REE MTA INTERVIEW
©2002, 2005 @149st Do not republish without permission.
When did you start writing?
I wrote from 1974 to 1979.
What borough are you originally from?
What inspired you to get involved in writing?
What inspired me then was the colorful work you saw back then in the '70s from HONDO 1! Basically all the Crazy 5's work as well as STAY HIGH 149 and KINDO 1.
Did you have any mentors?
My first partner was KINDO.
Who influenced you in style?
There were so many influences in style that it was unbelievable. I saw TRACY 168's work. I saw BLADE's work. I saw LEE's work there were so many styles that I decided to develop my own.
How did you get your name?
I first started writing REX. From REX I started writing REE and the reason for that was it was because of cop problems. Hickey and Ski were too much! Rodriguez was a different story.
List all the names you have painted under?
REX was my first REE was my second OPEL was my third. UNIT, SCORE, I did all those.
What subway lines have you painted?
1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s. A little bit of 7s. That's it.
REE who was your most effective partner?
My partner was basically KINDO and RUFF then me and CHAIN got together we all switched names after that.
How did you hook up with CHINO MALO?
The way we hooked up was basically the neighborhood. He tagged my building. I questioned him about and I bombed his building and from there we started going back.
Tell us about the MTA (Mad Transit Artists) and TMT (The Magnificent Team) crews?
MTA was me and CHINO. We sat down and talked. He came out with one name I came out with another name and that's the name that I came out with. TMT was basically members of the MTA crew after CHINO settled down they went on their way because I was doing my own thing. Nothing personal I was bombing by myself and they were behind me.
Did you have any memorable conflicts with other crews in the subways?
The only other crew that TMT had conflict was TDS and it was basically nothing.
Do you have any good raid stories?
One day I walked into Baychester Lay-up with two other writers CRANE and RADAR. They both got arrested and I got away! After that I served!
Who were the main cops then?
Roger, Hicky and Ski and whoever else came behind us.
What were your favorite locations to paint whole cars in and why?
It was New Lots going up and down! Esplanade was my home! I love Esplanade! My window downs were basically on the 2 line at the 2 Lay-up. The 2 Yard was very difficult because it was locked down but I got in there no matter what. The 6 Yard, I went in and had fun in the 6 Yard. Utica I use to love, but the most difficult part of Utica was getting there because I had to travel from all the way in the Bronx to get to Brooklyn to go into that lay-up. Being out there was like being in gravy land you had plenty of trains to deal with. Esplanade was so close to me and 183rd was so close to me that all I had to do was just roll out of bed I was there in 10 or 15 minutes. Burke Avenue was nice. 183rd Street on the 4 line was good. Fordham Road was good. Tunnel-wise, I liked Utica. It was a nice lay-up, 42nd was a nice lay-up, 138th street was a nice lay-up, all tunnels they were nice.
When you painted in Esplanade what writers did you run into, if you ran into any?
Nobody! The only time I ran into BLADE and COMET or anybody else was after I finished my work. BLADE and COMET, they were part of The Crazy 5 and they put me down with it which I respect them for. I found Esplanade too be the best place! Everybody else was running away from it! I was loving it. Me and BLADE and COMET also use to stay there over night. Besides that that was it I had fun. I use to go to the tunnels and just stay there and just use to be very selective of my cars I gave a lot of writers a lot of respect. I seen some RIFFs, I seen some CHI CHIs, I seen some HONDOs, I seen some ALEs and I just went by them. Then I found a car that I wanted to paint. There were cars that I said I could go over. When it came to top -to-bottoms whole cars that was my thing. When it came to window downs I went to the 4 lay-up and I walk the whole lay-up and I couldnŐt find a car to paint because I respected everybody there then I went down to the 2 line and me and my partner RIB did a REE and RIB window-down.
What was your favorite spot to rack up paint and what were your favorite brands and colors?
My favorite color was Rustoleum Marlin-Blue and Wet-Looks. Strauss had the best silver you could use. When you used that paint it just like spread all over the place. Martin Blue from Martin Paints was good too. Federal Safety Yellow, Federal Safety Purple a lot of beige they were beautiful colors school bus yellow was awesome.
When did you quit painting?
I quit painting in 1979.
Are there any writers from your era that need more acknowledgement?
I think KINDO needs a lot of respect. CLIFF 159 (r.i.p.), STIM 1 (r.i.p.), RCA (r.i.p.), RC 162 (r.i.p.) and thereŐs many more.
Do you have any closing words?
On behalf of MTA crew, I would like to say thank you very much for giving me the privilege to paint up and down every train that I wanted!
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