First off its nice to meet you, we were recommended by Gouch to interview you next and once we took a look at your art we knew you would be a good fit for us so thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. After looking at your work it looks like the two of you have known each other for awhile, how did the two of ya’ll meet? When did you get started writing, can you give us a brief history of your story until now? where does the name ribs come from? 

What’s up, I write RIBS and I’m a Brooklyn, NYC native.  I started writing in junior high in 1988, my nickname was already RIBS so it was an easy transition to use that as my tag.  Like most writers I wanted to get my name up everywhere but once I saw a piece I knew that’s what I wanted to do.  I bombed the streets with tags and fill-ins in the early 90’s but eventually I gravitated towards doing pieces.  Once I started piecing I decided to create my own crew because we weren’t looking to ask other crews to be down. And that’s when Graffiti Art Kings = G.A.K. was born.  Gouch and I have been friends for some years now, I don’t remember a specific date or time but it was amongst the people that we know in common…The graff community is very tight knit.  We were familiar with each other’s work but it wasn’t until recent years that we started to collaborate.  From the first project we worked on we realized our ideas and work ethic were similar in many ways.  We have similar goals and ideas about the graffiti culture and the love that we have for it.

 One of the coolest pieces you guys did was documented in a short 1 minute video collaboration you guys did with Wolf Council Films called “The Revenge of the Pink Panther”. I thought it was really cool how you guys spliced the footage of the old pink panther cartoon along with you and Gouch doing your collaboration piece. Can you tell us what inspired you guys to do this piece? What is it about the cartoon aesthetic that inspires you so much?
The inspiration for the pink panther wall came from an idea I had been wanting to paint for awhile and felt it was a perfect scenario for a friendly battle with all egos and other graff related politics and nonsense out the window. Let’s do this for fun! At the time Gouch was wrapping up his documentary. Once that was done Wolf Council Films shot the video. From that experience the ideas just keep coming for us to continue rocking…
Speaking of Wolf Council Films, is there plans to do more documentary style films of other artists (including yourself) that are connected to
I like drawing themes with old school cartoons, comics, movies, etc. Most of my inspiration comes from a nostalgic feeling you got from those elements as a child and wanted to recreate it. It’s a conversation starter because it sparks the same emotion in many people that see my work. If you start playing Planet Rock most people can tell you a story of where they were, what they were doing and what outfit they had on. Good times Good Memories.
You and Gouch recently put up a video playing off the spy vs spy theme that you guys explore in your murals. The video is really cool and looks like you guys had a lot of fun doing it, can you explain the process behind the creation of the short film? Why is film an intergral part to what you guys do? Were you both a part of the whole process of the video, including the editing?
As we continued brainstorming battle scenarios we came up with Spy vs Spy. And so the battle continues… Although the theme has been painted many times we knew we just had to go overboard and take it to the extreme. There are endless outcomes to Spy vs Spy so we worked on a series. We started our 1st battle at The Classicknyc GHORT show on huge canvases and life size woodcut out characters. The 2nd battle was a painted / art installation wall we did this summer with huge cut out tags, ropes and pulleys. So of course why not do the 3rd battle on film. The process behind the scenes took some time but was well planned out by both of us. We started with story boards, location scouting, acquiring the right accessories and weapons, etc. Gouch sat with Lucky Loopiano looking for the perfect beats, He also created the animated intro. The video was shot and edited by Raul B over at Wolf Council Films. We are not done. Stayed tuned… Dropping some limited merchandise soon.
In our Gouch interview he also mentioned that you were the one who came up with the From your perspective is there any big goals on where it is you would like to take this website? Gouch says that you guys come up with things on the fly and have fun with it, but from the outside it looks like there is some sort of master plan that is beginning to form with these short documentary style videos, books and subway themed canvases that you guys do (which are pretty badass by the way.)

We have plans on continuing the short films and hope to be able to work on future documentaries that include other artists associated with ClassickNYC including myself.

“This was my part of the train battle at The Burning of Kingston 2 event in upstate NY. I was on the winning team both years. Hard to lose when Bio, Ces and Doves are your team mates lol. Doves did the character of Trump. ” -Ribs

In that Gouch documentary you guys collaborated with Wolf Council Films on there is a point at the end of the film where Gouch is drawing with his young daughter and expresses doubts about whether he will ever fully explain his involvement in graffiti to his daughter. Its a great moment and When I was looking through your work I saw you have a daughter who is an artist as well! I see that same creativity that’s in you definitely shines through her as well. From your perspective was this an issue for you when your daughter was growing up? Did you feel like you were living two lives, one for your daughter and one for your art? 
Art has been a part of me since I was a kid. Growing up a graffiti writer has never been anything that I’ve been ashamed of or felt that I had to hide especially from my daughter. In fact it has been a great bonding tool for us, she has always shown interest in art not necessarily in graffiti as much. One less worry as a father that my kid is running around the street doing dangerous things, but she found her niche as an artist. I’m very proud of that.
For artists that are in your area in New York does aim to provide any kind of support or venue for other artists to show their work as well? Is this something in the plans?
So far ClassickNYC is moving in the right direction, our intention was to use the website as a platform for artist that were underrated, in our eyes.  There are many graffiti artists that are inspirations to others but since they either painted for a short time or didn’t get up as much, they aren’t as recognized as others but still have made an impact on many people in the culture.  We hope to expand our artist reach and exposure with more features, interviews, documentaries and simply giving some light to some that never got enough.
When you were coming up who were the artists that you looked up to? Were there any writers or artists that you studied, and if so how did you go about studying their work? In your early days how did you hone your craft?
In my early days as most writers did (although some may not want to admit it) we all copied the styles of the writer or writers we looked up to.  You practiced and practiced until you came up with something you can call your own, even though you had little bits and pieces of inspiration from all the writers you admired.  On my side of Brooklyn there were mostly taggers and very few piecers. 2 of the biggest crews I looked up to were TFV (Those Fucking Vandals) and TBK (The Brooklyn Kings) I didn’t have any particular writer where I got my handstyle from. As far as I’m concerned back then everyone was fresh and I was a toy. There were just too many writers to pin point anyone specific.  I didn’t have any particular artist that I studied I basically learned from my friends that I came up painting with but the 1st piece that really inspired me to really wanna do pieces was a REVLON {REVS} and KAB piece that was in the tracks that we painted regurlarly as kids near where I lived. Until this day that piece is embedded in my brain.
Any shoutouts you would like to give to other artists?
I wanna thank all the writers that are still doing this for the love of it. My bro’s NKC, YTS, KED, BBT, ACC, BYI, TNC, TFK, 156, HC, MST and a big shout out to all the crews that are still family not just putting people down over the internet to spread their crew names around. Peace.
Where can people follow you and is there anything in your current pipeline that you would like to share with us to close out the interview?
People can follow me on Instagram @ribs_gakand
Interview by Wesley Edwards