old art Tag

Zebra Records- Memory

Watching an old DJ Battle today got me reminiscing. I’ve always been a visual artist and a lover of music (Art is in my blood). But starting in the early 90s and lasting til the last 2000’s I was obsessed with DJing. The height of my fascination peaked in my high school/ early college years. I spent literal hours in record stores, flea markets, my family’s collections, and any records I could find. I spent even more time in my room watching vhs videos, battles, and listening to recordings of DJs trying to teach myself how to mix, scratch, beat juggle, and perform routines. I taught what little I knew to hundreds of kids too.

Here’s a photo my friend Melissa took of me performing in one of the Zebra Records DJ battles. I attempted to DJ parties, events, make mixtapes, and entered DJ competition (Zebra, ITF, UC Berkeley) but I was never really that great at it. But, I had so much fun. I participated in a hip hop club started by Hodari Davis at Berkeley High and I learned so much from watching people who were truly passionate about the art of DJing, Mixing, party rocking, music, and competing as turntablists. There were many lessons I took away such as originality, stage presence, timing, innovation, cultivating community, looking for the next thing to inspire you, etc. But above all I learned about generosity, love and discipline. Doesn’t matter how good you think you are, you can always improve. And what point is there in hiding your talent? Share it so the next generation can be inspired, so they can inspire you, and so on.

Shout out to Zebra Records-a pillar of the San Francisco/ Bay Area hip hop community that not only sold records and DJ equipment but created a church/community center where young people like myself could share, grow, and learn. Shout out to DJ Wisdom, Israel, Alan Corazon, and all the incredible DJs I met at Zebra such as Mista B and Teeko of 41Funk, Goldenchyld and Cutso of The FingerBangers, Nuttz, so many many. I went by “King Tres” back then btw. I still dig for new music, and I occasionally buy vinyl. Wish I still had my Zebra Records slip mats.

Here’s a video of a reunion they did in 2010 w/the creators of Skratchpad (Celskiii & Deeandroid)

Old Art 2 – Overall’s design

1990 Was probably the year I drew these. Can’t say for sure because I didn’t write dates down back then. 90 was the year BBD dropped the LP “Poison”. I saw them airbrushed joints they were wearing and like sooo many other kids I said “I have to get those” to my mom. So, this is how a few bigs things happened for me. 1. I met the OG Mike “Dream” Francisco RIP 2. I because OBSESSED with Graff (I was already a big Hip hop fan). 3. I began my practice/meditation/study as an artist. For brevity, I’ll keep it short:
1. Mike Dream worked at Hilltop Mall in Richmond which was where it was at back then. His shop was “Shirtique” and the man, the art, and the love he showed filled me up and lead me to OGs like Spie.
2. From that moment on, I became an active student of Graffiti or “Writing”. I drew, I painted walls, bombed, tagged, hung out, formed life long friendships, all that but really more so remained consistent with drawing. 
3. Overalls, lead to Mike and Graff, which lead to me pursuing artwork on my own. The key here is “on my own”. No one told me to do it, my mom, family, and friends just encouraged me. The art I make is a product of all those people and encouragement. Its my job, practice, meditation, and spirituality at times.
These overalls still might look fresh! Stay tuned for more old art as I find them.
Did you see the last “Old Art” I posted? – Lynching 

Old Art – Lynching

2002. I was so angry back then. I remember I thought it was my job to paint art that was unsettling, enraged, angry, and screaming “Look at this!! Don’t you dare look away!” I was leaving SF State University, not knowing how I wanted to express myself. Started in graphic design. That was only part of the picture. Took some fine art. Also only part of it. I was lucky to take ethnic studies classes in Black studies, Native American history, and Latin American history. That was part of it.

You can’t learn about the true history of this great nation of America (US, North, South America, Canada) without getting a little pissed off because so much of what was happened here is intentionally left out. The connection to today is as clear as day. It’s one of the reasons I hated reading as a child. I never met a child like me in their pages and I knew they were leaving alotta shit out.

I guess thats part of why I create stories now. To show, to be healthy, and to see.

Around this time. (Over 17 years ago) Trust your Struggle Collective was starting. I learned that art is as much about what has happened as it is “what could be”. I thought I was so cool back when I painted this. How much I had to learn haha. Some people stared at the hundreds of actual beads in this mixed media piece. So many cringed and turned away.

Old sketches from 2006 “All City Sacred” a  gallery show by TYS.