Sunday, August 14, 2011
Rest In Peace King Kase2 The King Of Styyyyyyyyyyyyle
I woke up this morning to find that Kase 2 had passed away.
I thought it would only be appropriate to take the time to explain Kase 2's importance to graffiti and to me personally. For those of you who read Super Duty Tough Work and are not familiar with graffiti or the documentary Style Wars the actual phrase "super duty tough work" comes from one of Kase2's numerous quotes in the film. You could even argue that Kase2 IS that movie. His quotes and scenes are what made "Style Wars" so entertaining. In a close second place would be Cap with his "N*ggas know" line, but that line ain't even close to touching any of Kase's superb quoteables.
Kase2 did more for the sub-culture of graffiti and style writing in that film than a lot of people realize. Probably the most obvious being that he made the viewer want to BE a graffiti writer. I'm sorry if that statement sounds lame to you, but that is the truth. You read any interview from some of the best writers in history and usually their story starts with something along the lines of "My friend showed me 'Style Wars' on vhs," or "I saw 'Style Wars' on PBS one night and that's when I wanted to start writing," that is how nearly every one of their writing careers starts. So if "Style Wars" is the point of entry for most writers and Kase2 is the stand out writer within the film then you could say that Kase2 is probably a starting point or style catalyst for decades of writers. Obviously, that is not the case for every great writer, but the logic is solid none the less.
Out of all his famous quotes I think the best is when he succinctly summed up THE reason why people write graffiti:
"People look at a person, what you write on trains? Oh, you vandalism and all that. Yeah I vandalism alright, but still in general I know what I'm doin. I did somethin' to make yo eyes open up. Right? So why is you talking bout it for?"
And there is the quintessential definition of why people do it.
He is simply saying "Yes, I vandalize, but I know what I am doing. I did something that made you look. That is why I did it."
There are a lot of personalities within the sub-culture that is graffiti, but there was only one Kase2. I never met him, but I knew many that had and thankfully he was documented on film so that future writers can continue to be inspired by his style and maybe even more importantly his gift of gab.