The UPS Man

Easy has been writing his name on the streets of New York since the '80s. He retired some years ago, but now he's un-retired. Son is all city.

Photos by Will Robson-Scott

Easy has been writing his name on the streets of New York since the ’80s. He retired some years ago, but now he’s un-retired. Son is all city.

Easy is a nickname that was given to me by females when I was in school. Because I was kinda laid-back and cool. It was like “Hey, Easy.” I was cool with it. I’m never mad at the ladies. I first started writing in 1982 under the name of LC. My brother got me into graffiti. I was totally against it at first — I wasn’t into writing on trains or property. But I went out on a little journey with my brother on the trains; I put my name up. Boom, boom, boom! I’d seen my tags when I was going to school one day and I was like “wow.” From that day on, I started loving this art form.

Josh 5 and Gast were my first partners. After that, it was me and Joz. And then TeKay TNR got involved … That was when we just lost our minds. We focused on the trains — mainly the 3 line — and the streets. But back in the ‘80s, we got a lot of attention on the streets because there weren’t a lot of people doing it at the time. And we were going pretty hard.

Me, Josh 5 and Gast started doing streets in 1983. As far as guys who were doing streets, back in the ‘80s you had Pre Sweet, Flasher, OE, Prince EA, Bio, Become Catholic, Arise, Lil Man, Trim, Trech, Chino BYI, Saint TMR. The streets were dangerous back then. New York was the wild, wild west. The crack era was in full swing.

You could be putting your name up on a wall but someone else might be thinking you’re putting up a sign to kill somebody … We got chased by tons of people, man. We would go to suburban areas where people were pretty much racist. Then they would call the cops on us and make up bogus accusations.

One time, me, Gast, Chama and Joz got off on the last stop on the 2 train. We did our thing as we walked up towards Yonkers. A pickup truck tried to run Joz over. Ten minutes later, we saw like 12 cop cars coming at us. That was nerve-racking. They thought we were up to some other criminal activities. They took us to the precinct. They kept Joz and Chama because they were too young to get released. Meanwhile, I still had my cans on me. They didn’t search me thoroughly enough. I always kept my cans tucked in nicely at my back. But they didn’t care about the graffiti because of the initial accusations. They thought we were trying to break into people’s homes.

I really don’t like talking about myself, but it was amazing back then. It wasn’t just writers who noticed me back then, but rappers and actors … that’s how I met KRS One. He was a writer so he knew what was up. But then there was Rakim and LL [Cool J] — I’d heard that they wanted to meet me, too. Which blew me away, because I didn’t really think that people noticed what we were doing. Writing was just something we did for fun. The fame I had back then was just wild.

Spray cans, spray cans, spray cans — that was my life back then. I was pretty much addicted more than anybody in my crew. There were times when these guys didn’t want to bomb and I’d go to the train yards or the streets by myself. I had a real graffiti problem. I had moved out of New York for some years and when I moved back in 2010, I was praying that I wouldn’t get that problem again. But unfortunately, it’s there. It’s hard to kick.

Joz had an issue with a guy who wrote Seze; Joz went over him one time, and he destroyed Joz’s stuff all over the place. Joz also had an issue with PJay—PJay would put his P’s in front of Joz’s J’s. Joz was on a manhunt for those two guys. Me? I had a little beef with Cap MPC on the trains. But who didn’t have beef with that guy?

I never really quit. When I moved to Virginia I was still doing a little something, but there was no one else down there who did at the time. I stopped for a few years after Joz passed away. He died because of an asthma attack back in 2002. His passing devastated me. I’m still devastated, actually. I almost shared that same fate last year. I was that close from passing away myself. Both of my lungs collapsed. Pneumonia. I don’t wear a respirator when I paint but whenever I spray I hold my breath.

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  • freshpaintnyc


  • Fisk50

    All respect due to the kings of the ultra flat black gate bombing legends. ( EASY, JOZ,JOSH5 ) the all city trio.. I remember like it was yesterday seeing these dudes up all over the city.. Strictly in black paint or sliver and four finger fat caps, so you had to see their names… I respect that fact that king SEN4 still throws up JOZ R.I.P. that’s love it ain’t too much dudes doing that… And respect him for his science of his graff method.

  • Deum Timentes

    Glorifying taggers that have not contributed to society in any way other than destroying people’s personal property is disgusting. I am around the same age as EASY, Quick KD, CAP, MIN, Tekay, AI KSW, OE, Heart, Peak, and IZ is he were still alive. I bombed trains as a kid. Key word here being kid, a.k.a child. I was “up” on all of the IND, and BMT lines. Only a few of the younger writers had talent back then–maybe GHOST to name one. Once graff went to street bombing it became destructive and ugly. Then stupid crews arose in the mid 80’s where rich kids in champion sweat shirts thought it would be cool to bomb middle class neighborhoods, highways, trucks or just about anything. These kids had never stepped foot in a train yard or lay-up and most purchased their paint. Real writers get out of the game gracefully, like major league ball players do. They don’t return in their mid 40’s. Here is some advice for EASY, go back to VA dude and get a life. Try working for a living or raise a family. Stop living in the past. Maybe a little “God” in your life would help.

  • ?

    who the fuck are u to give him shit if he wants to do this for rest of his life its up to him im sure for u “god” family and a 9 to 5 is the life but to some its not you have no right to judge him cos he still writes just cos quitting made u happy does mean it appiles to everyone and why do americans always feel like they have to drag god into everything god gave writers the talent im sure he r she would forgive them using it

  • Deum Timentes

    as for you…go back to school and get an education. Your grammar is horrendous. Reading……IS……..Fundamental

  • George

    I seen JOZ up in Getty Square in Yonkers back in the eighties, so he must got around. Not too many people from NYC were tagging in Yonkers back then.