What crew(s) do you paint for and what are the underlying meanings of the acronym(s)?
REI21: .COM crew, FGS- Freight Gang Stars, Freight Goon Squad, MSP- Mad Skills Posse, My Secret Phormulas, MDS- My Divine Style, HOA- Hoods Of Art…
Where are you from and/or where did you start?
REI21: Born in Tennessee… family’s from Jacksonville, FL… lived for 6 years and started graff in Frankfurt, Germany…
Who influenced you the most coming up?
REI21: German heads back then…Not and Tod, KAT, Bomber, 33C crew…plus the Americans over there getting busy…Mear, Mek, Trek, Ash…When I moved to DC…Metal, Scan53, Elk, .COM & MSP, everyone painting down 14th St. and U St., New York Ave., AUP…
How long have you been active?
REI21: Busted my first tag in 1992, Started piecing in ‘95.
Did you write any other names prior to REI21?
REI21: B~MAN In ‘92…RAI until 96… moved to the DC area in ’97 it’s been REI21 since.
Any meaning behind the name REI21? How is it pronounced?
REI21: My Japanese friend wrote Ninja and gave me the name SAMURAI in ’93, too long to bomb, so I cut it to RAI then REI… still pronounced like “-Rye 21-”
What is your preferred brand of paint?
REI21: Krylon for it’s workability on walls, but I haven’t came across a can of Montana that I haven’t liked yet.
Rack or Buy?
REI21: After getting hemmed up for racking, I only buy these days.
What is your favorite surface to paint?
REI21: The crustiest boxcar I can find or a freshly primed daytime wall.
Do you wear a mask?
REI21: I really thould thtart werring it mor offen…
Any particular person or people you love painting with?
REI21: There’s nothing like painting with your crew on a boiling summer afternoon crackin on each other just getting busy… that’s what graff is all about, if you love to paint and get down without bringing all that graffitI soap opera ish, then I’m always down to paint.
Have you ever traveled outside the US to paint?
REI21: Traveled all over in Germany and various spots in Europe when I was overseas.
What’s your favorite city to paint in?
REI21: Frankfurt and DC for all the good times that stay alive in my head.
Have you ever been bagged for graffiti?
REI21: In the Bronx, me, Apart, Zine and Con had a run in while benching that’s pretty humorous now, Con tells it best, see his interview…In VA, the VDOT sent me two bills within two weeks of each other totaling over $11,000 for the heavens I did, after they found out what I wrote. I sent them back because I hadn’t even been charged with anything and they were never able to prove it so I eventually got away from that one. A couple of small charges stuck but fortunately never anything too serious.
What do you think about the documentation of graffitI on the web?
REI21: It’s cool to see what’s going on elsewhere- no question, but all the drama that people are getting caught up in is kind of petty, I really got tired of people saying this or that and trying to defend these attacks on me or my boys, but I realized a few years ago it’s mostly just heads that are just tryin to rile things up for kicks, so I don’t really involve myself with the internet to much anymore aside from checking out flicks and whatnot…plus, it just doesn’t come close to benching that E2E roll into your town while munchin on some Chick-fila, or throwin down an MGD..
In your opinion, who’s rocking shit right now?
REI21: Damn, there’s so many ill styles around, too many to list… That probably sounds cliché and all- just don’t sleep on Virginia…
What is your current occupation?
REI21: When I was in NOVA I was loadin cars on the Auto Amtrak, that was ill…now I’m focusing on my degree in Graphic Design in southern VA
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
REI21: Married to my girl, still rockin trains and walls hopefully, maybe schooling one of my kids on how to creep into the yard and throw up a burner…
If there was one spot you could hit without getting bagged, where would it be and why?
REI21: The heavens- no question, there is no other atmosphere that compares to being on top of I-95 with the what feels like the whole world watching you put up your name!…just because that’s what you do…It’s hard to describe that feeling…
What was the last CD you listened to?
REI21: Actually, my boy just sent me this tape of a bunch of old country heads singing train songs…Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Arlo Guthrie, Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Rodgers…I’ve been listening to that stuff mostly as well as a bunch of other CD’s by heads like those- don’t rag the real music of the dirty south…but I still love my underground hip-hop- especially from 90’s…