Uncapped: DG Through the Eyes of ELO
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We are changing gears this week. Still graff, but from a very different perspective. Uncapped readers, welcome ELO. She has offered us her version of DG’s beginning in graff and their life together. From her heart to your eyes. Get your tissues ready. For real.
BOWERY BOOGIE: ELO, thank you for joining us. As best you can, tell us how DG got his start?
ELO: Jason started in 1985 in Ridgewood, Queens. He took his first tag on Grove Street where he used to live. I know this because it was one of his passwords – grovest1985. Plus he told me. Lol. After that it was over. He was hooked and he just went all city. Every borough. Jason was a bomber and a piece-er which is what I personally liked about him. Not that many out there who are both. And not that many out there as fast as he was either.
BB: Woman! Password? Lol. Did he ever take you along for the ride?
ELO: A few times he took me bombing with him and he gave me flashlight, and told me as soon as I see headlights coming down the block to flash the light by his direction once. But when I went to do it and turned towards his way he was already hiding and would tell me I’m too slow. Lmao. He seen it already before me even.
BB: Oh real nice. You had one job! Remind me not to have you as a lookout. People tend to refer to DG as the peacemaker and I recall you mentioning this before…
ELO: He just loved graff so much. He would say he had a sick need for it and loved the rush he got from it. These days there’s a lot of beef going on now without him here which I hate. I’m starting to see he was the one who kept the peace with a lot of people and he was able to be friends with all and keep everyone at peace with each other. I try to continue that for him because I know he wanted everyone to get along and didn’t want his friends fighting. But it’s not really working. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow he did.
BB: What was Jason’s role in NWC (New Wave Crew)?
ELO: Jason wanted NWC to live on forever. That’s why he hung out with younger kids as well and took time to teach them things and threw a few younger kids down with his crew so they could always let it live on.
BB: Respect. How did you and Jason meet?
ELO: I met Jason from my brother [CEND]. My brother looked up to him since he was a kid and ran into him one day on Fresh Pond Road. He took a picture with DG and they exchanged numbers and my brother was staying with me at the time. He came home and was so happy he ran into DG and said that he was going to be calling him and come over that weekend with his photo album. So Jason came over that Sunday I remember with his albums and was hanging out with my brother looking at photos. And my brother said this is DG and I said “hi” and I thought he was so hot and he told me later on that he thought I was pretty too. So we started talking and then he started coming over a lot after that and we wound up going on our first date out to eat in the city by my job and after that night were inseparable ever since.
BB: Aww! Sigh. ELO, do you think Jason he would want you to move on?
ELO: Yes, I believe Jason would want me to move on and be happy again. I wish I could have met him earlier than I did and have had him in my life way longer than I did. But the 9 years I did have with him, I will always treasure every moment. I believe he is my soulmate and I will be reunited with him one day again. But until then I am still here and still living so I still have to live my life. Unfortunately it is without him but I believe Jason will send me the right person one day that he approves of and wants me to be happy with. He was my angel in real life and I believe he will always be. The same goes if it was the other way around, I would want him to live his life and be happy again. He was such a great and funny person, I would want someone else to get to experience what I did even if it couldn’t be me anymore.
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Sorry for the pause, I was reaching for my damn tissues. Ok, so NWC, OTC, FTR- these people (and so many more crews) were Jason’s family… they still hold you down?
ELO: Yes, we are all still family and I have a lot of great friends that were both mine and Jason’s friends that are like brothers to me. A lot of them have been to our house so many times and spent holidays with us and we have said we will always still keep in touch and be family no matter what. So many have helped me out so much since he died and reached out to me and still do. A few still put him [on walls etc.] and me up and help me to help keep him alive always! They know I loved Jason and will always keep him in my heart, but at the same time I have to go with my life. Those are the real ones that truly love and care about me and my happiness and I will treasure them forever.
BB: Unbreakable bonds.Why do you think Jason was loved by so many, so well respected?
ELO: Jason would tell me he never tells anyone’s business and he never talks bad about anyone so that he will always have the same respect even after he died. I think this is one of the reason’s he was so well liked and respected. He tried to basically stay out of everyone else’s drama and beef, but if it involved one of his friends, of course, he had their back to the fullest. He always managed to keep everyone calm and remain, if not friends, but just cordial with each other. He was the only person I’ve ever seen that was able to be friends with everyone himself and people not get mad that he was friends with someone they had beef with. Since he passed away, I believe all this has been forgotten and everyone is flipping on everyone. It’s a shame actually because it is not what Jason would want and all his friends know that too. I just hope everyone can get back to how he took many years to get things to with everyone and just focus on the graffiti part of it all. You are always not going to like someone in the Graff game and just in general in life, but you should at least try to just give everyone their respect.
BB: So he didn’t just try to keep the peace, he succeeded. Not an easy feat, I’m sure. Did Jason have any other secret mediator/peacemaker traits? Can you tell us another quality that made him stand out from everyone else? I ask because this man is known internationally, not only for his talent, but his solid character.
ELO: Well one thing about Jason was notorious for bringing old graff writers back out. He was just so crazy and had this way about him that you just felt so safe with. If you went bombing with him, you knew you weren’t getting caught. He was so fast and so good at knowing where and when to do things. He would do craziest spots and in broad daylight too. I would get worried all the time, but he would say “don’t worry Eileen. I know what I’m doing, I’ve done this plenty of times before, this ain’t my first time!” If you have ever had the privilege to have gone bombing with Jason before I’m sure it was some kind of crazy adventure because it always was for everyone, even me. He was a sick bomber and piece-er which is what I loved about him too because most of the time its one or the other, but he was sick at both. He was always putting up all his friends that have passed away. Whether doing a canvas for them or going out bombing the highways for them. I believe this is one of the reasons so many people loved him also besides his heart of gold.
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BB: We tend to romanticize those we’ve lost, amplifying the good, but with all the prior interviews the number of people positively (and in remembrance) mentioning Jason, it’s hard to imagine anything but good in this man. Take for instance, the tribute on Boogie a while back…When you spoke with us last your emotions at that time were so raw, but you still contributed. Thank you for that. Is there something you would like to say now that you couldn’t verbalize before?
ELO: I would like to say thank you to everyone who has done a DG piece or even a throw up or a tag and for all the tributes that have been done all over. I’m sure Jason is watching and seeing them all and is so happy and grateful. I can picture him laughing and smiling at them. Jason didn’t know how much love he had from everyone because he would say all the time that he was old and washed up now and no one cared anymore. And I would say you are crazy, you are one of the Kings. But he was way too humble to believe that. I just hope and pray that he believes it now. He earned his respect and fame and didn’t like to brag about anything. He never thought he was better than anyone ever and took time always to do people’s books and canvases for them. One thing he always told me was he hopes he didn’t put all this time in for nothing and I think you accomplished that baby. We all love you and miss you and will do our best to make sure your name lives on forever!
BB: Amen. Check out some ‘DG lovin’ ELO’ pieces below and thank you to ELO for showing us this scarce perspective of the world of graff.
(Inner advice columnist – if you have any beef, now might be a good time to squash it. We’ve all heard about life being too short, right? Make that mean something to you. They are not empty words.)