1. Tell us who you are, how you came about your name, what crews you rep and how long you have been writing?
DZEE17 the name evolved as i did the 17 was added for ALOT17 after he passed away in 2004. I watched graffiti closely my entire life and became an active participant in September of 94, my early years consisted mainly of being sidelined by injury or addiction, I began to figure it out somewhere around 99.
First and foremost, the genius at PBS who decided to mindfuck a generation of children by airing Style Wars regularly following Sesame Street. I consider myself to still be coming up and will be forever there is always more to learn and an infinite amount of graffiti to do. I have met people over the course of the last year who have already formed a lasting impact or influence on my life. It is difficult to answer because I am so far removed from where I was when I started. the things I was being influenced to do back then really have no relevance in my current life, I could give a long list of people i surrounded myself with who brought nothing but drama and court cases to my life, but they were actually there when i started writing graffiti, do I shout them out? No. This question is hard to answer without offending a lot of people who have a legit claim to some responsibility for the damages they have helped me cause. I have run with a lot of crews, have made and lost great friendships, have made enemies of former best friends and best friends of former enemies. My story is long and drawn out and
private so here is an anecdote and a bit on two very important people I can actually speak on.
Summer of 94 school had just gotten out, everyone from my class was at Penrod’s on South Beach. I was 13 and just embarking on my criminal voyage, experimenting with fire, and broken windows. I was always attracted to graffiti from the minute i learned how to read it but i was still very unclear as to how it got there and who was responsible for it. The sun was setting and we were walking back to the car I noticed a shady character lurking around the palm trees and the smell of spray paint as we walked through a vapor cloud. I looked at him, he remained calm, I nodded my head and kept moving. A couple days later I returned to the spot and instinctively checked the trees still not really understanding what I had witnessed. MQUE? 94 was scrawled on all possible targets. This was a major turning point from arson and shoplifting to organized graffiti it was at this point that I realized it was being done quietly in the shadows.
ALOT17 is pretty much single handedly responsible for my current graffiti adventures, there was a time when I was down and out for the count. ALOT of bad things happened, ALOT of people turned their backs on me when I was away, he had been writing me steadily, keeping the fire burning sending me outlines and pictures, I got home on parole and spoke graffiti with him for a couple of weeks before I cracked and before i could say no Chub was dropping us off to paint high profile spots. He was a motivator, a style expert, and an all around American Gangster, when he died i made the decision to carry on for both of us permanently.
OIL was a huge influence on me, the stories that we’re circulating around Miami about him were legendary. He was known for the strong arm, small in stature but a Giant on the streets. I started doing more and he immediately hated me, anyone who did any type of graffiti in Miami in the 90s had some type of run in with him and it usually ended in running from him. We met one morning early after discussing how we were going to rearrange each other’s faces via aol graffiti chat. I walked up, we squared off, we moved in circles for about 15 seconds he said: you sure you want this? I replied: no I don’t you are my favorite writer. We dropped guard and shook hands, we chilled for the rest of the weekend and remained friends until the end. Years later he clowned on me for my reply, admitting that it was all he really wanted to hear.
Basho and June have also always looked out for me since I was a child.
3. Favourite 5 pieces of all time and why – (please include links)
Impossible to narrow it down to 5 pieces but here’s examples of things i find amazing: Wyse graffiti. (N)etwork freight trains, Kem5 pieces, Dondi anything, Vans The Omega, Vizie, Daks graffiti, Os Gemeos, Remio & Kaput. Ghouls. KooL QSC, Causr. Anything from CHiSme, Smash74, or June. Sever life sized illustrations, Witnes peices, SWS graffiti, RB graffiti…
4. Favourite city and why ?
San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s a short trip for me, immediately when you get off the plane you begin to notice the definite presence of a very live existent graffiti scene set in a tropical paradise. The streets are covered in graffiti, over the past 10 years it has snowballed to near maximum capacity. I have a lot of family history in San Juan, I am not Puerto Rican but when my family needed shelter they found it there. It is a second home for me, and I take great pride and pleasure making it look that way.
5. Favourite food / drink /?
I eat Raisin Bran Crunch twice, sometimes three times a day. Bananas and Mangos are good too. Dead animals sometimes but mostly just breakfast. Patron is good, as is New Castle beer.
6. Biggest vice ?
Watching Marathons of First48, I can’t get enough ignorant violence and yelling at the TV right before they snitch on themselves.
7. Biggest gripe?
Yeah, this group of Doctors stole my right nut, seriously. I think it was a DNA heist.
8. Favourite shoe?
-sperry topsiders, good for everything from pimping to panel pieces.
9. Favourite 5 tracks
Mos Def- Traveling Man. Styles P- My Life. Bob Marley- Redemption Song. Frank Sinatra- My Way. Metallicca-One.
Quick Color flat black. Kilz white. MTN Pocket Black. Presto Jumbo Correction Pen. Pilot Medium Point Silver. Meanstreak White, any type of adhesive paper, Purple Magic Ink.
11. Favorite handstyle ?
Crude OiL, in my biased opinion the best ever. Smoke PCF. Glacer. NemeL. Caype. Surer. Fonse. O’clock. MQ. KVee from Miami. SoL & Ace from Miami. Kalies/DmeK from Miami who has been up consistently for decades. DEED from Miami. War & Guns FTL. Nise NSF, Arek. SP.One. Adek & QS.One.. Dash FC, Yews NYC Fuer and Epyk, I could go on forever.
12. 3 people you would love to have a pint with and why?
1.Stephen Hawking to pick his brain about Aliens and wormholes.
2. Anderson Silva, mid pint I would attack him just to see how far I could get before being pummeled it would be one of those just to say I did it situations.
3. Realistically I have ALOT of dead friends that I would like to holler at one more time even if it’s just to say Peace out.
13. Any writer you think that duznt get enough shine?
OKIES from DTS is possibly the worlds best Human not even considering that his graffiti is like the best ever. LPS 246 from Tokyo. ZAME IBM… TWIGS TGE is awesome. KIDS DAC (rip). RUZD from Europe (rip) a lot of Americans don’t know about him he was a savage monster.
14. Can you give us a brief run down on D30 and what you guys are about. Ive always been intrigued by the name as obviously its not to do with 30 members?
- born in a beer box on Chicago’s violent South Side. we are about connecting all the dots on the map, until our destiny manifests. Modern day pirates, if what you seek ain’t free, then steal it.
15. Last time you were caught doing something ?
Define caught. Actually I plead the 5th.
16. 5 things that are within arms reach of where you are right now?
My sleeping toddler, a Daschund, the remote control, a stuffed Lamby doll, and a switchblade I obsessively pop up and down all day.
17. what would u grab from your burning house?
My hands are completely full I have 2 dogs and a child, everything else was meant to burn.
18. 3 things to do before you die
- it’s interesting I had a small bout with cancer and this question becomes a little bit more meaningful after bouncing back and especially after watching some very close friends pass away prematurely 1. My primary concern/goal is to make enough money so that my child has better opportunities than I had growing up. We live in a crazy world and time is of the essence so I’m currently acting accordingly. 2. Visit Cuba, and completely destroy the streets with graffiti, freedom style. 3. Live long enough.
- Beautiful women, islands, Aliens, warfare, Triathlons, marine biology, ghosts, ancient civilizations, Heat Basketball, anything Disney princess related, PTA meetings, early morning starts, Pixar, Ninjas, Robots & Lasers, Legos, Breaking Bad, explosives, time travel, resurrections and reincarnations…
DLite…All the crews: D30s DTT WGE Def ThreatS. Coma said to kill it or they forget you. CariBBBean pirates. Risky Biz… Good friends still fighting it Rone & Crunk hang in there… My partner Snook who kept me alive on more than one occasion… RIP: Alot17 OIL Poke Ouch Afroe Lamas GUK and many more.