Is that a SCUD mission in your pocket?

Published on: February 2nd, 2016 Written by:

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1991.

Crime SWC
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Cops roll up and rush the corner. They search the crowd of kids who were, up until that moment, just chilling the fuck out and causing no one any harm. When one cop frisks Crime SWC, they feel a can in his coat. “Is that spraypaint?” Derpycop asks. To which Crime replies, Nah, it’s a SCUD missile.

Crime SWC did some subway tunnels back then. He went on to crush all the rooftops along the Astoria elevated, before disappearing from the graff scene.

It always struck me that on the corner, we were just chilling in a big crowd. When we’d get chased away by random cops, that’s when we’d go bomb, or mug people, or who the fuck knows what some of them guys did.

Liza
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At one point Crime was dating this chick Liza, who wrote… Liza. She beemed with pride one night saying she went over me in the pit. It seemed more like friendly fucking around than something brawl over. Back then you’d be lucky if your throwy ran for a week in the pit anyway. I wasn’t all that serious about writing, so I didn’t give a fuck. Nearly blind and hanging out with crooks, I didn’t really give a fuck about anything back then at all really.

If you don’t know where the pit is, you’re not from Queens.

Sane
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I think I waved to Sane once when I was hopping the turnstyle. I didn’t know who he was at the time.

RIP Sane.
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Smith
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Years later I met Smith. Running tunnels with him helped make me who I am today.

Mal
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Seeing this Mal throwy reminded me of another story from 1991. So there was Mal, and this other dude Mala. They eventually decided to fight one night over who got to keep their tag (yes, that was a thing back then). Mala lost and changed his tag to Malas.

That extra S… that takes more time to fill in. One night he was blasting this rooftop near 34th ave. he was almost done when this home owner came out of his window with a bat. Or maybe he was unarmed? Whatever the case, he was angry as fuck. Some say Malas was pushed off the roof, others say he jumped. Either way he broke his leg. The cops caught up with him at some hospital on Staten Island. Maybe should have gone to Jersey?

Both Mal and Mala still have a very limited amount of tags in the subway tunnels today.

1991
1991. It was a prime year for NYC graffiti. The crack epidemic was in full swing. There were more murders in NYC than ever, and writers were running wild in the tunnels. RIS/XTC crews, ID UGG. Sane, Smith, JA.

When I see tags from back then, I have to stop and shoot them. In my mind, 1991 wasn’t long ago.

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Omar
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Best known today for his destruction of Banksy garbage, Omar is an innovator and subway tunnel god in his own right, hitting obscure subway spots most people never even heard of before the internet.

To some people these are all just names on the walls. But to me, they’re people. Sometimes they are people I’ve met. Other times I have no idea the faces behind the names. But it matters not. If you scrawled your name down here, there’s a 90% chance I respect you.

The Workers
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And I respect the workers too, especially those who scrawl some weird shit down here. I wish I was cool enough to be in the danger gang, or to own tunnels like Thor, MR, and the Sea Honk.

Alas…
I am often but a witness to history, the unseen photographer, rolling through tunnels solo or with a rotating cast of kooks. Where others have come and gone, I remain.
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7 responses to “Is that a SCUD mission in your pocket?”

  1. Dutchtourist says:

    Great update!

  2. Mitch45 says:

    1991 was 25 years ago, dude…

  3. Control says:

    Yeap… still doesn’t seem that long ago to me though. LOL!

  4. Eli Rosen says:

    Is that top photo beyond 179th Street in Queens?

  5. Control says:

    Nope – other end of town ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lifeforms Trained in Vandalism says:

    A close relative of mine was there the night of the scud missile incident. Is that baby blue Crime SWC fill-in still alive by the Ditmars station ? The one painted on the building of the anti-graf poster child politician ? If your gonna mention tunnels from that era you cant forget Seus, Spook, Gridz, and Rust. Amaze in my opinion was the nicest from 3DB. His throwies had the E smokin’ a cigarette. He also had that colorful piece on the 39th ave roof next to Celo from the Beatnuts and that straight letter Vasco ANS.. Ain’t no stoppin’ was another crew from that time and place. Eventually some toys went over those pieces. Seus repainted it with a nice SeuSpook.. The toys got it again and after Seus passed, Teck repainted it with a SeuSpook. ID UGG had that roof too, not exactly tunnels or the pit, but worth the mention. IIRC a few years later MY got chased off that roof on 34 th ave too.. Heard the owner is a vigilante, the house with those ugly green panels… Congratulations by the way.. Most of those dudes are dead or in jail.

  7. Lifeforms Trained in Vandalism says:

    The funny part is Crime did all of those TTB roof fill-ins on the N line in one night.. ONO was with him as look out.. Crime if not was close to all city w/ Seus. He had parts of BK nailed, BX highways nailed… downtown manhattan w/ Seus.. Tunnels, powerhouses 7 and N roofs.. Highways.. F**ckin Smith and Sane too .. I would cut school and sneak to the other side of Queens and be like damn SaneSmith marker tags on the mailboxes, they get around..Sane Smith were up.. I’d go to the BX via Tri-boro they had TTBs on the highway and bridge heaven spots.. RIP Spook, Sane, Seus, Crime..

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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