Spotlight | Kems

Many people ask me what 3A stands for; it actually has a couple of meanings. Some of them include "Always Armed with Aerosol" or "Astonishing All Amateurs", there are a couple more but I can’t think of them. The meanings seemed much better when we were younger.

Q: Who and what have been your strongest influences in your art ventures?

A: With out a doubt Ges has been one of my strongest influences. We grew up painting together and we are constantly pushing each other style wise. Life in general influences me.

Q: What are your favorite surfaces to paint?

A: I’ll paint anything, walls, steel, streets; whatever, I don’t discriminate. I love painting wholecars it’s a very satisfying feeling.

Q: Travel wise, where has your art taken you?

A: Painting has allowed me to travel the world over. Graffiti has no borders. If you write, you have friends all over the world - you just need to go and see them.

Q: Which places have proved to be your favorites and why?

A: Every graff trip is an adventure. In 2000, Totem and I went to Japan… it was so fresh! It was like no other trip I had ever been on because I didn’t know what to expect. When we got there, it was just full on sensory overload. The Japanese take western culture and expand upon it to the fullest extent.

We had a blast painting there; everyone was very chill and hospitable. Even when you got spotted bombing the police would ask you politely to stop, so they could arrest you. Don’t be fooled, you definitely do not want to get arrested there.

On a random side note I remember my boy June was driving and we accidentally crashed into some OG low rider. They started chasing us through the streets of Tokyo, eventually they headed us off. We had no where to turn and got rolled on by the police. It turned into this giant fiasco, I think we had to offer some sort of gifts to the offended party. Nonetheless Japan was very interesting.

Q: Obviously being a graff artist can have some negative consequences when getting involved in risky activities. What are some positive as well as negative aspects that you have gotten from being a graff artist?

A: Eah! Graff can really make you or break you. What most people don’t realize is that graff is a lifestyle, not just some recreational activity. Every aspect of your life revolves around thinking or doing graff. It can totally consume you and you start to lose sight of your priorities. Couple that with some bad luck and you can be assed out.

Fortunately, graff has given me a lot of opportunity to meet new people, travel and better myself as an individual. I can’t imagine my life without graff. It has totally shaped me for better or for worse. I believe in predestination to the fullest extent and this is the life I was meant lead. I can’t really see it any other way.

Q: At some point in your lengthy career you must have had to make a dash from the good 'ol boys. Any stories that you care to share?

A: Hell yeah. I have plenty of chase stories, some end better than others but no more different than anyone else’s. What I will tell you is I have an unusual knack for finding...DEAD PEOPLE!

The first time this happened to me I was crossing a marsh near the bay, trying to check out a spot. It was dusk and the sun was setting. I really couldn’t see where I was going and the ground was all unstable. I jumped across this small canal and nearly fell onto what I thought was a sea turtle. After careful inspection it turned out to be this dead guy, his chest cavity had inflated to double the normal size. Freaky!

I ended up driving back into the city and ran into my boy with his girl. I told him what had happened and we ended up driving back out to the marsh to confirm the find. By then it was dark and we made our way out across the marsh. This whole thing had the makings of a good horror movie. Needless to say we found the dead guy laying in the mud were I last saw him. My friend thinks he’s on an episode of CSI and starts trying to identify the victim using a stick. This only makes the situation worse because his girl is getting sick and it’s just outright depressing.

I also found some dead homeless people while out piecing, it was very nasty and tragic. True stories!

Q: This next question is one that is most commonly asked, how do you feel on the impact that the computer has played in the graff culture?

A: Personally I don’t mind it. Having an internet connection has allowed me to network with writers all over the world and see work I normally wouldn’t. The one thing that bothers me is that the computer makes being a writer too easy. Young kids coming up in the game can shop around and find a style they like, instead of developing their own. Nothing is a secret anymore, the thrill of discovering something on your own has been greatly limited. I also would like to add, I don’t Myspace.

Q: The commercialism of graffiti...yea or nea? To be more specific, it’s very common place these days to see major corporations shelling out mass $$$ to back events as well as push their agenda's. What's your take on the whole thing?

A: Hell Yeah! I could care less as long as the money is going to real writers putting in work. Graffiti will always be ours, it will never be legitimized. Graffiti is not in art galleries or on commercials. It’s on the streets, trains and in the hearts of writers everywhere. So if a corporation wants to shell out some $$$ to look "urbanized" it’s all good with me, just more money for the cause.

Q: How has the European paint renaissance affected your life?

A: I remember when European paint first came to the States; lots of people were resisting it. Everyone wanted to keep it real with domestic paint. I think this was around the same time when the stock cap craze was in full effect. Anyways, I welcomed European paint with open arms, how can you not! A lot of people ask me if my pieces are all Euro paint, surprisingly they’re not. I mix and match with a lot of domestic paint. If you have an eye for color you can pull off a euro looking color scheme with domestic paint. Let’s face it, Euro paint is crack but that stuff is loot.

Q: Last but not least.........Which Mad Max film would you rather live your life? Why would such a question get asked...If gas prices keep rising you shall soon find out. (We had to through in at least one random ass question)

A: Damn! All the Mad Max movies seem like a blur to me. I liked Return to Thunder Dome because it had that midget in it. It would be nice to have a midget to blow the drips on my pieces. Also, Having Grace Jones as a girl friend would be kinda of interesting. I’m all about battling for gas, because I’m cheap. I do own a 2 wheeled motorized vehicle. I guess wearing loin cloths and pelts is cool.

Q: Well, it has been great getting the scoop on your life. You got any last words for the peoples?

A: Many thanks for letting me shine, sorry it took me so long. Big up to to all my friends, family and crews for putting up with me, I love you all. Much love to my girl Lizmatic. Life is short always remember to go bigger, badder and better than before.