So You Wanna Write On Walls
from The Bomb Hip-Hop Magazine #47 (June/July 1996)

I found the following article in On The Go Graffiti Media. 
Here it is reprinted again, by permission. Hope you enjoy it. - Bomb

I found the following transcript at The Graffiti Writers 
Local 132 Union Hall. At first, it`s size and format made me think 
it was a religious tract. Upon closer inspection I realized it`s 
purpose was to instruct on another level. I submit it to you without 
any edits, so read carefully, you saps.

There are a few things you must do before in order to make 
your presence a welcome one. First; know the history. Second; Know 
the rules of the game. Third;Work hard at being good, or ar least 
competent. Fourth;Snitches, and shit talkers get stitches and need 
walkers. Fifth; You`re good, but you`re not that good. Keep your fat 
head to a reasonable swell and get back to work. These are the five 
fingers of your left hand. Study them well. Soon, you`ll be able to 
get a grip on your self esteem and we`ll all be better for it.

Cavemen did it, so did Romans and Egyptians. The Incas did 
it, so did Greeks and Native Americans. There was graffiti on the 
New York subway a year after it was built. There`s graffiti on the 
moon. If graffiti is vandalism, and vandalism is graffiti, then man 
has left his mark with garbage at the farthest reaches of the 
universe. So you with your pathetic desire to be remembered are in 
good company. I could spend a ream of paper telling you about the 
development of modern graffiti, but we`ve got other ground to cover. 
It`s important that you know it, so ask your local expert (or DJ 
Deadly Budda in Pittsburg if you don`t have one) and he`ll tell you 
his version.

1 You suck until further notice
2 It`s gonna take a long time before we even acknowledge 
your existence, even longer before we can bear to look at that foul 
scribble you call your name. To speed the process of acceptance you 
can (A) Choose a clever name that defies the norm of simpleminded 
slang. An example of a good name is "ARGUE." It looks good when 
written, sounds cool when spoken, and conveys a combative attitude. 
On the other hand, "ENEMA" (actual name) looks, sounds, and conveys 
a shitty attitude. BE CHOOSY. (B) Use paint, gain knowledge of 
nozzles, be bold, learn a style of writing for every occassion, fuck 
permission walls, write your name bigger everytime you go out, don`t 
use stickers, and resist the urge to write in dirt.
3 Jealousy is a disease for the weak.
4 Your heart is your greatest posession, don`t let it get 
taken from you.
5 Don`t write on houses of worship, people`s houses in 
general, other writers names and tombstones. Writing on memorial 
walls and cars is death.
These are the five fingers of your right hand. Study them well. Give 
soul claps, firm handshakes, and throw smooth bolo punches.

Although being a toy seems undesirable, you should enjoy it 
while you can. At this stage you can bite all you want with no 
remorse. All your elders will say is "Aw isn`t that sweet, kootchie 
kootchie koo." So steal that dope connection, rob that color scheme, 
and loot whole letter forms. Don`t worry about giving any credit, 
weÕll pat ourselves on the back and brag how weÕre influencing the 
next generation. However style isn`t a crutch or a schtick. It is 
understanding why the connection you bit flows, or why the color 
scheme you boosted bumps. Style is the process to an appealling end. 
Once you got it down to a science you can reinvent letterforms to 
suit yourself. This growth will amaze old and yound alike.
Pretty soon someone will steal your secret sauce and the 
cycle will be renewed. If this happens to you, don`t bitch about 
getting your due. Graffiti is the language of the ignored. If your 
style is stolen, someone heard you speaking. You got what you wanted 
from the beginning, some attention, you big baby.

It must be noted that the vandal squad loves graffiti. Their 
job requires them to fiend for graff as much as you do. When you 
wreck enough walls, they`ll want to meet you. Just like jock 
swingers, they`ll recite every spot you hit, the difference being 
you`ll also hear the Miranda warning. To postpone this, solo as much 
as possible. Don`t write with anybody that wouldn`t fight for you. 
DonÕt be paranoid. If you avoid writing on pristine properties, 
youÕll stay in misdemeanor territory and you won`t divert the cop`s 
attention from catching and beating speeding motorists. (Consult 
local laws to be sure) Remember, if they didn`t see you do it, it 
is almost impossible for them to win a conviction without your own 
damning testimony. Shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP! Giving a cop info on 
another writer will doom you to a life of ridicule, from cops and 
kids alike, with no parole.

There`s nothing wrong with knowing youÕre the shit as long 
as you are. But once you reach that conclusion you`re on the verge 
of falling off. Don`t look down, fathead, that swollen ego will trip 
you over the edge. T-Kid is writer who`s been creating dope murals 
for 20 years, and he keeps getting better. Your posing and fronting 
looks retarded next to the likes of him. Get back to work you tired 
In conclusion, graffiti is free, impresses chicks, appears 
heroic to anybody who leads a dull life, will provide you with a 
million stories to tell your dull friends, is immortal, larger than 
life, and a sure cure to the inner city blues. So get going, fame 
awaits the fly among you - Mark Surface