The Bench: SP One

“It was like a right of passage, all my friends wrote graffiti in the early ’80s,” SP One says of his youth in Queens in the first edition of our new series, “The Bench,” produced by the one-and-only Chino BYI. “Unlike today, everything revolved around the schoolyard.” Not only did he write graffiti there, he also picked up firecracker wrappers and rolling papers for his first collages.

That early graffiti would eventually become inspiration for his later pieces when he rediscovered drawings during a move. His color schemes already revolved around old school Rusto colors and he was using older paper discovered at a lost stationary store in East New York, so the transition to throwback lettering matched. “The pieces are born, in essence, out of the first piece I did,” he explains. “For so long, I was doing pieces that had to be perfect.” But then he thought back to how much fun writers had in the ’70s, and the idea took over.

“I want to go back, kind of, and just have fun.”

Related Posts

Features
Features

Off Script: SP One

Music Video
Music Video

PREMIERE: Jimmy Wopo is Ready to Ball in “Bench Boy” Video

Features
Features

ATL Artist Dax Takes Us on a Tour of “Space Mountain,” Shows Off Some Nostalgic Shit

Graffiti
Graffiti

Rare Banksy Footage Bubbles Up

Art
Art

BC Graffiti: Richmond’s Hidden Walls, Train Yards, and Freights

Ad

Latest News

same Hot Takes

It Was a Type Beat Year

The search for something new in a year of sameness
shea serrano Features

Shea Serrano Quit His Teaching Job, Now He Has Two Best Sellers and Two TV Shows

"It is funny to just walk in and just be a Mexican, because I’m usually the only one there"
mf doom Features

The 10 Best DOOM Songs of 2017, Ranked

Even after 'The Missing Notebook Rhymes' went missing, the masked villain still caused havoc
worst cops Features

The Worst Cops of 2017

The hall of shame
donald trump Features

32 Songs That Dissed Donald Trump in 2017

The "F.D.T." wave
lil peep News

R.I.P. Gus, Long Live Lil Peep

Resisting nostalgia at the speed of the internet
88 rising Features

Sean Miyashiro of 88rising Connected the Cultures

With 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and a gang of talent, 88rising controlled the new East-West flow
eminem Video

Eminem By the Numbers

You may know how many f*cks he gives, but what about the other crucial figures from Slim Shady's career?
tape Features

Why 2017 Was Rap’s Year of the Tape

Seven labels explain why they're still rewinding cassettes back
safdie brothers Features

The Safdie Brothers Got Gritty as 2017’s Filmmakers to Watch

"You might not like the feeling that you're feeling, but you can still be entertained by that feeling."
best albums Features

The 25 Best Albums of 2017

The essential sounds that defined one very strange year
hey arnold Humor

Everything About Christmas is Awful, Except the ‘Hey Arnold!’ Special

The one redeeming thing about this trash holiday
combat-jack Features

Knowledge Darts Vol. 32: Winter Solstice

I never got to say thank you
jeezy Video

Open Space: Jeezy

"You can’t just crush a diamond with a rock. It’s hard, it’s tough. But it’s bright."
Video

Rhythm Roulette: Boi-1da

The wait is over
remy ma Video

Open Space: Remy Ma

"Female rapper—what the f*ck is that?"