Endless Canvas: How many years have you been writing?
Ras Terms: I started writing since 12 years old. I am 35 now, so its been a lifetime so far.
EC: What graffiti artists influences your work?
Terms: Theres many, but the ones that influenced and stayed influencing me throughout the years are, Kvee, Dek, Phase2, Vulcan. I can say that graff itself influences me everyday but these here have been since the start.
EC: Could you go in more detail how they helped you out?
Terms: Kvee and I grow up together so we would battle each other for fun and at the same time building styles. Dek just came and reinforced the style and we united in crew. Phase2 and Vulcan are just letter builders, architects of style.
EC: What influences your work other than graffiti?
Terms: Being called by an African spirit from my early teens I became a faithful follower of the Rastafari movement. Which in its full essence is an African tradition. So this heavily has influenced pretty much everything I do. From eating, thinking, and creating. All my works stem from an ancestral african spirit. As well as conscious hip hop late 80’s early 90’s and conscious reggae. returning to the cradle! As we bombed in the beginning, we shall Bomb in the end!
EC: Have you done any political or social themes in your work at all? If so what are they?
Terms: Graff/street art in itself has an impact on things social and political. Whether its wrong or right it’s still a statement. So yes I have done work that fights down this Babylon system, every-time!
EC: Rate your love for the police on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest?
Terms: I don’t care to much for them. They have their job they have chosen to do so do it. But they better do it right, if not we will speak out against any injustice when necessary…
EC: Would you call yourself a tagger, bomber, artist or what? And could you give a reason why?
Terms: I’ve done it and do it all. To me every part of Graff is an art form. Its a craft that ones need to master all its aspects at its proper time. And know where it has been and where to take it at its proper time.
EC: On average how many times do you go out and paint in a month?
Terms: I’m out with stickers, markers, cans, brush, wheat-paste, painted wood etc…. whenever…
EC: What era/ region of graffiti do you hold up as the greatest (NYC 80 Subway, 90’s San Francisco,etc……)?
Terms: Every era has its time……just don’t forget its roots and purpose………
EC: What got you started writing or keeps you writing?
Terms: Creating keeps me writing. The act of creating something is from creation so I gotta keep it going…………..What got me started is seeing art on walls in the early 80’s of Miami streets.
EC: Do you see a different between what some call “street art” from some call “ego graff/writers”? if so what are they?
Terms: No difference…its all one sound to me. Just get up and do it well…As for ego. Ego is in everything, just learn to control the self.
EC: What is your feelings on the buff?
Terms: Graff is not made to stay forever…so somebody gotta buff, so that the next one can hit it fresher!
EC: So do you feel the world would be a better place with out the buff? Where would the fresh work go?
Terms: Like I said, Its gonna happen. I never expect to see the art run for so long…..take a picture or something.
EC: Any crazy ass chase story, close call or just funny ass story that happen while you were painting?
Terms: Everyone loves the chase story….ask me when you meet me, I don’t want to incriminate myself
EC: What are differences in the graffiti culture in the various places you lived?
Terms: Its pretty much all the same, some build it, some destroy it…negatives and positives………
EC: Could you give a brief history of your graffiti career? or. Could you give a brief history of your hometown graffiti scene?
if you want to answer both that would be awesome.
Terms: I’m an oldschool Miami graff/street artist who has continued with the art and all its aspects. I’ve been a teacher to alot of the younger artist in Miami and they pretty much have all spread there wings at there times and conquered it. I have brought African culture since the early 90’s into the graff scene in Miami to show the world roots and that their are many aspects of graff not just write your name with no essence……. I live now in Oakland and still continue to create…so it goes.
Miami has been left out of the books. Just recently within the last couple of years you hear about it. One thing I gotta say, is that Miami has been creating since the 80’s and left out. It has a rich graff History that maybe oneday someone will document it…..
EC: Anybody you would like to shout out or give thanks to?
Terms: My Ancestors, His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie First and His Empress Menen, and of course THE CREWS: BSK, FS, 7UP, EP, TVC, WBB, STV, MOC, and all conscious graff/street artist. PAINT DOWN THE WALLS OF BABYLON!
Give thanks for the interview and I’ll leave it with the words of Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey” people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”