Words by REVOK
My name is REVOK, I’m from here in Los Angeles. I was born in the Riverside area and stayed out there till I was about 17. From there I started bouncing around all over the country. I’ve been back here since 2001 with no plans of ever leaving, if I can help it.
In the mid-’90s I was in this crew AM7. One of the guys from AM7, Brace, was also a member of MSK. He ended up introducing me to SABER. I had been an admirer of what he did for quite some time; he was really going hard and making big moves well before I was in LA. It was one of those rare instances where there’s a writer whose work you really admire, and when you meet them, they live up to the expectations that their alter ego has set. We started hanging out quite a bit and painting a lot together. I really learned a lot from him.
The first time I went out painting with SABER, we went to do this spot on Hollywood and Western. It was just a vacant lot with a big wall along the back. We snuck in the spot, cut a hole through the fence, went up in there, and started getting our paint ready. I pulled out a sketch and he was like, “What the fuck is that?” And I was like, “What do you mean? It’s my sketch. Let me see your sketch.” And he was like, “I don’t have a sketch. You bring a sketch every time you paint?”…“Yeah, sure. Doesn’t everybody? I thought that’s what you were supposed to do!” And he’s like, “I haven’t painted a piece based off a sketch in years. Throw that shit away and freestyle your piece.” He pulled my card and clowned me, so I tossed my sketch and improvised my piece. Right from the beginning it was like playing catch-up with him. I learned a lot from him and he really pushed me. Him, and at the same time my man AYER. AYER was much younger than me. I was learning so much from both of those guys at that time. Through my relationship with SABER I became friends with everybody else: GKAE, EKLIPS, ZES, KRUSH, TYKE, FATE, CHUNK, BLES, PUSH, JUST, TOOMER, etc. GKAE was already a huge legend at that point, and somebody who I really looked up to and admired tremendously, so meeting him was a big honor.
I hung out with SABER and everybody else from the crew for well over a year before I ended up being invited into the family. One day SABER, GKAE, CHUNK and Casey*, they all asked me to get in MSK. At that point it totally made sense. We did everything together: we painted together, we partied together, made money together, so it felt natural for me to be in the. That was probably early 1997.
Once I became part of the crew I felt a responsibility to uphold a certain standard. Everybody made a major impact in their own way. I made a decision when I was 13…14 years old that graffiti was what I wanted to do. I didn’t really care about anything else. While other kids were thinking about whatever bullshit they were thinking about, I was thinking, I just want to do graffiti. I wanted to do it like guys like RISK. That guy was my idol since the time I was 14 years old.
Check out part one of our interview with REVOK above and part two below.