Fuck the Rest (FTR) and Kings Over All (KOA), RISE rose up in the streets of the Lower East Side, Brooklyn and Queens. He developed a hand style that is uniquely his own and we have him here to tell us how he did it.

RISE, thank you so much for joining me. We are going to talk about your hand-style, of course, but first, let’s talk about your name and how you came up with it.

Just like any other kid such as myself coming up in the era, geographic location and demographic that first exposed me to the graffiti scene. I immediately needed an identity, a secret identity. Shit, at that age we were still young and impressionable. Somehow my first tag “TASK” came about. I don’t know, I think it was its sound- it sounded cool, but who knows. I think also it flowed well together, but in the end I grew tired of it and stumbled upon “RISE.” The word “RISE” had and still does have a nice flow, you can stretch it top to bottom, left to right and slant in any direction, and it even has a nice down style (vertical). It can be spelled differently, so to me it was versatile and is still ever evolving. Overused, but I settled on it.

I feel you. With all different the, [insert Name] One and Twos out there, it’s no big deal that RISE is overused. You make it your own and you join your own crews. So, when you come up in graffiti, how did you become a member of a crew and which crews do you represent?

When I first became aware or was introduced to a “crew” or “crews” it wasn’t so much like getting jumped in or you have to commit some stupid crime or anything like it’s portrayed on film, I mean over here in the Northeast, of course, can’t speak for any other area; after all this is just graffiti. My first basic reality to it were my peers, this is us “blah blah” crew and whatever, but it really wasn’t until I got a little older, about 14, 15 years old; about the time I entered high school  when I inevitably had to come face to face with the reality of my situation. New school, new people, new experiences, outside of my comfort zone.



The Blah Blah Crew? Ha!  You should definitely make that happen now. RISE. PREZ of BBC. Just putting that out there.

Very funny.

Thank you. You may proceed.

High school was no joke; I went to Franklin K. Lane. To me, this was a whole new arena outside my neighborhood. I mean me and the neighborhood cats, we had our ‘lil crews and crew beef and what not, but that’s just you know practice for the Big Leagues. In them days it was mainly a group of dudes from the same block neighborhood, same classroom/homeroom or what ever, you know they formed their little cliques and what not, who has the dopest hand-style, throw up, straight letter, piecing style, dance, rap, dj etc. Every crew has a little bit of everything and it’s when everyone has something unique to offer that I realized who I wanted to roll with. FTR, KOA, BBK to STF, MSD. There’s a laundry list of crews, but it’s all about how you present yourself and network and keep it real 100%, people tend to gravitate towards people they fit in with or associate/identify with.

My first introduction into piecing was thru PG3 aka PGISM TPA VIC FTR KOA, etc. He actually sketched my first piece for me over by the docks on the South Side of Williamsburgh, Brooklyn. He said “do your outline first, then fill in the blend, like a coloring book. Stay within the lines. Be neat and clean up your piece.” This is why I focus so much on neatness and clean and straight lines and solid curves.

First off, PG, rest in peace. I can’t even color in the lines in a coloring book. You guys never cease to amaze me what you can do with a spray can!

When I first started I was horrible, I’m always critical of my work, even ’til this day. I hate every piece I do. I’ve progressed from 1 or 2 color blends to now like 5 or 6. Over the years I’ve learned and taken pointers from PG3, POEM, POET, 2-IL SIC, SLASH, NASH, PEAK VIC, PEMA, DEMER, PER, NAT, JERMS, and AMUZE etc.

We’ll be seeing some of those fellas on here soon so stay tuned for that.  RISE, I can honestly say I think you might be the only one who “hates” your pieces. How ’bout you tell us some stories about bombing that could have gone really wrong…or did. Shout out to the NYPD Vandal Squad!

Ha! One night- winter time, I’m chilling at Madison Park with my boy NUKE BMF smoking a blunt. He had his Jansport filled with paint and his bubble goose inside stuffed with paint too. You could hear him marching through the snow with his Timberlands and paint cans clanking in his bags. NUKE is like “it’s snowing lets go bombin’!” There was already 3 ft. of snow from a few snowstorms from a few days ago and it’s been snowing on and off all day so it was a perfect night to go bombing [for all non-Graff heads, when it snows, nobody is outside, hence bombing season]. We head out and bomb the M (subway) Line from Fresh Pond down to Marcy doing roof tops, gates, vans. We walked across the Williamsburgh Bridge and hit Delancey Street. Man, it was dope! No police in sight! We took the train back to see what we did and noticed we missed a roof top so we got off at Marcy (station), found the roof top, and climbed up. There was like 4 ft. of snow on that little roof. We did our fill-ins and kept slipping due to the snow; couldn’t get our footing. When we almost finished BAM! We get lit up, sirens blasting. We got bagged by the paddy wagon. NUKE dove into an exhaust duct and I almost jump off the other side because the police wouldn’t have seen me, but that was a high jump down onto slippery ice. I could hear the cop climbing and bitching and cursing and because of that split second “thought of jumping/ice/slippery/break my ankle and get caught/or just get caught/or jump and get away… too late cop was up there and saw me and grabbed NUKE.  They put us in the paddy wagon and for some reason I thought they were going to let us go, but nah they took us in.

Caught out there despite an attempted duct jump.  Good choice on the not diving into a pile of ice. When things are going really well- probably means its time to pack it in, but there’s always more one spot to hit, huh?


What is the difference between Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens graffiti and writers? The reason I ask is because so many of you come from Bushwick and Ridgewood and there is literally a West Side Story boundary vibe going on there from back in the days. You couldn’t go cross the border without a pass from somebody and now you all have come together because of graff. Correct?

Pretty much. Coming from the Ridgewood/Bushwick/Glendale area, and in MY OPINION this area of Queens ALMOST had their own style or more unique style something slightly different than the rest of the city, back then you can ALMOST tell where a writer is from based on their hand styles, its almost like a finger print graffiti DNA. Queens, for the most part had somewhat of a different style when it came to hand styles and bombing style and its surrounding areas neighborhoods that were close blended and had similar styles, so naturally Bushwick had a blend of Queens and Brooklyn. You had train-era bombers that made the transition to street bombing, but bombing in the same tactic/offense maneuvers (attack mode) as if they were still bombing trains. Three or more fill-ins per block. It was nuts!  The 7 (subway) Line was destroyed, all above ground lines in Queens, roof tops, streets destroyed, stations destroyed… We hit everything. I mean that was the mentality, that’s what PEAK, DG, ASP, ORO, DEK, DONDI, DORO, REC, SHOW, AUDIE, NASH, GA, ARC, BABY168, and IZ THE WIZ said fuck it and boom! Top to bottoms! There’s dozens more, can’t name ’em all. But these guys that did trains from our area and transitioned to streets showed us. We learned from them.



Whew, that’s a lot to take in. Kind of feel like I was there too with the way you described it. Unfortunately,  too many of those artists are no longer with us. All too soon. All tragic. They still have a huge impact on graff.

Lighter topic, favorite markers?


Mainly Sharpie oil-based paint markers. I also use enamel paint and acrylics. Sharpies cover better and stick out brighter than many other markers out on the market. I’m sure they’re better markers out there, for the price they work great for me.

So what’s your go to brand for paint?

I use Montana, Belton and Evolve.

If I’m looking for a specific color, my go to brand is Montana. For a certain tone, I use Belton and just for basic, popular colors, I use Evolve. It’s inexpensive and always reliable as a go-to brand. I use all 3 at once for pieces and canvas’.

How do you perfect doing lines using spray paint, it isn’t easy. Trust me; I can’t even do a throw up.

There’s no such thing as perfection, one can only strive for perfection.  The goal is to get as close to perfection as one can.

Can control can be perceived in a many different ways as graffiti from all over the world have their own style. So is a dead straight line considered can control? Or is a shaky line or perfect or imperfect circle considered can control? It’s all in who’s doing the judging. There’s different levels to can control, it takes years to get as close to perfect as one can, some get it quick and some such as myself take a little longer to develop and some just don’t get it at all.

Thank you, Yoda. Do you have a preferred color scheme?

Colors schemes for me vary, I like to keep it simple, but I also like fresh and new. I can do the same style and color scheme piece after piece, but to me that’s boring. It’s a challenge to me to always be thinking to be better than my last piece.

Word. Readers, check out a gallery of Rise’s work below. If you want to keep up with him- check out his Instagram: Rise_FTR.

I hope y’all enjoyed the interview. Deuces ’til next time.

-Rebel Know