KASE 2 TFP King of Style
This article was posted by Mare 139 1 Year, 9 months, 1 week, 5 days, 3 hours, 48 minutes ago.
Thanks for all concern from fans and close friends, for brother King Kase 2 is not well, lets pray for a speedy recovery and support this iconic talent for his contributions to the graffiti style writing culture. It is artists like Kase 2 who have enabled a whole generation of artists not unlike myself to break from traditional style into a more modern complex lettering theory based on computer technology, this was pre mass computerization. His classic ‘computer rock’ style can be seen in the works of many of todays top writers from coast 2 coast and across continents. This is a tremendous legacy for a young kid from the South Bronx who just wanted to get up and evolve into a great painter. Kase 2 comes from the traditional NYC School of Hard Knocks, he rolled with legitimate players and top writers like his partner BUTCH 2 both were part of TFP -The Fantastic Partners one of the top 5 Style Writing crews in the history of subway graffiti. Its members included legends such as SOLID 1, KINDO, HYDRA, SLUG, DERBY as well as SENTO.
I grew up admiring Kase 2 and Butch 2 they were the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid of graffiti, both admired, respected and feared. I met Kase 2 around 1978 at writers bench when I was still learning the ropes, by that time I had already been familiar with many of the top style masters and legends of the culture and he was an icon I wanted to meet. Being so young I believed I got my credibility by rolling with my crew of older writers that included my brother KEL 139, CRASH 1, GEORGE, NAC 147, KID 56, FACTKA, DONDI, DURO and others. We all used to meet up at the Sam Esses studio in those days as well so I became even more familiar to him. Kase 2 lived in the projects on Jackson Ave which was not far from where I was on Brook ave. By late 1978 Kase had already put down the paint but continued to develop a new style in the following 2 years that is the origin for the ‘computer rock’ style. I began painting with Kase 2 in 1980 at first at Gunhill road layup for a night that was unprecidented in the history of graffiti, the crew that evening included a reunion with BUTCH 2, KEL 139, CRASH, COS 207, SHY 147, SEEN UA, PJAY, and a few others. The productions that evening were incredible, instant classics but what was most memorable for me was to be painting side by side with both THE FANTASTIC PARTNERS. It was a unique evening that was soundtracked by the bumping sounds of the infamous T-Connection Club below us.
I went on to paint several more whole cars with him on the 2 and 5 line and as well on the #1 Broadway line. His ability to paint with his handicap developed into a strong and power muscle of expression, knowing no boundaries or limitations, you could only imagine what it was like to be painting with him, scaling trains and ducking and diving from cops and work bums. I always felt safe with Kase 2 he is a physically strong guy also best of all he was well known wherever we rolled. I recall spending days at his moms crib with him and he would show me so many old styles he had and collected from many of the top writers. It was in these times I learned about style history and RIFF 170 in particular, he was also versed in how one talked about style, he had a colorful vocabulary and so did the culture.
He was truly the originator of todays 3D wild style, he just didn’t really have the painting style like todays modern writers. One can see how evident this is in the drawing he was working on in the film Style Wars. The last time we painted was in 1985 when I painted my last two pieces, one for KEL and later one for SHY 147, I ran into him in the one tunnel when I took my boy CHOCI from the UK and my then 10 year old brother BIZ 138 who painted onto of my shoulders all evening, very much how I started with our older brother KEL 139. Kase 2 was just rollin up into the layup because he smelled paint while he was riding between cars on the uptown train, this was a tactic us writers used to gage activity in the layup. Once in the layup he got paint from me and others like Kaze and the FBA crew. He gave me props for bringing my lil bro to the layup and for hitting up my crew mates, this is something he would also do with younger writers over the years who would become partners, notably SEEN TC5, and AGENT.
We would later see one another in the hood or at jams, by 1985 he disappeared for a while. I would in later years connect with him at events and most notably at the Part One TDS opening at Tuff City Tattos in the Bronx. I have a treasured photo of me KASE 2, Butch 2, PART, STAY HIGH 149 and my son, does it get better than that? He would go on to discuss my work as a sculptor and how he was proud of my accomplishments and the BET Award, to me this is heartfelt stuff considering he knew me since I was a very young kid. I would see him appropriately at the BAM Style Wars screening where we both acknowledged the years and the success of the culture.
In writing this Im putting energy into prayer knowing how blessed his life is and how much influence he has had on a whole culture both as an artist and personality. The brother is an Oxen, he was built strong, so I remain hopeful for his recovery.
-Kase I remember you kickboxing with your boy BEAR 167 on the Writers Corner bridge that the day many of us knew you were no joke.
MARE139 TFP, ROC, CIA, RTW, TKA, TOP
There it is.
© Mare 139 & 12ozProphet - Saturday August 13, 2011