12 Questions: BA ONEVeteran writer BA ONE talks with 12oz about how he feels about graffiti today, what it means to go all city and what his interests are past graffiti. BA has been around since the early 90’s and has a unique perspective on the game, read more below.
1. Who are you?
-BA ONE, My crew is “Igw” which stands for “I Get Wicked” but I also rep illy crew which was put together by my boy Ae21 (rip)
2. How long have you been in the game?
I been in the game since 1993 I grew up in Jamaica queens and I watched a lot of the older cats from my neighborhood get busy, some of which are still active today. Once I got out there and I started painting I just wanted to see my name all over. I never bombed for anyone else and it was always for my personal enjoyment. If other writers didn’t like my graff they could “Suck My Dick” point blank and I still feel like that today.
3. How do you feel about graffiti today?
-To speak about how graffiti is in today’s time. Umm it’s a love hate relationship. I do like the fact that different kinds of paints are being made now such as those tall (600,750 ml) cans. I’m not a mural artist so when it comes to hit and run that kind of paint works perfect for me. I know a bunch of writers and a lot of them are cool down to earth people. I also know some writers whose ego is huge and think their graff is the best thing since sliced bread. I have no problem bringing them back to reality. Then you have the kind of writer that you look at like “psst” you punk ass motherfucker. Jealousy plays a big part in graffiti today. It’s sad because honestly you shouldn’t be jealous of no writer period. Graffiti also changed because the fact technology has enhanced. Back in the days there weren’t so many cameras to worry about. Now shit everywhere you turn there is either a police globe or property cam all in your face. There are also writers trying to being internet famous to create a reputation but the streets was your canvas, if you were up people know of you. If not then you would get a lot of “oh, I never seen that up”.
4. The first time we met you talked about beef, how big a part of the game is it and what is it like for you?
Well everyone comes across graff beef. Its your choice if it stays on walls or escalates to something else. I’ve had my share of beef but for the last 7 years or so i’ve been beef free. Things happen though so you never know.
5. Talk about your all city runs, what does it mean to be all city?
I’ve been around along time and did plenty of boro to boro runs in the past 20 years. People think because they hit 2 or 3 spots in other boros that makes them allcity. Wrong. . being consistent and hitting everything to become noticed is the key. P.S. dead spots don’t count.
6. What other interests do you have besides graffiti?
I love photography, I think that there are a million different ways to take a photo and have it interpret a different meaning.
7. Any spot you remember that you were hype to get over on?
Well so many spots come to mind but one of the stories was a long time ago when I was painting with Ic and we was in the j line pit in queens. We were doing fillins in there and I wasnt keeping count on how many fillins I was doing. But when I ran out of the few tall cans of silver i had and it came time to outline I realized I had done 21 fillins in a row. I was surprised like damn that’s the most fillins ever on this wall. It felt even better when I was on the train going to work the next day and seen it done
8. Do you have a chase story to share?
Wow so many but back in the 90s in 75th tunnel with Ae21 and Seco we was painting under the lights and what appeared to be Vandal Squad came running at us boy we was out. I almost fell and got bagged but I got away.
9. You mentioned when we met that you have a clothing line of your own- is that available for the public anywhere?
Yes my homie set up a site you can go to www.Illyorkcity.bigcartel.com, or on Instagram @illyorkcity or @yourfavoritewriter
10. How do you feel about Instagram?
I think instagram is good and bad. Good for the networking. Bad because that is where some of these writers post every single thing they ever did for cheap internet fame.
11. Top 5 lyricists of all time?
Big L, Biggie, 2Pac, 90s Common, The Roots…and KRS One
12. Any shoutouts or people you’d like to mention?
Big up my ninja IC, Viol, Sec78 many wild nights bombin wit that ninja, my team, big up all the dudes getting it in and keeping this culture alive and of course 12ozprophet for showing love. Big up the borough of queens.
Thanks to BA ONE for working with us and always keeping it real.