12ozProphet Presents: Counting Sheep – DEBT – Collection 01 Volume 02
Every night you go to sleep, and every morning you wake up. Day in and night out it’s the same thing. But while you’re busy counting sheep and hitting your REM cycle there are a select few people taking the night in their own hands, claiming those hours of the day that most people ignore out of habit. To the average person it seems reckless, spending your nights running around the streets committing crimes with exceptional arrogance, but for them it is the norm. This is the routine, the day to day, or night to night as it may be. These are the patterns they have formed.
Nights in the Lower East Side are far from normal. Where most neighborhoods might see streets deserted at 3:00 am, the LES continues to crawl all through the night. Never quite dead, just quiet enough to put in work. As late night laborers go about their business, and the drunks wander back to wherever it is they are staying that night, writers slink by in the shadows executing their own agenda. Nobody minds and nobody says a word, too preoccupied to interfere.
In this way, writers are not unlike a unique breed of special ops. Covert in their execution, yet bold in their choice of missions, graffiti writers stand out by going unnoticed at the right time and showing up when they want to. It’s a way of life, a personality and set of habits developed over years and years in the game. It’s a pattern that affects more than just your shut eye, a rhythm that develops to put you into a trance with every mission, sort of like your counting sheep.
“It was no different than any other night. You know, just bombing and shit, doing the same thing I always do”
It was the same old shit that night. Wandering the same blocks with the same spots and the same tags popping up. Of all the names on the wall only one was of any importance to us. DEBT has made himself a presence on the streets of the Lower East Side with the work he has put in. Tags, throw ups and fills can all be seen on a quick walk around the neighborhood. That’s part of what made this evening so unremarkable as we set out, this was familiar territory, the same old shit DEBT had been doing night in and night out. But then again, you never know what will happen in the moment.
DEBT is a bomber through and through. He’s got pieces rocking here and there and can burn with the rest of them, but bombing is where it’s at. In a day and age where people want to rock 20 color pieces to show off for their insta-fans it’s nice to know that there are still people out there keeping it true to what graffiti means to the streets. Bombing is that buttery essence. The benchmark. It’s what separates the artist’s type from the writers, and fair weather participants from the truly dedicated
DEBT was in his element that night. Strolling around catching tags, busting out fill after fill and spot after spot he was completely at ease. He had the confidence to know that those were his streets we were walking on. It’s the sign of a well seasoned criminal when they don’t even break a sweat in the most precarious of situations, and DEBT was as cool as can be.
Between busting in doors, busting out fills, and busting on side busters encroaching on his spots, one night with DEBT had a hell of a lot in store. Just watching the footage takes us back to a bygone era when bombing ruled. But it’s also a reminder that there are still those mother fuckers out there holding it down proper. We give those people all of the respect, because they deserve it. They’ve put in the long hours, out run the long hand of the law, endured the beefs and born the scars without shame, all while you were home sleeping.
Photos and Video by Drew Milo
Words by Spencer Knowles
For more like this from 12ozProphet check out Counting Sheep 001 – Featuring GOOMBA