PLEK ONE X SOULSIDERZ
1. How & when did you get started?
Well I started writing PLEK in 1992, but my attraction to vandalism probably stems all the way back to my childhood when I was drawing on the walls in my room with crayons and watching the local neighborhoods in Compton hitting up their hoods as I walked to school. In particular, on my way to Dodger Stadium with my grandfather, I can remember being amazed by CAB and SUB from LOD, whom had painted on the back of freeway signs, especially, how they'd use their tags as their fill-ins. I've just recently started revisiting that type of feel in some of my styles.
2. Who inspired you at the start of your graff career, favorite writers ?
This list could go on and on… lets just say writers are some of my favorite types of people, especially the ones that know how to separate their reputation from their character and stand true to what they represent. A quick list of the writers that directly helped me secure my graff career would include all of the founding members of WAI as well as SKILL UTI, DEAL UTI I2W, FEARO UTI DCV, DEBRE CLK, ANGER CBS, POSH CBS, NATOE CBS,
3. How did u decide on the name "PLEK" and were you ever concerned about OG "PLEX" did that thought ever cross your mind ?
For me this name emerged after a series of dry runs with other alias'. I went a few weeks writing this name PLESK and couldn't really lockdown a solid "S" so I dropped it. PLEK, PLECK, PLEKS eventually meant many things to me like Plans to Legalize Every Kanabis or CalmPleks because Im laid back and my styles are wild, etc… But as far as OG PLEX goes I was unaware of his graffiti when I first touched a spray can because I was restricted to Compton where I grew up and the different areas throughout Southeast Los Angeles that I attended school at. I believe he had a stronger presence in the San Fernando Valley and Downtown Los Angeles during the late 80's. Maybe one of the benefits of the internet now-a-days is how we can research which names are already taken and being pushed to their max, before deciding if we want to put in the footwork for that rep. I've also come to find out that there are other versions of this name throughout the world and extend nothing but respect and appreciation to them.
4. In your early stages did u have a road dog or were u on a solo mission.
I guess in general I was mostly on the solo but I learned how to make road dogs and crew out of anybody that I chose to roll with. Which wasn't always the best idea because in sticky situations you figured out who is who real quick. But a motto my boys and I had when we were younger was to always "take a friend". Whether as a spotter/lookout or someone to shoulder up with you its always good to have a little backup. Some of my main road dogs from my crew were PROVOKE and 2SHAE. We committed a lot of crimes and had many sick missions together.
5. Do u see a major difference in the way things used to be then than how they are now ? Styles, spots, respect, writers mindset.
Well it should all evolve inevitably, so of course my views have changed along the way too. I was more one-sided and selfish early on. I can now see more of the bigger picture of this graffiti movement and I can really enjoy and appreciate the new things that are going on in our subculture around the world. But on the same note unwarranted inflated egos drive the majority of these new writers ambition and a lot of the silent satisfaction of anonymities infamy has been lost. People used to tell you that you were up and to learn about other crews and writers you would have to travel around. Now you can just tell the people that you are up through your own social media and you can see graffiti from around the world at a push of a button.
6. Who are some unsung kings that you remember that got no shine ?
NECES WAI was one of Los Angeles sickest Queens During the 90's. She went all city with mad tags and bombs and even had a little stick figure of a girl dancing. She surpassed many men with her dedication to graffiti and it was obvious even if most people wont mention it. She also did good at ducking the extra attention that "up" writers usually get by only sticking with crew and people she trusted.
PROVOKE75 WAI DK is another underrated vandal that kept it grimey 110%. From Metro busses to back alleys through drug zones my boy went hard for the vandalism. He unfortunately died doing what he loved most, when he fell off a bridge that he was painting over the 710 fwy. Here is a direct quote from PVOKE " Los Angeles graffiti vandal since 1993. Whose main hobbies & interest are, but not limited to: Pussy chasing, Street bombing, Toy checking, Paint racking, Bus killing, Streak grinding, Cop hating, Scriber holding, Bitch slapping, Glock stashing, Hater smashing, Game knowing, City slicker, Go-getter, PLUS you know I paid my dues, because I walked around L.A putting holes in my shoes…"
A few of the other crews and their members that I thought were doing it while I was growing up were:
Init 2 Winit: DEALER, KWITE, CHEE, P45
Conquering Like Kings: DEBRE, DEEM, FAVOR, BERT, GENDER
What Evers Clever: CLASS, NUSE, SHONE, REZE
Loks On Dope: CAB SUB
7. Being affiliated with some of LA's best from jump why create WAI. Why not just get in an established crew ?
I was not necessarily affiliated with established crews straight from the gate, and I had to gain their attention and earn my rep before being invited into their circles. And, unfortunately for me, early in my career I was sort of quick to join any crew I kicked it with and eventually got into crews that started beefing with each other but since I was only like 12 years old I was left to choose a side and opted out of both crews since I was truly no asset to either of them at the time. So Starting WAI and really only repping that for an extended period was sort of my training grounds, where I could develop and push my limits without the unneeded pressures of bigger crews. I mean I needed to prove something to myself, so I knew that when I did get down with another crew, that I was capable of bringing something to the table. When the doors were opened to me, I didn't kick my feet up and demand room service, I hit the fucking ground running and earned my seat at the table. From grunt work to Art Director, I'll play whichever part is required of me to get the job done right. Throw me in the game coach! Thats why I proudly represent and push the UTI and CBS crews to the fullest, they have alwais been like my big brothers in the game.
8. How did WAI come to be and what year did it start ?
Wicked And Insane as we were first known as started in Compton in the beginning of 1993. But since I was a troubled youth I was bussed to many different areas for school and I always seemed to put a head or two down every where I went. So by the mid to late 90's our core members consisted of PLEK BOMB PROVOKE FRITZ NECES OFER from Southeast LA, 2SHAE TAZER KENR CRAOLA KASL & GOZER from the SouthBay, and DEAS ESEL from the Valley. Our crew meanings evolved too. Wisdom And Imagination, We Ain't Impressed, We About It, Without Any Instructions, ONE WAI Crew, Waisted Crew are a few among many others.
9. What's the craziest mission you can recall ?
SO many, but nothing a writer doesn't eventually have to go through. Fights, chases, and arrests are basically at the root of all them if it doesn't involve drugs or pussy besides all the painting and racking! But one good one from the beginning was being arrested with 5 of my crew in a stolen van while battling the OSB crew in 1994 with backpacks full of stolen paint. No one had a license, no one was over 18, no one lived in the same area, no one was saying shit!!! It eventually came back and bit me in the ass because I was already probation. I kept going hard even though I was on file and on probation, which lead to my grandmothers house being raided by detectives and then them coming to my school to drag me out of my class and arrest me. I lost 12 months of my youth in a juvenile detention camp because of this madness.
10. Some people may not be aware of your lyrical mastery. Is writing poetry / lyrics a natural outlet for your expression. How did this come to be ?
I've said that "Im an artist by nature but a poet by disaster"… But, yeah, I do enjoy free-styling with my close and personal friends when we get bored.
11. So on the real. Is Mr. Pib your favorite soft drink ?
hahaha yeah its ok
12. Having had the great pleasure to paint along side with you I have witnessed your focused execution and flawless delivery. Have you always had that focus? You know Paint paint paint no stopping until it's done attitude ?
Well after being arrested a handful of times and then trying to take my graffiti art to a more professional level, I've learned that you have to get it done ASAP. And on top of that it has to look fresh too! Whether with work deadlines or the possibility of being spotted by the police or heros, Time is of the essence for the most part. So I taught myself how long it takes myself to get certain things done and I gage my time restrictions to select which style to drop and once I get started I don't really like to stop as much. Once Im finished though, of course its party on!
13. What was it like being able to take part in The Getty's Graf version of the "Book of Friends" ?
It was an incredible opportunity for myself to be included in such an important moment for the Los Angeles graffiti movement to have a blackbook of Original artwork from almost 150 L.A based graffiti and tattoo artist, be accepted into the Getty Research Institute.
14. Most don't know but your resume is pretty deep. Any famous clients on that list ?
If i can get busy then I GET BUSY, you know, But at the end of the day, its not like I always get to kick it and talk with the stars anyways, so to me its just another pay check and more work. I'm currently working with Perrin Paris customizing their high-end leather hand bags.
15. Do you miss GrowCo or Walmart dollar silvers & golds ?
YES. It was the best bang for your buck for that quick street action no doubt!
16. What was your favorite krylon color ?
From the classics I think Ultra Flat Black is my favorite, but I also used to love racking and painting with Terracotta!
17. What kind of advice would give to new writers ?
Quality, Quantity, Consistency, Longevity, Technique, Style, Knowledge, Anonymity, Dedication, Persistence, Patience and Respect. We write the words but we should really be about the words we think and speak as well. There is no top, there is only the climb. Paint fades on the walls like your name fades out of the minds of the next generation if you don't keep putting in that work and staying active. Remain relevant and randomly regulate your routine.
18. And last but not least any last words, thoughts, shout outs, or wise advise ?
get down and stay up.