The Writing World Mourns the Loss of P.Nut 2
Coming on the heels of the untimely deaths of Kase 2 and Stay High 149, the passing of Bronx legend Robert Hayes aka P.Nut 2 completes the “bad news comes in three’s” adage. Condolences to the Hayes family. Condolences to his fellow artists, those lucky enough to have written with him and those, who like me, worshipped him from afar.
I never met P. Nut 2 and I’m kind of glad. He will forever remain the iconic name that I saw on countless CC, D and 4 subway cars. P.NUT 2 – a name made immortal along with those of Jester, Bot 707, Diablo, Ton 5 and Power when they blazed across the B train on Welcome Back Kotter’s opening credits each week.
The closest I ever came to meeting him was having one of his sisters pointed out to me while she was at work at the McDonald’s on Bainbridge Ave. Years later I similarly had his brother Wisk 5 pointed out to me when we both lived on the same block in Yonkers.
In 1974, my younger brother brought home a handful of pieces that a kid from his class who lived around P.NUT 2 ‘s way had given him. It was a treasure trove of pieces that included work by Te-Kool, Lava 1-2, Turk 62, Riff 170, P.Nut 2 and Jive 3. A kid in my school stole the P.Nut and Riff (Flip) pieces from my desk, but I still have the remaining ones.
I vividly remember a Tracy 168/P.Nut 2 top to bottom switching from the 4’s to the 1 line circa 74-75 causing my jaw to collide with the 231st street subway platform when I saw it roll by.
Back then I envied P.Nut 2 , because of his partnership with Tracy 168 whom I considered the greatest writer of all time, a larger than life figure who everyone I knew seemed to have a wild story about. Golden eras of graff are subjective, but P.NUT 2 wrote with the greatest during the period when piecing evolved into an artform. Some of his outlines came directly from his friend Phase 2 whose “P” greatly influenced his own. He came up during the single hit era, writing Bobby 172 and lasted through the mid 70’s doing some of the nastiest most iconic pieces ever with the most hallowed crews of the period. IND’s, Wild Style, MG Boys and 3YB to name but a few. Tracy 168, Billy 167, Cliff 159, Ton 5, Fritos, Kit 17, Sonny 107, Zest, King 2 and so many others collaborated with him in his story book career. His loss to our culture is huge. P.NUT 2 influenced me as I christened myself, J.SON, in a similarly abbreviated (bitten) fashion.
Text and Photo: Terror 161
Additional images courtesy of Morris Park Crew