Just existing or busy living? Hanging by a thread yet as comfortable as a bird,  asleep on a branch. Jsme said it and by the looks of his resume, it must be true. I  often have the most philosophical conversations with Jsme. I often say, battle  scars equal wisdom earned and Jsme is no exception. This interview is but a  glimpse into the kaleidoscope that is Jsme, and his sprit not only shines on  freeways & billboards, but right here on this website.  

-Jehu OSD 

This is a longtime in the making! Alright bro, state your name.  JESME, JESM, JSME  

Chilling on freeway bridges on a sunny day, that’s some next level fuck the  world vibes you got going, how you living Jesme?  

You Know It’s A Crazy Time To Be Alive right now. There’s So Much Ignorance  In The World, It Really Makes You Question The Future. Regardless. I’m Still  Kicking & Thats A Blessing Of It’s Own.  

“I even had this one dude yell JUMP!!”  

Definitely, you risk it all for the heart of the game. In my humble opinion  your IG is more than just the spots you hit, it’s a completely different view  of the world through your lens. Your feet dangling from freeway bridges  high above the traffic below, middle of the day taking photos of your spots.  Describe that feeling…  

It All Feels Very Surreal Sometimes. Kinda Like The Movie Sucker Punch! But  Forget What I’m Thinking For A Moment. I Can Only Imagine What The People  Below Are Thinking. Cars Honking Like Crazy, I Even Had This One Dude Yell  

JUMP!! If You Ask Me, The World Is More Peaceful From Above. No doubt, you  have a very small area to walk in, nothing to hold onto, all while painting full on  burners. When You’re Down Below You Can’t Really Tell How Wide The Ledge  Is. People Only See The Aftermath & Never Behind The Scenes. It’s Really For  

The Kids At The End Of The Day. We Are All Children Of The Sky. We All  Glance Up & Aspire To Be Like Someone. When We Are Young, Our Brains Are  A lot More Absorbent, But As We Grow We Taste Reality And Life Robs Us Of  Our Free Spirit. If It’s Not The Mental Battle It’s The Physical Battle. Or The  Performance Battle. Self Doubt Is A MF’er, If You Don’t Control It, It Will Control  You.  

“Trust as you go, the same way a bird sleeps on a branch.” 

Someone yelled “jump?!?!” That’s wild. You mentioned to me that while  you’re up on those bridges, “in your mind you want to make sure it doesn’t  look toy, you got to come correct.”  

If it’s Not The Fear Of Falling, It’s The Fear Of Failing. There’s Nothing Worse  Than Risking It All & Fucking It Up!! You Ever Go To Jail For Some  Toy/Unfinished Shit?! Or Being Tired At Work Or Sleeping All Day Knowing You  Dropped The Ball? For Me Failing Is Worse Than Death, It Really Haunts You.  Graffiti Really Means Something To Me, It’s Not Just A Wild Ride, I’m Creating  Something That Will Leave A Lasting Impression On Someone, & Something To  Look Back On. My Own Personal Fountain Of Youth. As A Student Of The  Game. I’m Not Trying To Disrespect Those That Came Before Me By Giving  Less Effort. I Don’t Think LA Heads Know Just How High The Ceiling Truly Is. It’s  All Been Done Before, I’m Just Trying To Give Back To That, I Only Hope I Don’t  Get Anyone Hurt In The Process. I Guess You Can Say There’s A Method To My  Madness, But Nothing Learned Overnight. I Am Only A Product Of My  Environment As All Of Which You See Is The Product Of A 12-13 Yr Old Kid  Who Caught A Vision. These Kinda Spots Used To Put A Lot Of Fear In My  Stomach, Its Safe To Say Pissing & Shitting Off Bridges Has Become Easier Lol  ..IYKYK! But Yea Man You Gradually Build Trust As You Go, The Same Way A  Bird Sleeps On A Branch. Your Faith Has Got To Be In Your Own Wings & Exp,  The Moment You Let Doubt Set In, It’s Over & You Will Get Hurt.  

You’re so funny, I posted that video of you pissing off the freeway bridge  hahaha. You said “the most important part is to inspire and uplift the youth.  That’s the only way this culture lives on & new kings are born.” From 2007  when it all began for you, what were your graffiti related goals and what  specific contributions did you see envision for yourself?  

I Started In 06 But I Claim 07. Being A Complete Toy I Was Never Expected  Much Out Of, Nor Did I Ever Expect Much Outta Myself If I’m Being Honest. I  Would Hit Books And Good Spots With Half Ass Work. All For The Fun Of The  Sport! Growing Up With Severe ADHD I Had A Hard Time Focusing In School. It  Was Nice Just To Get Out With My Friends & Explore New Horizons. As Soon  As That Bell Rang, My Friends And I We’re Grabbing Our Scooters & Jumping  On The 50 Montebello To LA. Hitting The Local hardware Stores & Racking Our  Paint. Good Times! Simpler Times!! As A Kid Who’s Balls Hadn’t Even Dropped,  I Had Not A Worry In The World..Most Of My Friends Stopped Painting But Shout  Out To MESZ, SLEK, WEST, ZETR, KESER (KTS) For Getting Me Into Painting  & For The Tough Love. Having Friends That Are Honest With You Is Very Key  To All This.  

“If I Had Any Purpose In All This, It Would Be To Uplift &  Inspire The Youth.” 

You are making some extreme sacrifices during the craziest time on planet  earth yet you show that faith in a better tomorrow is alive on the freeways  via color & self-empowerment. How do you see your art and what is its  purpose?  

I Know It’s A Selfish Act Of Vandalism, But Art Wouldn’t Be Art Without  Imaginative Emotion. I’ve Tagged Businesses & I’ve Cleaned My Pops Business  When It Got Tagged. I Paint Murals On Ladders In The Sun All Day. So My  Views Are Stronger Than Others When It Comes To Writing On Other People’s  Shit. As Far As The Messages, That’s Something That I Always Try & Leave  Behind Visually. Painting With Multiple Color Palettes Means More Room For  Error, Time & Risk Overall. Not To Mention Severe Muscle Pain, That Later  Leads To Back & Neck Pain & Anxiety, But That’s Another Story. You Know It’s  Funny How Everything Has A Ripple Effect. I’ve Left Positive Messages Next To  My Work To Give People Hope In These Tough Times. Not Everyone Will See It,  But I Know The People That Need It Most Will. The World Is Full Of Messages,  You Just Have To Pay Attention. Now As Far As Purpose. I’m Still In Pursuit Of  That. I Go Through A lot Just Like The Next Man. Painting Is Very Therapeutic  To Me, Hence Why I’m Still Here A Decade+ Later. If I Had Any Purpose In All  This, It Would Be To Uplift & Inspire The Youth. Show Em A Better Way. Show  Them That This Isn’t All There Is. It’s Easy To Get Stuck In The Revolving Door  On The Way In. Most Cats Are Just Caught In The The Rat Race, Chasing Each  Others Tails & Hitting The Same Recycled Spots. Fighting Over A Imaginary  Crown & Trying To Climb An Invisible Ladder. Anytime I Ever Felt Like I Was  Losing Myself I Slowed Down. I Say Toss The Crown In The Air As Heavy Is The  Head That Wears The Crown. Only A Fool Chooses Graff Over Their Family. If  You’re Smart You’ll Find A Balance & Do It All & More! You Don’t Ever King Or  Label Yourself. Let Others Do That. 

“If the blind guides the blind, they both will fall into the pit.”  

No doubt. At what point did you make your letters come alive and what  influences did you have, if any that inspired you?  

I Must Of Had A Turning Point In Mid 2014. I Had Dedicated My Entire Youth  And Sacrificed So Much Time & Resources To This Culture. One Day I Was  Thinking About My ROI & Just Wasn’t Happy With My Growth. I Knew I Should  Of Been Further Along, So I Made A Deal With Myself. Improve Drastically By  2015 Or Hang It Up. Guess You Can Say I Lit My Own Fire Under My Ass. As  Far As Influences, I Can Go Down The List On Crews/Individuals That Expanded  My Horizon, But The Reality Is When You’ve Played The Game Long Enough,  You Know/Hear Too Much About Peoples Company. Shitting On Kids Or Having  A Big Ego Will Only Derail You Down The Line & Not Get You Mentioned  Throughout History As A Collective Or A Individual. As A Uneducated Kid, I Can  Honestly Say I Looked Up To BYS Crew. (Beyond Your Sickest Creation) City  Locals. They Aren’t Around Anymore.. The Rest Know Who They Are As I’ve 

Extended My Respect. I’m Not A Hater, Even To My Own Haters. I Respect The  Work. Lots Of Heart Out There, But Not Enough Guidance. One Person That  Comes To Mind On This Subject Is SABER. I Say This Because We Share Alot  Of Similar Views. In His Interviews His Transparency & Courage To Speak To  Future Gens Is Admirable & To Me That Goes Beyond The Work. “And If The  Blind Guides The Blind, They Both Will Fall Into The Pit”.  

“Cars were honking at me as I was hanging from one hand.”    

For sure, Saber shared some raw truths in the interview we did. You caught  an incredible spot, dedicated to Script, RIP. Tell us about your homeboy  and what that spot meant to you?  

There’s A lot To It. I Just Want To Start Off By Saying I Didn’t Know SCRIPT Too  Well.. There Was Mutual Respect Aligned For Some Time & We Spoke  Periodically Due To The Fact That We Had Bridges I’m Common. We Had A Talk  About Road Tripping Once His Legal Stuff Clears Up But His Time Was Cut  Short Before We Could Link. VOILA Was In Town & I Told Him I Wanted To Do  A Tribute With Him But His Plate Was Already Full With Funeral Plans. He Asked  Me To Do It Solo. The Spot Was Originally Supposed To Be Done Anonymously  But Shit Happens. Lol I Was Exhausted. I Sent The Flicks Over To VOILA For  Him To Share & Passed Out. My Fault. The Part That People Don’t Know Is That  It Wasn’t The Original Spot I Had Mind. That Spot Just Spoke To Me. I Could  Feel The What If Factor Had Just Set In. I Walked On The Outside Of The Bridge  For 30 Mins Just To Check It Out, Upon Arrival I Was Gassed Out & Thats When  The Reality Truly Set In. I Knew It Had To Be A Full Commit Or It Would Be My  Last Spot. Finally Was Able To Collect Myself To Give It A Go. First One Leg  And Then Two And Before I Knew It I Was Dangling All My Weight By My Upper  Body Strength. Immediately Things Started Going Bad, My Leg Couldn’t Find  The Plastic Peg Which Was On The Other Side Of The Slab Of Concrete ( Much  Like A Blindside Skateboard Trick) ..I Started To Panic As My Energy Was  Instantly Depleting To The Point Where I Wouldn’t Be Able To Have A Do Over. I  Was Familiar With This Feeling And So Thought About How Navy Divers Are  Trained To Remain Calm When The Adrenaline Kicks In. At Last I Had Found  The Magic Peg But I Knew I Wasn’t Out The Woods Yet! As I Stepped On Each  BOLT I Knew This Spot Was Batshit. Not Knowing Whether Or Not I’d Be Able  To Make It Back I Collected Myself & Began To Sketch. I Was So Fucked In The  Head From Each Time The Bridge Support Rope Would Crack That I Somehow  Forgot The “I” Hahaha .. I Finished But Didn’t Feel Like I Had Done His Name  Justice The First Time Around ..So I Came Back At Night & Gave It A Whole  Other Pass Over. (Basically Redoing The Whole Thing). It Was Now Morning  And Cars Were Honking At Me As I Was Hanging From One Hand. I Was  Finishing Up The Burner While Pics Were Being Taken From Below. Now I Know  What You’re Thinking, Why So Much Risk For Someone Else? ..Well If It Wasn’t  For Script And A Few Others I Wouldn’t Even Be Hitting Crazy Spots To Begin  With. Painting That Spot Felt Very Nostalgic. I’ve Seen Script Up Since I Was A Kid. When I Came Down I Had Realized That I Had Dedicated The Best Spot I’ve  Ever Painted And Possibly Will Ever Paint To Someone Who Inspired Me To  Break Through Invisible Barriers & Conquer My Fears. Feels Good To Be  Selfless. (Shoutout To PUTM For Backing Me Up From Below & To My Buddy  @buenos_diaz818 For Making The Spontaneous Drive In The Early AM To  Archive This Special Tribute.) I Could Only Imagine What They Were Thinking. In  Fact I Recall PUTM Flat Out Telling Me I Was Going To Die ..Lol Thanks Dude.  

 “I’ve Had Many Near Death Experiences Painting & I Don’t  Say This Proudly.”  

He straight said “you’re going to die?” Damn bro haha. What’s the craziest  thing that you’ve seen and experienced while painting?  

HA ..I’ve Seen It All! ..Fights, Bums Fuck’n, Addicts Shooting Up. 211’s, You’d Be  Surprised. But As Far As Experienced. I’ve Been Injured, Trapped, Chased, Fell  Through A Corroded Roof, Fell Off A Bridge, Been Stranded, Been Chased By  Gangs, Had My Ladder Jacked & Had To Jump, You Name It. It’s Safe To Say  I’ve Had Many Near Death Experiences Painting & I Don’t Say This Proudly. It’s  Just What Comes With This Lifestyle. Shits Fucked Up When You Really Think  About It, But This Is Why This Is The Purest Art Form That There Will Ever Be.  I’m Still On The Young Side So Who Knows What The Damage From Inhaling  Paint For 15 Years Will Be. (Wear A Mask). I Will Say This, I Strongly Believe  That Every Spot Leads Up To Another Spot. Small Spots Lead Up To Larger  Spots And So On ..As Long As You Push Yourself, You Can Achieve The  Impossible. No Membership Needed. LA Is My Playground, No Doubt!  

If I recall, I saw you out on a lake wakeboarding on your stories on IG.  That’s good you’re not internalizing all this virus stuff going on, just  staying healthy, aware and having cool adventures with your people.  Without going too deep into the wormhole of conspiracy, what are your  thoughts on all this virus stuff?  

I’ll Try Not To Go Down The Rabbit Hole On This Too Much, But I Will Say This.  This Isn’t Our First Pandemic, History Just Keeps Repeating Itself Every 80-100  Years. Prev Generations Die, & Knowledge & Lessons Are Forgotten. Fear  Mongering Only Weakens Our Immune System, But Thats What They Want.  Through Cryptic Lyrics And Movies, Warnings Are Given Through Various  Entertainment Industry’s And Predictive Programing For Kids. As Times Appear  To Be More Hopeless, Reversed Engineered Technology Gets Slowly Released  To The Public, People Fall Deeper Into Their Own Trance. Glued To A Screen,  High Off The Same Chemicals That Wars Are Fought Over. There’s A Difference  In What Goes On In Our Heads And What Goes On In Reality. We Believe Our  Own Lies So It’s No Wonder Why We Are Quick To Believe Others. In The  Infamous Words Of Bon Jovi & Masta Ace ..”The More Things Change, The  More They Stay The Same”. History Rhymes For A Reason & I’m Afraid This Is 

Really Just The Beginning. People Have No Clue What Their Really In For. To  Busy Trying To Flex Or Out Hoe Each Other. Stock Up On Cash, Guns & Ammo,  Because They Will Come Knocking & Bank Accounts Will Be A Thing Of The  Past.  

What’s a perfect day for you?  

I Don’t Know About Perfect, But A Good Day For Me Is When Im Painting Or I’m  Surrounded By Family & Friends. Whether It Be Blood Or Brotherhood, I Learn A  lot About Myself In Healthy Environments. I’ve Always Been A Hermit, I Learn A  

lot About Consciousness Being Alone. Every Now & Then I’ll Get An Invite Or My  Homies Will Drag Me Out From Under My Rock. I Like My Rock Though.  

Soundtrack after hitting a spot?  

Idk ..I Have Enough Dopamine Running Through My Body. My Mind Is Always  Running A Million Miles A Minute. I Like Calming Music. Somewhere  Between Moby-Hotel Intro & Patrick O’Hearn – Beyond This Moment. Any Song  That Can Make You Feel Emotion Without Lyrics Is A GEM! Just Pay Attention  What You Listen To Because Sound Is Vibration, And The Words Are Seeds. Its  All Recorded Energy & Plays A Big Roll In Your Happiness & Thoughts.  

“The future is a mystery & it’s the mystery that keeps graffiti  pure.”  

Right on, I always think about that kind of stuff. The taqueria that is open  late on the way home, certain celebration songs that capture the feeling of  “we did it again!” What does the future hold for Jsme and for the world?  

More Self Care. Less Social Media. More Privacy, Productivity, Focus, New  Ideas. New Spots. New Horizons, New Mediums, Smaller Crowds & Maybe Even  A New Name, Idk I’ve Always Thought About Writing A New Name & Not Telling  Anyone ..After All, Graffiti Is Only As Pure As You Make It. I See Where Graffiti Is  Headed. It’s Becoming More About Profit & Image & Less About Heart & Culture.  I’d Rather Be A Classic Then Relevant Any Day. Those Who Truly Love This Shit  Will Remember Me, The Future Is A Mystery & It’s The Mystery That Keeps  Graffiti Pure.  

“I remember using my pop’s credit card buying graffiti  supplies off Bombing Science website.”  

Any final words?  

Thank You For This Opportunity To Share My Story. This Has Brought Me Back  To A Simpler Time Traveling Down Memory Lane. I Remember Using My Pops 

Credit Card Buying Graffiti Supplies Off Bombing Science Website. As A Kid. Life  Will Always Come Full Circle For You If You Keep Your Chakras Aligned. Mind,  Body, Spirit. Treat One Another As A Person Before A Writer. Stay True To Your  Own Beliefs & Remember There Are No Coincidences In Life, Everything Has  Meaning And We’re All Connected Through Different Roles That We Play In  Each Others Lives. I Believe That You Are The Author Of Your Own Story & That  It’s All Been Written Already, You Just Have To Live It & Take The Lessons As  They Come So That You Won’t Have To Repeat Them In The Next Life, (You’ll  Understand One Day). As A Native American I Know I Have Lived Many Lives  Before This One. Each Life Will Test Your Character & Faith, So Move  Accordingly As If The Whole World Is Watching, Because They Are. Hold Onto  No Identities! Be Present! Live In The Moment! & Put Family First! My Parents  Are On Their Last Of Days As I Type This & I Only Wish I Had More Time With  Them!! TIME Is The Enemy As Is MORE, But No One Should Spend Eternity  Suffering As Their Body Deteriorates. Learn To Let Go, As Hard As That Might  Be. Each Hardship Is Meant To Take You To The Next Level Of Your Growth So  Dont Take Things So Personal. I Only Share This Because I Want People To  Understand That The Game Isn’t Going Anywhere. Nothing Is Heavier Then  Regret Of Absence, Unspoken Words Or Forgiveness. Protect Your Energy &  Step Away When It’s Needed. Listen To The Winds Inside You, They Will Always  Guide You To Your Next Chapter & Remind You That You’re Never Alone. Lastly  Respect The Culture Whether You Understand It Or Not, Not Every One Has A  Family Or A Home. A Can Of Paint & Imagination Is All They Have.  While You Are In Your Warm Beds, These Youngsters Are Out Every Night  Finding Their Own Temporary Piece Of Heaven. Whether It Be For Ego Or  Escape Or Sport, They’re Out There Living In Tents & Painting More Then I’ll  Ever Paint. To Whoever Reads This, Just Know You’re Never So Lost Where  Your Angels Cant Find You. If You Reach Out, Guidance Will Be Given. But It’s  Got To Start With You.  

Any shoutouts?  

I Have A lot Of Friends And Even More Acquaintances, So I’ll Base It Upon  People I Speak To Almost Daily & Those Who Are Apart Of My Growth One Way  Or Another. Whether It Be Visual Or Internal. S.O To: My Parents & To  Underground Hip-Hop!!! OAL Homies,STP,LGF,ESK31,BAMC,BOE45 & Fam,  VOCAB, BRUNO,GALUP, REZEK, RODNEY, ANTIK, GNOM, SLOS, AGUAS,  HEX,YR/ULZ, KOG/LTS, KIC, STK, MSK/AWR & While I’m Mentioning  Pioneering Crews I Might As Well Mention COI. I Don’t Have Any Ties With  Them Other Than Meeting Oiler Once, But I Feel They Don’t Get Enough Credit  Throughout History.  

Picture Credit : @_indianaholmes_,@rodney5150,@birdmanphotos,  @utapout,@buenos_diaz818, (Sorry If I Missed You)  

& Thanks To Those Who Have Flicked My Work Multiple Times Over The Years.  Your Effort Doesn’t Go Unnoticed. 

@kzergabegallery, @joe1974, @sofaking_818,  

@steve_grody, @admire_my_demise, @calitouring,  

@alexanderthegreatestofthemall, @rustyoleum, @colorsinla, @billboardbandits  

Follow Jsme on IG:  

@jesmeezy 

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