Interview with DOSE MPC

Bronx Oral History Center
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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Steven Payne: Welcome to the Bronx Aerosol Arts Documentary Project. My name is Steven Payne, librarian and archivist at The Bronx County Historical Society. Kurt, you wanna go ahead and introduce yourself?

Kurt Boone: Yeah, I'm Kurt Boone. I've been writing about urban culture in New York 40 years.

Steven Payne: And it is May 19, 2022, and we're very thrilled and honored to be here with DOSE, who is currently the president of the Morris Park Crew and longtime member of MPC as well. And looking forward to hearing all the stories he has to share today.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment the interviewers, Dr. Steven Payne and Kurt Boone, introduce themselves and welcome the interviewee, DOSE MPC, current president and longtime member of the Morris Park Crew.

Subjects: Dose (Graffiti artist); Graffiti; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group)

00:00:45 - Early Years in The Bronx and Puerto Rico

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: Well, how you doing? I'm DOSE MPC. Okay, my moms and pop come from the South Bronx, on Jackson and Fox. That's where they met, from up that way. They had, my moms had me when she was young, so she was with my pops. She lived with my pops with his family, grandparents, whatever. I was born in Harlem Hospital . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment DOSE MPC speaks about his family's history in the South Bronx and their origins in the areas around Bayamon and Ponce in Puerto Rico. He also remembers his earliest years growing up in The Bronx on Undercliff Avenue and in Puerto Rico. He recalls his first encounter with graffiti as a young child—a "7UP" on a wall near where Scott La Rock was murdered on University Avenue. He also speaks about his first meeting with a graff writer, 3D, his counselor at a community center as a child.

Keywords: 3D (Graffiti artist); 7UP; Bayamon, P.R.; Dez (Graffiti artist); Fox Street (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Harlem Hospital (New York, N.Y.); Jackson Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); KRS-One (Musician); Ponce, P.R.; Scott La Rock (Musician); Trap (Graffiti artist); Undercliff Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); University Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Walton Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.)

Subjects: Bronx (New York, N.Y.); Drawing; Graffiti; Mothers and sons; Parents--Incarceration--United States; Puerto Rican experience; Puerto Rico

00:05:59 - Moving to Pelham Parkway Area

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: When we came back here, we came to Pelham Parkway. My uncle was living on Holland and Lydig. So we moved in with him for a minute. Couple months later, my mother found the apartment in Bronx Park East, Unionport Road . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history DOSE MPC speaks about moving to the Pelham Parkway area with his mother and brother after returning from Puerto Rico. After living with his uncle for a short period of time on Holland and Lydig, the his family got an apartment at 1980 Unionport Road, near the Bronx Park East station. DOSE MPC remembers the high concentration of graffiti in the neighborhood, especially by members of MPC and TFP. He recalls being particularly struck by pieces on trains by BUTCH 2 (TFP) and DONDI. DOSE MPC relates that after seeing one of DONDI's pieces, he began tagging "FLAME 3", first with an El Marko marker and then with spray paint (on his kitchen window, much to his mother's chagrin). He also speaks about various writers he got to know in the neighborhood and how he eventually became familiar with members of MPC, although he was more attracted initially to TBB. He speaks about going to the one of the first graffiti-on-canvas shows, highlighting the work of NOC 167, in a gallery downtown.

Keywords: AD1 (Graffiti artist); Batch (Graffiti artist); Blame MPC (Graffiti artist); Bronx Park East station; Cap (Graffiti artist); Chalfant, Henry; Crash (Graffiti artist); Daze (Graffiti artist); El Marko; Flame 3 (Graffiti artist); Flash (Graffiti artist); Flink (Graffiti artist); Hand of Doom (Graffiti piece); Holland Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Lambert Houses (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Lydig Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Noc 167 (Graffiti artist); P.S. 105 (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Riz (Graffiti artist); Rock 161 (Graffiti artist); Rust-Oleum (Firm); The Bus Boys (Graffiti artist group); The Fantastic Partners (Graffiti artist group); Unionport Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.)

Subjects: Butch 2 (Graffiti artist); Dondi (Graffiti artist); Graffiti; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Spray paint; TBB (The Bronx Boys/The Bus Boys) (Graffiti artist group); Wildstyle (Graffiti style)

00:13:46 - Experience of Race Growing Up

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: My mother wanted to move out of Bronx Park East. . . . She found an apartment on Pelham Parkway, right on Wallace and Lydig. So everybody was telling me, "Yo, you're gonna have problems. You're moving to a white neighborhood." And I'm like, "What's the difference?" I mean, I mean, I didn't see, I didn't even see Black and white, at that . . . you know what I'm sayin'?" Because, remember, I came from the South Bronx, Undercliff Avenue, you can't get no more South Bronx than that . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history DOSE MPC describes his experience of race, Puerto Ricans passing for white, gangs, graffiti crews, and the general racial boundaries of his neighborhood, The Bronx, and wider New York City during the 1980s.

Keywords: Allerton (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Angel dust; Black Spades (gang); Boston Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Boston Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Bronx Park East (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Ching-A-Ling Nomads M.C. (gang); Christopher Columbus High School (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Cobras M.C. (gang); Harlem (New York, N.Y.); J.H.S. 135 (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Lambert Houses (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Morris Park (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Pelham Bay (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Satan's Soldiers (gang); Savage Nomads (gang); Savage Skulls (gang); South Bronx (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Spanish; Throggs Neck Boys (Graffiti artist group); Undercliff Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); United Artists (Graffiti artist group); Wallace Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); West 135th Street (New York, N.Y); Westchester Square (The Bronx, New York, N.Y); Whippits

Subjects: Bronx (New York, N.Y.); Bullying; Drugs; Gangs--New York (State); Graffiti; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Passing (Identity); Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Racism--United States--History--20th century

00:19:51 - Joining Morris Park Crew

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: In '82, I was called for, by CAP. . . . He sent FLINT, FLINT and BICK, to come get me . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history DOSE MPC recounts being called to join MPC by CAP in 1982, the respect that he had won by that point in time in his majority white neighborhood by defending himself and Black and Puerto Rican friends, being introduced to the full MPC in Bronx Park, and his experience with white-passing Puerto Ricans in the crew.

Keywords: Albanians; Bick (Graffiti artist); Caban (Graffiti artist); Cap (Graffiti artist); Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Flint (Graffiti artist); Heart (Attribute); Janell Towers (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Lydig Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); P.S. 105 (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Partners in Crime (Graffiti artist group); Rook 2 (Graffiti artist); Sid 1 (Graffiti artist); Tuff City (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Wallace Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.)

Subjects: Bronx Park East (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Initiation; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Passing (Identity); Racism--United States; Respect

00:28:26 - CAP MPC and Going Over Pieces

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: You see, this is one thing that I wanted to get out, and I'm glad we're doing this. It's not just CAP alone. We played the part with CAP, OK? CAP coulda not just do what he did alone. Alright? You get what I'm saying? CAP stood his ground, don't get me wrong. CAP will fight whoever. CAP went wherever.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC talks about Cap's notorious reputation, the support and protection that MPC gave him, various members of MPC (like Cope 2) and rival writers and crews, how and why Cap's obsession with going over people's pieces started, and the unique outlaw attitude and lettering style developed by MPC.

Keywords: "Big Red"; 4 Lexington Avenue Express; Blade 1 (Graffiti artist); Bronx Park East (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Children of Destruction (Graffiti artist group); Comet (Graffiti artist); Cone (Graffiti artist); Cope 2 (Graffiti artist); Crazy Insides Artists (Graffiti artist group); Fashion Moda (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Going over (Graffiti); Harlem (New York, N.Y.); Kings Destroy (Graffiti artist group); Outlaws; PJ (Graffiti artist); Piece (Graffiti); Rock The World (Graffiti artist group); Rook 2 (Graffiti artist); Satch (Graffiti artist); Seen (Graffiti artist); Swan 3 (Graffiti artist); T-Kid 170 (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Tag (Graffiti); Tats Cru (Graffiti artist group); The Cool 5 (Graffiti artist group); The Odd Partners (Graffiti artist group); Throw ups (Graffiti); Tracy 168 (Graffiti artist)

Subjects: Bombing (Graffiti); Cap (Graffiti artist); Cope 2 (Graffiti artist); Lettering style (Graffiti); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group)

00:37:29 - Getting the Name "DOSE"

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: Well, after "Flame" (DOSE MPC's former tag), I got approached. I had to go figure out a name. So I was with a guy that wrote "Cosmic 7" . . .

Keywords: Charmin 65 (Graffiti artist); Checker 170 (Graffiti artist); Cosmic 7 (Graffiti artist); Crazy Insides Artists (Graffiti artist group); Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Flame 3 (Graffiti artist); Janell Towers (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Mosholu Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Rocky 184 (Graffiti artist); Ron 1 (Graffiti artist); Ronn (Graffiti artist); Sac (Graffiti artist); Sweets (Graffiti artist); Tac 3 (Graffiti artist); Throw ups (Graffiti); Wallace Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.)

Subjects: Dose MPC (Graffiti artist); Tags (Graffiti)

00:41:22 - Racking Paint

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: The racking? We, I, I was a beast on the racks. We were called the "shopping cart racks" . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC speaks about racking large quantities of spray paint with other members of MPC outside of New York City. He also mentions the large heist of spray paint carried out by members of MPC at the Martin Paint Store on Gun Hill Road and various ways he would get smaller amounts of paint around The Bronx, including by finding the stashes of other writers or shaking them down for their paint.

Keywords: Body racking (Graffiti); Dez (Graffiti artist); El Marko; Elf (Graffiti artist); Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); F.W. Woolworth Company; Fordham Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Gun Hill Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Heart (Attribute); Iron Maiden (Musical group); Man 1 (Graffiti artist); Martin Paint Store; Morris Park station; Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Pentel Co.; Pergament; Rickel Brothers Hardware Store; Sandboxes; Satch (Graffiti artist); Slip 3 (Graffiti artist); Stick-up kids; Testors (Paint company)

Subjects: Burglary; Racism; Racking (Graffiti); Shoplifting; Spray paint

00:48:19 - Favorite Yards for Graff

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: Well, Esplanade, Esplanade. Burke. Bronx Park East was the main one . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC remembers the yards he frequented, especially along the 2 and 5 lines, and how he would get into them. He speaks especially about the Bronx Park East station, where the Morris Park Crew had a club house ("The Founds"), and Esplanade (Morris Park station), although he mentions many others. He also recalls writing at stations outside of The Bronx with MED MPC, who would go on to found Tuff City Tattoos in The Bronx. DOSE MPC shares stories about getting busted for graff, the most vivid of which involves going back to Esplanade to help SANE, who had broken his leg, and encountering numerous cops as a result.

Keywords: 1 Broadway–Seventh Avenue Local; 181st Street station; 2 Seventh Avenue Express; 241st Street station; 3 Seventh Avenue Express; 5 Lexington Avenue Express; All city (Graffiti); Barnes Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Brady Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Bronx Park East station; Bullwinkle; Burke Avenue station; Cap (Graffiti artist); City Hall station; De (Graffiti artist); Dez (Graffiti artist); Doc (Graffiti artist); Duster (Graffiti artist); East 180th Street station; Ed 1 (Graffiti artist); Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Flint (Graffiti artist); Harlem–148th Street station; Key (Graffiti artist); Lay ups (Graffiti); Matthews Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Med (Graffiti artist); Morris Park station; New Lots station; Pove (Graffiti artist); Rock 161 (Graffiti artist); Rook 2 (Graffiti artist); Sane (Graffiti artist); Seen (Graffiti artist); Sento (Graffiti artist); Skeme (Graffiti artist); Style (Graffiti); Tag (Graffiti); Throw ups (Graffiti); Trap (Graffiti artist); Tuff City (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); United Artists (Graffiti artist group); Uttica station; Void (Graffiti artist); Window down end-to-end (Graffiti)

Subjects: Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Graffiti; Med (Graffiti artist); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Morris Park station; Police--New York (State)--New York; Subway stations--New York (State); United Artists (Graffiti artist group)

01:04:50 - School in the Streets with MPC

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: I used to go to homeroom. . . . I used to go to homeroom. I didn't go to school. I went to homeroom, and right out of homeroom I would come and hang out with MPC. We would be at the steps, and we were partying hardying. I used to throw a lot of hookie parties in my house.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC remembers regularly skipping school from an early age, when he would would watch movies at home with CAP MPC (even before joining MPC). He speaks about what CAP MPC taught the crew about doing throw ups and reflects on the beginning of MPC and how the crew changed under CAP MPC's leadership. DOSE MPC also talks about SLIP 3 MPC as one of the originators of the crew and the book on MPC's history that SLIP 3 put together.

Keywords: 1 Broadway–Seventh Avenue Local; Agent (Graffiti artist); BG 183 (Graffiti artist); Bombing (Graffiti); Cap (Graffiti artist); Christopher Columbus High School (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Colt 1 (Graffiti artist); Dez (Graffiti artist); Flint (Graffiti artist); Ghost yard; Herbert H. Lehman High School (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Out To Bomb (Graffiti artist group); Shy 147 (Graffiti artist); Skeme (Graffiti artist); Slip 3 (Graffiti artist); Speed 3 (Graffiti artist); T-Kid 170 (Graffiti artist); The Nasty Two (Graffiti artist group); The Nation's Top (Graffiti artist group); Wedge 3 (Graffiti artist); hookie parties; party hardy

Subjects: Cap (Graffiti artist); Dose (Graffiti artist); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Morris Park Crew: The Official History (Book); Slip 3 (Graffiti artist); Throw ups (Graffiti); Truancy

01:12:05 - DOSE MPC's Aliases

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: We, I used a couple of aliases. I did POISON, you know. I had a piece on Tremont. CASE 2 has, right, CASE 2 had it across the street, with SENTO . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC speaks about various aliases he used over the years and recalls a particularly long-lasting POISON he did on Tremont Avenue during the late 1980s.

Keywords: Ail 1 (Graffiti artist); Aliases; Bom 5 (Graffiti artist); Bronx River Art Center (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Case 2 (Graffiti artist); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Piece (Graffiti); Poison (Graffiti artist); Seen (Graffiti artist); Sento (Graffiti artist); Sie 3 (Graffiti artist); T-Kid 170 (Graffiti artist); Tremont Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Trouble For Others (Graffiti artist group); Tyke (Graffiti artist)

Subjects: Anonymous art; Graffiti

01:14:25 - Fighting

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: I'm MPC forever. Forever MPC. To death, yeah. Because it's, it was not just a crew. It was a family, and I fought for it. I fought in that. Being in a white neighborhood, you know, in a racist neighborhood, at that time . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC speaks about how he had to fight on a regular basis growing up, first against racists in his majority white neighborhood and then against rival writers or crews as part of MPC. He also speaks about his reputation as a fighter and how this landed him jobs as enforcers in various drug crews, which resulted in stretches of incarceration, and how graff ultimately kept him out of much more serious trouble and brought out many aspects of his potential.

Keywords: Black eyes; Enforcer (Drugs); Jumping

Subjects: Art and human development; Drugs; Fighting; Graffiti; Incarceration--United States; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Racism--United States

01:18:14 - Family, Incarceration, and Racking Revisited

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: My son's name is Dose. I didn't give it to him. His mother did, Sweets, you know what I'm saying?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history DOSE MPC speaks about his children, his experience of a close-knit family growing up, and the ways that his incarceration took him away from family and friends. DOSE MPC remembers friends like fellow writer PER, who helped him adjust to new spray paint brands after his release, and MED, with whom he used to rack in various creative ways. On this subject, DOSE MPC recalls more recent instances of racking, much to his family's chagrin, in the Poconos.

Keywords: Aspirin; FX (Graffiti artist group); Gun Hill Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Jackson Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Krylon (Firm); Med (Graffiti artist); Money racking; Montana (Firm); Per (Graffiti artist); Poconos (Pennsylvania); Popcycle Orange; Rickel Brothers Hardware Store; Risk (Graffiti artist); Rust-Oleum (Firm); School Bus Yellow; Sweets (Graffiti artist); Tats Cru (Graffiti artist group); Testors; Tuff City (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.)

Subjects: Can control (Graffiti); Grandparents; Incarceration--United States; Parents; Pelham Parkway (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Puerto Ricans--Family life; Racking (Graffiti); Spray paint

01:26:17 - Graff Today

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: 'Cause I was posting pictures up of the new trains, when I came home. I was hittin' them. I was going every night. I was going to Esplanade. Jumping on the tunnel . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC speaks about the graff world today, starting with his own more recent activity hitting the newer trains since 2016 and the particular challenges of this. He expresses his amazement over what graff has become and his desire to break into galleries with his own work. He also shares various anecdotes about meeting old-time graff writers (especially at Tuff City Tattoos in The Bronx) and reflects on the various legacies of graff legends like CAP MPC, SEEN, RIFF 170, GHOST, and COPE 2.

Keywords: 5 Lexington Avenue Express; Base (Graffiti artist); Bio (Graffiti artist); Bronx Park East station; Butch 2 (Graffiti artist); Canvas; Cap (Graffiti artist); Cavs (Graffiti artist); Checker 170 (Graffiti artist); Cope 2 (Graffiti artist); Cornbread (Graffiti artist); Cose (Graffiti artist); Dash 167 (Graffiti artist); Dome (Graffiti artist); Doze (Graffiti artist); Dyre Avenue (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Electric railroads--Third rail; Esplanade (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Euro Paint (Firm); Generations (Graffitti); Ghost (Graffiti artist); Insides (Graffiti); Ket (Graffiti artist); Kit 17 (Graffiti artist); Man 1 (Graffiti artist); Maps (Graffiti); Mark 198 (Graffiti artist); Med (Graffiti artist); Min 1 (Graffiti artist); Mission Graffiti (Graffiti artist group); Mkay (Graffiti artist); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Morris Park station; Museum of Graffiti (Miami, Fl.); Nac (Graffiti artist); Outlines (Graffiti); Phase 2 (Graffiti artist); Pieces (Graffiti); Ree (Graffiti artist); Riff 170 (Graffiti artist); Rocky 184 (Graffiti artist); Rook 2 (Graffiti artist); Seen (Graffiti artist); Stick outs (Graffiti); Stitch 1 (Graffiti artist); T-Kid 170 (Graffiti artist); Tagging (Graffiti); Taki 183 (Graffiti artist); Tats Cru (Graffiti artist group); The Cool 5 (Graffiti artist group); Throw ups (Graffiti); Toys (Graffiti); Tuff City (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Tune (Graffiti artist); Village Works (New York, N.Y.); Wild style (Graffiti)

Subjects: Art galleries; Cap (Graffiti artist); Cope 2 (Graffiti artist); From the Platform: Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989; Ghost (Graffiti artist); Graffiti; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Riff 170 (Graffiti artist); Seen (Graffiti artist); Style (Graffiti); Subways--New York (State)--New York; Tattoo artists

01:49:51 - Closing Thoughts

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Partial Transcript: DOSE MPC: Growing up in The Bronx? Well, where I'm at today, I'm peaceful, I'm happy, I'm calm. Growing up in The Bronx was the best experience in my life. I would never trade it for anything. I love The Bronx to death . . .

Segment Synopsis: In this final segment of his oral history, DOSE MPC expresses his love for The Bronx and his reluctance to move to Florida, where some of his family has relocated. DOSE MPC reflects on what makes The Bronx special, including its contributions to graffiti and distinctive style. He reiterates his desire to be in galleries and ends with shout outs to members of Morris Park Crew.

Keywords: "The" Bronx; Ad (Graffiti artist); Ail 1 (Graffiti artist); Art galleries; Bodega; Boston Road (The Bronx, New York, N.Y.); Bronx boy; Loosie; Med (Graffiti artist); Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group); Pelle Pelle; Tune (Graffiti artist); Yankee Stadium

Subjects: Bronx (New York, N.Y.); Florida; Graffiti; Morris Park Crew (Graffiti artist group)