1) Alright so thanks for taking the time out to do this interview, can we get a brief run down of who you are and how long have you been in the game? What crew do you rep and how did you get the insta name KRON4NEWS?

I am first generation US citizen, San Francisco native, half French and German. I’ve been writing on things that aren’t mine for 20 years plus in San Francisco, Portland, New York, Detroit and everywhere in-between. My crews in chronological order of initiation are: CF, BKF, ETB, US, FN, GSB, DRUGS, DFW, ESL, BBB, MLS, HBB, THR. “kron” (short for chronic) was how we would describe something we liked or something that was awesome.

When instagram came along I chose KRON4NEWS as a handle because it was the name of the local news station in San Francisco. I always thought it was funny they named it that coming from a place that was known for its powerful weed scene. 

2) In an article we did on your work you said “Graffiti is a place where no one can tell you what or how to be and that’s why we all came here. “I’m curious if you can elaborate on this. How do you feel the Graffiti community enables us to grow?

When you first start out doing graffiti you will be met with lots of friction from every direction. Being fucked with by cops, heroes trying to stop you, the older generation telling you to stop and give it up, your parents will notice and surely try to dissuade you. You will soon figure out if this is the place for you or not but whoever persists in this world will become more immovable the more they survive the fire.

A real one is AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY, I just think it’s funny when people think too much about what graffiti jocks have to say when as a writer you shouldn’t subscribe to anyone’s beliefs but your own. I have enough people trying to control my energy and actions the last thing I need is another writer telling me what to do. We all have our set of personal, local and universal rules in graffiti but for the most part it is a lawless community with no hierarchy or masters.

The older generations have let us know how things were in their day but were are here to carve new paths. Judgment is evil, love is real. Make no mistake if you come foul to me you’ve sentenced yourself to whatever it may be. Be respectful and let live and learn.

3) I see the work you have posted recently is very interesting, its not graffiti per se but you are taking the letter art of graffiti and exploring that through different mediums and a kind of Art Nouveau look, can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now? Have you stepped away from graffiti or do you still do it?

The art nouveau drawings are ideas I’ve been waiting to express for a long time. I’ve always been attracted to the way lines move in art nouveau whether it be the architecture, furniture, jewelry, and lettering reminds me a lot of graffiti.

Letters themselves are very architectural and structural and I want to explore ways to expand their potential by eventually getting into pottery and metal work to realize bigger ideas. Graffiti or art? I want them to look like neither/nor but I will never stop using my tags as my base and to keep everything fresh I will always tag on shit. 

4) I see another one of your passions in both art and real life is cars. I think the style you work in carries over pretty well into incorporating cars into your mural work and skateboard designs. Has this become your mascot or signature in a way?

The car thing started in 2010 when someone deep in the classic car world asked for a commission for their business card and it occurred to me to put their name in the grill of a car for the design. Then I started putting my own name in cars and it blew up from there.

When I moved to Detroit, I thought it only natural to ramp up the car drawings and got better and better at it. Working on cars in the physical made me better at drawing them and also saved me a lot of money because I didn’t take my car to the shop as much, but also cost me a lot of money the more I got into a hot rodding and collecting tools and equipment. 

5) I’m sure it can get risky painting in places where they don’t allow it so do you do any research to see what you might run into in these areas? Any crazy stories to share?

You know what they say about any given Sunday. When you arrive in a new place and you’re out walking around, it’s important to feel the vibe around you at all times. That’s the only research I really do but you never really know who’s watching.

One time in Detroit I was driving around with my sister while she was taking photos and a van rolled up beside us and poked their gun out asking what we were taking photos of. They said “ the cops don’t run anything around here. It’s up to us locals to hold it down.” 

6) I see outside of graffiti you do a lot of illustrations, skateboard design and car illustrations. Do you work as a creative professional by day? Do you ever plan on making graffiti a full time thing or is it just a passion that you’ll always have to return to to scratch that itch?

I do work as a creative for the most part and my graffiti always opened doors for me to that world being a sort of portfolio people can see everywhere. I’ll always do graffiti as a way to express myself nonviolently. It’s like a technology that helps us relieve anger and stress without hurting anyone. Like crying or laughing.

7) What is your favorite documentary or book that covers the history of major players of graffiti and why?

The DONDI book to me was a huge inspiration. It fell into my lap at a very young age and changed my life. Zines people would make and collect were also huge because you had to run into them to get them and they were so good back then. They were like another extension of graffiti history that wasn’t available to the general public. Obviously stylewars was mind blowing in terms of the scale of what was possible. 

8) What’s your go-to hip hop artist to listen to while you’re working? Who would you say is underappreciated in either hip hop or graffiti that deserves more recognition?

I think that TIE (SEO) is someone who needs to be talked about more in terms of sheer destruction and also it is unacceptable his killer still walks the street freely. We need justice for him and his family. There’s no shortage of incredible creative figures in graffiti getting marginalized and discriminated against by the vast majority who maintain a system of oppression but that’s normal and we know it because that’s what they do. In the graffiti community people know who got love and who don’t. 

9) For those coming up, what kind of advice do you give? Do you think you have to give your heart and balls to it in order to get good, or do you think its ok to be casual about it?

To me in graffiti, there is no getting good. if you’re a good person, I don’t care what the fuck your shit looks like, I love seeing it because I know how awesome you are as a human. the same works for the reverse you could be “sick as hell” and up everywhere but no one likes looking at your shit because they know you suck as a person. Being competitive is the opposite of being creative, just remember that.

10) Thanks again for taking the time out to chat, Any shoutouts you would like to give? Where can people follow you?

 Rip NEKST. Fuck guess jeans for life. This corporate world thinks they can gouge creatives left and right, alive or dead. Play us and you’ll play yourself. They’ll try and scare us and have us pay attention to the trees falling but just remember, there’s a whole forest growing. Thank you and I love you.

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