Monday, 30 August 2010

The Kool Skool Interviews Tame One - Boom Skwad (Ex-Artifacts)

The Kool Skool Interviews Tame One 
Boom Skwad, Artifacts, CWK
Tame One putting in work!

Despite the long history of quality underground artists, it took Redman's 1990 collabo with EPMD, for New Jersey to get some serious love out of the Tri-state. MC, DJ and Graffiti writer Tame One's a New Jersey representer all the way, who's been getting up, and throwing down for some time, just across the river from the Big Apple.

The Artifacts (originally The Brick City Kids) Press shot

In 1994 alongside El Da Sensei, their group The Artifacts (originally The Brick City Kids) slotted smoothly into the weed headed, Timbo-clad "keep it real" era. Punters were getting tired of the shouty chorus based tracks of that time, and the brothers from New Jeruse brought the skills, art and elements back. Artifacts became part of new generation of real East Coast hood MC's getting their shine on.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks single cover Graffiti Piece by Reas AOK

Their first single Wrong Side Of The Tracks can be considered a bonified classic not just because it was a heavy track but for several reasons:

1. It was one of the first proper Graff based records; an element long ignored by the MC population.
2. It became a Graf writers anthem, who in turn showed the group love.
3. The cover featured a slick mock up of Artifacts train piece by New York writer Reas [AOK], and started the rumour mill going… "Did Artifacts do it?!" "Can they paint as well as they rap?!"
4. The Artifacts tore down the now legendary 1995 Rock Steady Crew Anniversary Jam, gaining them serious true school respect.

Artifacts - "Wrong Side of the Tracks

Their first album, "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" (1994) was on Big Beat Records, (also home to New Jersey group Double X Posse). Another single of the album "Come On Wit Da Git Down" also featured a Busta Rhymes appearance on the remix, I imagine a pretty pricey guest now.

The Artifacts "That's Them"

The Facts second album "That's Them" followed in 1997, and the [DITC's] Show Biz blessed them with Remix club smasher "The Ultimate", a standard in any mix set of that era. The two parted ways after, and Tame continued on the long haul alone, and what with some of the recent not so subliminal dissing, a re-united album looks highly unlikely.
Tame One - Homage 2 The Bombers

A series of releases on the High & Mighty's independent imprint Eastern Conference Records, solo LP's "When Rappers Attack", and a collaboration with Cage for the Leak Brothers project "Waterworld." Tame also ripped a sick verse along side J-Zone, Cage, Mr. Eon [High & Mighty] Mad Skillz and others on the 2001 Posse cut "Eastern Conference All Stars."

Tame One "O.G. Bobby Johnson"

2005 brought the DOPE "O.G. Bobby Johnson" solo album, an over-looked gem, and really defines the versatility that can be achieved by a real MC, and an open mind. This year, Ahead Records released a new "Spazmatic" solo but strength in numbers is now his modern mantra, as he puts in work as a member of the Weathermen, and Slow Suicide Stimulus (with the Dusted Dons) for several recent and upcoming projects and tours.

MC skills are not the only thing he is known for, getting live on the decks, dope handstyles and pieces got him rockin' with some of the best graffiti crews New York has ever seen, FC, TC5, and [like Kool Sphere] he's CWK too. To continue our mission to support the real art, we copped a few with the Knotty Headed Terrorist, and mixed it up on his favourite elements.

Tame One Piece

What do you write and what crews are you connected to?

Tameone, LTD, NRG, FC, TC5, QM8, CBS, CWK and the Boom Skwad.

Tamer by Tame One 1985

Porn & Tame 1985

Ben by Tame 1985

What area are you from and when did you start writing?

Newark, New Jersey, [and I started in] 1980.

Who was the first writer that got you interested in graff?

2 Nastie Nas a.k.a. Jerry Jinx, out of Newark, NJ.

Smokemon  by Tame One 2003

For people who don't know that much about the New Jersey scene, what was it like back in the day?

It was real competitive for "choice spots" to have your work seen. North Jerz (Essex County) had its spurts of activity, it seemed as if every other summer, another duo would start a new crew, and team up to bomb all city, only to be replaced by a newer duo from another neighbourhood. There was more emphasis on actual piecing back in the late '80's - early '90's, as compared to nowadays, more tagging and throw-ups are being done.

El Da Sensei (feat. Tame One & DJ Kaos) - Everyday In The Street (!llmind Remix)

Were New Jersey writers accepted by the New Yorkers?

Yeah, the ones with either skills, the balls to hang out in NY, or the ones willing to play "your guide" for NY cats looking for new areas to bomb, rack paint from, or get drugs from cheaper.

Tame (Aerosol Blues 2) Tame One 1998

Did a lot of Freights get done?

Not by me, I hate Freights, only because after you're done painting, the chances of ever seeing your piece again are slim to none.

Tame One Wild Style 2003

What would you say is "the Tame One style"?

Readable with a distinct flavour, the original Bronx-style.

Artifacts back in the Lab!

Are there any memories that stick out from back then?

Freshman year of Arts High School, I bombed the school so hard. I single-handedly caused the banning of the marker as a medium, for any artists from 9th grade through 12th!!!

You're down with a lot of serious crews, what do you feel are the benefits?

To be able to create with similar minded artists I respect and/or admire.

Uprise by Porn & Tame One

Do you feel that graffiti has changed?

Paint colours are more vibrant now, and artists push the envelope, experimenting with wilder styles (depending on their location).

Unknown writer and Tame One

Has being a writer as well as an MC changed your life in any particular way?

It has influenced me socially, in relationships with dealing with groups of friends or crews, as well as rivals.

Black Book Mathematics

What do you feel you get from doing graff?

Self-expression, self-gratification, and disregard for the socially accepted, and as further inspiration for personal self-expression in general. I record for fame. I do graffiti for me.

Tame One - Spazmatic

How did you first get introduced to the music industry?

Pursuing and then obtaining a recording deal in 1993.

Tame One photo by Nick Ceglia at Division East

Can you name some of the artists you have worked with in the past?

Redman, Busta Rhymes, George Clinton [Parliament], [and graff writers] Gnome CWK [designed covers for T La Rock & Just-ice] and West FC. [I toured with] The Beatnuts, Organized Konfusion and Common.

MC/D.I.T.C. member/Producer & DJ - Lord Finnesse

Who were the coolest MC's/DJ's that you met back then?

DJ Rockraider, DJ Sinister, Hard To Obtain, Busta Rhymes, Kurious, Cage, Lord Finesse and Brand Nubian.

What would you say has your best show?

Just to irritate you, I'm going to say I haven't done my best show yet. [Career wise] I still haven't made it yet. I'm still grinding!!!

Tame One "Thow-Up" T-shirt design

As an artist do you design your own record covers as well?

I don't do the album covers; I leave that up to other members of my crew Boom Skwad. But [I like] the "Tame1 tag" on my merchandise (t-shirts etc), because it's my actual graffiti tag worn as a "moving canvas".

Del The Funky Homosapien & Tame One - Flashback

Del The Funky Homosapien & Tame 1- Flashback

Are you bringing any new music coming out soon?

Probably not until winter '06, but until then [I'll do] a few mix CD appearances or collabos.

Tame One & DJ Junkwaffel - The Hell or High Water E.P.

Is there anything you would like to plug?

My Boom Skwad Crew, Slow Suicide Stimulus, The "Weathermen" and Division East Clothing Line.

Porno by DJ Porno
Special Thanks goes to DJ Porno/Ber One FC aka Porn LTD, FC, CWK, 156, NRG for the Graffiti Flicks!!

Also check out The Kool Skool Interview with Kool Sphere, who cut his teeth as both a graffiti writer riding the 7's surviving local hood wars, and later on battling MC's live on New York College radio. Here

Interview originally released here on 06.12.06 words: Shucks One

Tame One photo by Nick Ceglia at Division East

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