CUSS, STM, Graffiti

Endless Canvas: Favorite color?
CUSS: Me and Tom Waits share the same favorite color… figure that shit out lover-boy!

EC: Have you ever painted nude?
CUSS: Damn I was thinking naw… but I do remember a hangover rooftop I got down on once. It had been raining a lot that week and it finally stopped so I went out to do a hangover at the spot. When I got on the roof I noticed there were big ass puddles all along the edge where I was going to lay on my stomach. Well needless to say I just said fukkit, and, I mean, I took off everything. No shoes, no socks, no nothing. The best part was after I was done. I was just chillin up there naked in the moonlight overlooking the traffic on the freeway. There were 2 moons in the sky that night… did I mention I’m a Cancer?

EC: If you could only listen to one album other then any Too $hort album for the rest of your life what would it be?

EC: What makes the East Bay the greatest place on earth (maybe we shouldn’t tell anybody else)?
CUSS: Well, you got a place like Oakland that’s been holding it down since the sixties, with the Black Panther Party and the Red and White. These groups have been operating outside of the law and directly opposing the police very openly (and relatively successfully) for years, laying the ground work for an overall consensus of mistrust towards law enforcement and other authorities. It ain’t like that in a lot of other places in the country. Here we have a freedom like no other to be who we want, do what we want when we want, look how we want, and talk however the fukk we want. This allows the people of Oakland and other surrounding cities to live their lives freely, giving them an open pass to all things creative. Our music is our music, our style is our style and our cities belong to us. This is an amazing achievement and we owe a lot to the people who fought for civil rights before us and even to those who just said “fukk you, it’s my life, I’ll support myself however I want”.

EC: Have you ever thrown up doing a throw up or peed while tagging?
CUSS: Ha Ha Ha, I never would have guessed the astute editors of Endless Canvas would be interested in tales of gross out humor and/or shock tactics like pee or poo poo. Just as well something does come to mind. I remember a joke I played, or perhaps even just a dumb stunt I pulled… We was in downtown Oak, near Laney and I had completely covered a ‘news’ rack with some potato stamp stickers I made (so it had a nice repetitive look going on), and when it was done I just started pissing all over them. It was like performance art via my hero G.G. Allin. Well, the next day I was down there and I checked up on my spot and the stickers where all wrinkled and falling off and shit, like they had been there through 3 seasons of abuse. Needless to say I don’t do that too much anymore. Oh, and Craker would be mad if I didn’t mention how every time we would go bombing I would have to take a shit. We would go back for the flikk and there would be a turd chillin’. He always thought that it was fuckin nasty and I’ll agree. Sometimes I see a turd though and think “if that motherfucker can drop his drawls in the street and take a shit we can probably get away with a fill”.

EC: What artist or artists influence your work outside from the graffiti realm?
CUSS: I’m really into individuals’ life choices or lifestyles, because to me being an artist don’t mean shit. It’s about how you live your life. It’s about never compromising and always doing what makes you feel good. There are people out there in which I really admire, but I’m tired of mentioning specific people. After all, aren’t we all individuals trying to do whatever makes us happy?

EC: Who influenced you in the early days?
CUSS: The early days consisted of a lot of BART trips, and the cats who were doing the BART scene definitely made it happen for me. I ain’t gonna mention no names but I’m sure if you rode BART in the late nineties you could easily conceive who was up out there between West O and Fremont.

EC: Why write Cuss?
CUSS: Originally ‘CUSSWORDZJUSTLETEMROLLMUTHAFUKKINSHITGODDAMASSHOLE’ from the Too $hort album ‘Life Is…Too Short’…  would be sized down for bombing reasons to CUSS.

EC: Did you start STM?
CUSS: No, this bald-headed bitch came on TV hollerin “STOP THE INSANITY” and we changed it to ‘stop the madness’. All praise be to Susan Power you bald-headed bitch you. We love you!

EC: What got you into wheat-pasting after so many years of traditional bombing?
CUSS: Pussy. Mad hot sweaty nasty pussy. I ain’t gonna lie CUSS love his girl LAMF.

EC: Has there been conflict between the religious writers in your crew and writers who use upside down crosses and other anti-religious iconography?
CUSS: First off, fukk the things that separate us as people in tha world and within tha crew. That shit don’t matter; we got gays, straights, veggies, and meat-eaters, junkies, straight edgers, punkers, and hip hop heads. We got bombers, piecers, taggers, street artists, and toys, even metal head dudes who don’t even tag reppin tha shit. Being in a crew don’t mean shit to me, it’s just fun, it’s just traditional, and I essentially am a graffiti traditionalist. I like letters and it’s just 3 more to fukk with.

EC: What influences you besides graffiti?
CUSS: Tha come up. Let’s make it, let’s have things. We gotta work hard at whatever it is we’re trying to do. Setting goals and accomplishing our goals, moving forward and giving back. We are gonna make it. Do the damn thing you muthafukkas! Get your grits, strive to stay alive, and all that shit. Make it or take it, it’s all out there. Let’s move up! Pass the fork we eatin’ pie BITCHES!!!!!!

EC: Who do you think is the most up writer in SF, the East Bay, and THE WORLD?
CUSS: The Ocean is pretty deep, changing the face of the Earth, constantly movin and crashin on shit. Did I mention I’m a Cancer?

EC: Any crazy ass stories you want to share that happened to you while painting?
CUSS: Jingle Town knows, sorry y’all, I still got respect for you and all the other neighborhoods in tha town. STAY UP! We all out here!

EC: Shout outs?
CUSS: Thanks to everyone who made it through this whole interview. I know it was a lot of wordz. I’m still a fan, I’m still a toy, I’m still pumped on the scene, you all really make it happen for me, thanks again. I love you NINA! Now GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO…etc.
– CUSS STM twothousand whatever tha fukk!

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