90’s and beyond especially in the burners of Dream and Green SMD which utilized the “swirl” style..Did you have any connection with Green/Dream or Charlie DTK?Soon: Dream (RIP) was my homie but I never mentored him, and I never met or don't remember meeting Green or Charlie .Zone: What is Soon one up to now? Do you still get out and paint on occasion?
Soon: I got my own business and I do piece's still just went to San Francisco and did a few piece with some greats from all around the world Slave, Skeme, Shame125, Chain3, Mode2, and Doc, Produced by Refa1 at the AeroSoul 3 still dope and still making move's . Zone: Any last words and or shout outs?Soon: I just want to give a shout out to Legit, Refa1, Dim126 ,Cre8, Mark7,Skeme,Slave TF5, Docta , Mode2, Shame, Jop1, and RIP SNO PA ,RIVAL WCA ,DREAM SMD, STAYHIGH149, and all the writers who lost their lives GOD BLESS them all !!!