NYC Box Truck: Staten Island w/ Rime & Toper

Some people ride the Staten Island Ferry because they’re tourists. It’s a great, free ride that showcases Lady Liberty and all of the skyline allure and visual majesty that the Big Apple is world famous for. Other people simply ride the ferry because it’s actually their route home. Say what you will about the streets of Staten Island, but folks that know their history, particularly music and graffiti, know it’s the borough where the mainstream doesn’t usually go, but the giants do roam.


Graffiti giants like Rime and Toper made Staten Island their stomping grounds during their New York City come up. And even if it is a place known for welcoming transitory residents (see some notable members of the infamous Wu-Tang Clan) or cats from Jersey— since the Bayonne Bridge connects to the Garden State— Staten Island breeds them hard. This is probably why powerhouses like Rime and Toper don’t find it too hard to “regulate” on walls and surfaces like they had to commandeer growing up writing together.


The two are the second writers to grace a box truck canvas, special thanks to Nike, and put down a heavy recipe of striking letters and colorful, complimentary elements. The tag team laid it down by incorporating Rime’s signature elongated and flared letters in bold red, along with underlying play with some of Toper’s mischievous graffiti characters. The back of the truck also includes a Toper shout to New York City sneaker culture. The approach says a lot about the seasoned and bi-coastal vets. Rime spent time in L.A. and is part of the infamous West Coast-founded and now globally established MSK crew. There’s a grit and authenticity to their graffiti upbringing, but there’s also a playful nature to the depiction of the gauntlet and its fruits. The session location couldn’t have been more perfect—a huge junkyard by the water with all the trimmings of live fire and twisted metal. You could see it one of two ways, it was either a bleak setting or one awesome playground.


Seizing the “playground” in the opportunity is probably what sets Rime and Toper apart in what they do, allowing them to expand to bigger and more elusive canvases. The fact that they’ve lived and represented Staten Island hardcore and still had the ingenuity to shake things up with their finer and more universal graffiti sensibilities says a whole lot about how they breed them in the outer borough. Their box truck represents just that, aggressive nature and danger with a side of skill, credibility, and humor.




Hit the video player up top to watch the short.

Video by Will Robson-Scott
Photos by Brian Kelley
Words by Rainey Cruz
Edited by Luca Campanale
2nd Camera Brandon Kuzma
Canvases provided by Nike NYC

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