VOCAL TONE: Artist, SUE ONE

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My homie SUE ONE has been around for a while in the graff world. He is one of those cats that is non-stop on the grind. He creates a prolific amount of work and as is the case with many graff artists these days, he is on the come up. Finally, the graff scene has been embraced by the mainstream. This will of course be a blessing and a curse in many ways, but for SUE ONE, it seems to be all gravy.

When I first me Raul, it was when he was a tattoo artist in North Bergen, NJ. SUE was inking up my other homie Steady Nixin with a custom tat of his MPC2000. Raul, has his hands in mad projects. He is a DJ, a musician, a tattoo artists a graff writer and probably some other shit that I dont know about. At the end of the day, he is an artist and a real cat. He is himself and could care less about what “demo” he should fit into. So, lets get into it with my homeboy Styles Under Evolution, aka SUE ONE.

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TONE: Some people don’t know how you have contributed to the graff scene. Give me an idea what ways you have been influential.

SUE: At the time when graffiti was making its transition from the trains to the streets, I made my debut and also made a big impact in the New York City Graff scene. That was back in 1987. Getting up high, with the fattest caps was my trademark. At that time, we didn’t have stores or the Internet or anything where we could buy fat caps. It was all hands on techniques that took us to the next level. Bigger, Higher and Fatter was the motto.
With this mind set, me and my partners HEC & NOSE set on a thirteen year run from 1987-99. Until this day, I still got tags running in different boroughs. I made my mark in one decade and presently, I am evolving on to the next level. Along with other great Graffiti artists, we have helped pioneer the biggest subculture in the world. A free way of expression no matter what society thinks. This is one art form that will never die!

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TONE: Do you remember the first time you tagged up? When and where was that? Can you remember what was going thru your head and why you did it?

SUE: The first time I tagged up was in the back of my building on 169 St., way back in 1980. I remember being so stoked because I had found a can of paint, I started to write on a wall to mark my territory. Seeing my tag from across the building on my way to school every day got me amped up.

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TONE: Why do you still actively bomb? Most graff writers have put their cans into retirement but you have been steadily bombing since you started writing.

SUE: I’m just going through all the different levels of graffiti. I am evolving with the times. I learn more and more each day and apply that to my work. It’s what keeps me going.

TONE: Tell me about “Graffiti Sundays”. I covered one about a year ago, but you haven’t stopped!

SUE: GS is one of those things that you do for fun and it just takes on a life of it’s own. I hooked up with my boy Lust at the end of 2006. He wanted to come back into the Graff game. Not on the bombing tip but more on the piecing side of it, and that was fine with me. So on January 28, 2007,
LUST, AEK, SCET, ZKAE, EDAM and myself got together and did our first production.

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When I got home that day, I put together a layout to share with my peeps. I called it Graffiti Sunday just for fun. I emailed it and posted it on my friends’ myspace.com’s pages. Soon after that, we started to piece every Sunday. Because most of us are older cats with kids and fulltime jobs, Sunday is the only day we can escape to do our thing. Soon after the fifth episode, other writers stared to contact me. and asking me how could they get down with GS. I hit them back and started hitting different spots. So far we’ve been to Newark, Passaic, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Connecticut, New Brunswick, Upstate Nyack, and Staten Island.

And so far, it’s been one year and 8 months of non-stop burning every Sunday.and it just keeps getting bigger. In 2009, GS is going global. We’ll be reaching out to other writers from different countries. A tour is in the works involving writers from Silver Caps & JAO crew. I just wanted to piece and got more than I expected. And that’s cool with me.

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TONE: Who have you worked with on Graffiti Sundays?

SUE: Wow that’s a mouthful. To date, GS as showcased the following:
LUST, SCET BOOM, AESOP, AEK, RONE, NAST, ZIK, ZKAE, JOUST, MIKE DIE, EXIT, AR, ZAR, CASE, CESO, ABES, D5, TONE, KOMAR, CENT, DRE, EDAM, THEN, DZL, LOSER, YODER, ELU, ROND, DEMER, BEAN, SOCO, RUSK, PLASMAS SLUGS, RUSK, WEZ, EROTICA 67, CLARK, PANIK, VERONICA STAR, QUESTER, NAB, LOUIE 167, RE, SOEL ZIMAD, PURE, TORCH AND DSENT. There! I think I got everybody.

TONE: I see you’re being commissioned to do work in people’s homes! Thats dope! Tell me about some of those experiences and who has commissioned you.

SUE: I recently did an installation piece in interior-designer-to-the-stars Michelle Boyce’s home. I did this project in collaboration with artist Will Santos and poet/actor Mums, whom you may have seen HBO’s OZ. The result was a chic, urban design that gets your attention as soon as you enter the home. After that project was done, Michelle Boyce called me back and asked me to design a super-hero with a hip-hop theme for children. It was for her son’s room. Both projects were subsequently featured in an article in Uptown Magazine’s summer 2008 issue. I feel these projects have taken me to the next level because I got to work with talented people in a different artistic environment. Now I’m ready to hit a new market and that gets me amped!

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TONE: In most of the interviews I have done to date, I always bring up inspiration. As a creative person, staying inspired is sometimes difficult. Most artists have things they do that inspire them and recharge their creative batteries. What kind of things do you do and what are some of your personal challenges around staying inspired?

SUE: Life and its every-day challenges inspire me. Being open minded and sharing ideas with other artists helps me to be creative.

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TONE: Tell me about some of the other projects and collabos you have in the chamber.

SUE: I have a graffiti-coloring book called Graffiti Fun in collaboration with Lulu Publishing. You can see/purchase the book at www.lulu.com The book shows different illustrations of characters and 3D graffiti fonts that kids and urban collectors will love. I was also art director in a film called Sacred Game. It’s an independent horror film written and directed by Berdardo Chilindron, who’s a good friend of mine.(Thanks to Bernardo and Otheramerica for letting me be part of the Sacred Game project.) I have other projects in the works, but I can’t mention what they are just yet. Gots to look fresh for 2009!

TONE: You are also a DJ and musician. Have you been actively pursuing that or is it just a hobby? Tell me more about this side of you.

SUE: Like with every thing I do, it started out as a hobby and ended up becoming something else. I DJ’d at the Winter Music Conference in South Beach back in 2005. I hosted monthly party called Hunger in NYC’s lower east side for a year. At the same time, I was producing house tracks for Orbit lounge and Chemical Soul records. That was a crazy time let me tell -ya!
Then, in 2006 I got picked up by an internet radio station called FJS Radio to do a live show. I called it the Urban Assault Show. I hosted and DJ’d on it along with Ohmz, a former member of the rock band IIll Niño, DJ Brown 13 and Dee Shot, both from Cre8tive Studios. The show ran for a year. Now I’m just DJn’ for myself but am also still jumping into a few music projects.

TONE: What were you like when you were a kid?

SUE: I was curious.

TONE: What were you like in school?

SUE: I wasn’t a bad kid in school; just regular. But after school, it was a different story.

TONE: Do you have a drug of choice? What is it?

SUE: No chemical drugs. Only all natural stuff for me.

TONE: Any last words or shout outs?

SUE: Sure. I would like to thank Tone and Format Magazine for this Interview. And a big
shout-out to the Graff world in general. ORGANIZED RESISTANCE!!! STAY UP!

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17 comments

  1. I simply loved the interview. Raul [SuE] is a talented man and this interview really made that known. Thank you for my tattoos and many more to come =] [KiSsEs]

  2. BIG SHOUTS OUT 2 SUE 1 OF THE COOLEST NIKKA I EVER PAINTED WITH AND THE WHOLE JAO KEEP RIPPIN SHIT MY BROTHERS. FY!!

  3. yooo this is one of the realist fool u ever meet and his art is to die for yoo man keep it up stay real….izze aka devilsagent

  4. To my “brotha from anotha motha” ,
    The recongnition is long overdue…my undying support & friendship are yours…love & respect, jax

  5. @ PSHINES AOW. Why not shout out about 500,000 other writers dog too? If they got shout out, another dude like you would be like “yo, why not shout out JAH or EPIC or POKE or RISK” and so on. The world cannot highlight everyone. It’s just the way it is.

  6. Glad to see you are doing well brother. It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken. God bless. I’m still in the sand box until December.

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