CHAKA memories

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TheAngels
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CHAKA memories

Unread post by TheAngels » December 16th, 2012, 8:40 pm

Anyone here got any CHAKA memories to share?

Just about what you saw, when you started noticing him, what you heard your friends say about him, etc.

My memories are vague, as I was about 6 or 7 when he was getting up but he was the only writer that I remember at that age. One reason is that his tag was very legible; bold, black, wide lettering -- all caps. Two, he was up everywhere, so I was bewildered by the fact that I'd be in the car with my dad, and after seeing a CHAKA tag on one side of town, we'd be on the other side of town and I'd see another CHAKA tag. It was all over the city. I remember years later seeing one of his old scribes on a utility box at Fairfax High. It could have been a copycat though. Also, I have a cousin named 'Chatka', so that may also be a reason I remember him.

I used to write, from about 1997-2008, roughly, and CHAKA was probably a major influence on me. Really stuck in my memory.

Anyway, I just wanted to know what your memories were of CHAKA. What were some of the craziest or most random places you saw him up at?

The last tag of his I saw was ironically last year at the "Art In The Streets" exhibit, which was by far the most in-depth graff show I had ever been to.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by alexalonso » December 17th, 2012, 12:09 pm

I remember seeing Chaka up in 1989. He may have started before then but in 89 he was all city.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by TheAngels » December 17th, 2012, 12:31 pm

alexalonso wrote:I remember seeing Chaka up in 1989. He may have started before then but in 89 he was all city.
Interesting. Yeah I get the feeling it got to a point where regular people who don't really notice graff were talking about seeing "CHAKA" all over the place.

I remember seeing a photo of a Chaka throwup or outline in NYC from like 1990. I wish I could find that photo.

I wonder if people in NYC even know who Chaka is or even care? Based on my convos with NY writers, most don't care about any graff that exists outside of the 5 boroughs.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by triplethreat » December 18th, 2012, 4:32 am

^Do New York writers really think like that? I got respect for New York and graff heads all over. But I would have to say LA has some of the illest writers and artists all around. The history, the styles and the legends are there.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by alexalonso » December 18th, 2012, 2:37 pm

In 1990 it would have taken at least three years to make a name for yourself, and Chaka never invested that much time in NYC like he did in LA, so most people never took notice.

I think I have footage of him when he went to court in downtown LA for vandalism, and when he left the court room, he tagged CHAKA on the elevator and they re-arrested him. Does anyone remember that?

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by femun » December 18th, 2012, 4:56 pm

I remember that, it was in the news paper.(I don't think he wrote chaka in the elevator I think it he actually wrote L.O.D.) Everybody thought it was a set up though. Did he actually get punished for that?

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by TheAngels » December 19th, 2012, 1:44 pm

alexalonso wrote:In 1990 it would have taken at least three years to make a name for yourself, and Chaka never invested that much time in NYC like he did in LA, so most people never took notice.

I think I have footage of him when he went to court in downtown LA for vandalism, and when he left the court room, he tagged CHAKA on the elevator and they re-arrested him. Does anyone remember that?
Yeah I remember that. When CHAKA got caught, it was in the papers and my dad read the article to me, and mentioned the part about him tagging in the elevator. My dad at the time had no interest in graffiti, but he would notice the CHAKA markings all over town.

I'm surprised CHAKA only got 3 years probation and no time in prison, given all that he did. I'm guessing this was a different era before their no-tolerance policy.

I don't know if you know who SIGHT is, but he got sentenced a few years ago, and put away for 8 years. He only ended up doing 4, but that's still too much. I did see his name up all over the place, and I don't know if he was all-city, but he didn't do nearly as much as what CHAKA did.

In regards to NYC, I mean regardless of how much (or how little) writing he did in NYC, are they aware of how much he got up in LA, along with any other writers who are legends but aren't from NYC (MINER, WISK, GKAE, etc.)? I just the feeling that most NY writers don't care. It's kind of an arrogance from NY with the whole "we started it" thing. Whereas most LA writers are aware of the movement and the names in NY.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by triplethreat » December 20th, 2012, 4:30 am

^Some well known writers that got jail time, maybe not prison but county, are Gkae and Trixter. Not sure how long both of them were locked up for. Both those guys were getting up pretty good back then. Trixter still does his thing.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by Cold Bear » December 20th, 2012, 8:08 am

I remember being in grade school and we all started writing in all caps for the first time to emulate the style Chaka had. Chaka was a legend that everybody talked about as being the most up in LA. And of course the story of him tagging up the court room. Used to see his scribes still on the RTD through the mid to late 90's.

Also... far as LA / west coast writers in NYC, MSK get a lot of love out here, their pieces ran at the top of the most seen side of 5 Pointz in queens, for a good amount of time. You gotta know Meres to get that kind of spot and to be in such a visible and desirable spot as an out of town crew that's saying something. Also, Frank 151 a NY based magazine had a whole issue dedicated to MSK, AWR, TSL.

There are certain dudes from LA that came out here and caught some beef with local cats. Colt 45 is one. There are writers out here that don't take kindly to out of town writers bringing the tag banging and disrespectful mentality out here, and they all come out with something to prove, trying to run shit etc. You know a lot of writers show up trying to make a name from all over the world, all over the US, you can imagine it is grating to what is left of the graff scene out here.

There are crews out here like BTM, I mean so many others, TKO, I don't know where they are from but a lot of them are not from NYC.

So yes, NYC writers know about LA writers and show respect but of course there's competitiveness involved
TheAngels wrote:
alexalonso wrote:In 1990 it would have taken at least three years to make a name for yourself, and Chaka never invested that much time in NYC like he did in LA, so most people never took notice.

I think I have footage of him when he went to court in downtown LA for vandalism, and when he left the court room, he tagged CHAKA on the elevator and they re-arrested him. Does anyone remember that?
Yeah I remember that. When CHAKA got caught, it was in the papers and my dad read the article to me, and mentioned the part about him tagging in the elevator. My dad at the time had no interest in graffiti, but he would notice the CHAKA markings all over town.

I'm surprised CHAKA only got 3 years probation and no time in prison, given all that he did. I'm guessing this was a different era before their no-tolerance policy.

I don't know if you know who SIGHT is, but he got sentenced a few years ago, and put away for 8 years. He only ended up doing 4, but that's still too much. I did see his name up all over the place, and I don't know if he was all-city, but he didn't do nearly as much as what CHAKA did.

In regards to NYC, I mean regardless of how much (or how little) writing he did in NYC, are they aware of how much he got up in LA, along with any other writers who are legends but aren't from NYC (MINER, WISK, GKAE, etc.)? I just the feeling that most NY writers don't care. It's kind of an arrogance from NY with the whole "we started it" thing. Whereas most LA writers are aware of the movement and the names in NY.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by TheAngels » December 20th, 2012, 11:26 am

triplethreat wrote:^Some well known writers that got jail time, maybe not prison but county, are Gkae and Trixter. Not sure how long both of them were locked up for. Both those guys were getting up pretty good back then. Trixter still does his thing.
I didn't know Trixter got locked up. I used to see his pieces, burners, and tags in the alleys near Melrose a few years ago. His style always stood out to me because it had that old-school, NY-style look to it.

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Re: CHAKA memories

Unread post by AztecNinja » December 20th, 2012, 10:41 pm

I remember Smokin Bud with that fool and buying Krylons from him in like 95, he was doing a city funded mural on the liquor store on Utah and 1st in the AV. He took the left over paint and was selling them to the different gangs in the Projects.

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