As featured on FSD, Kane One talks about his top ten Chicago bombers. Read the whole article @ FSD Feature: Kane One’s Top 10 Chicago Graffiti Bombers. Here they are in alphabetical order. All words by Kane One. (@Kane_1)
If you knew what Ages looks like, you would never think he’s the one responsible for such an impressive body of work. He’s one of the first people I heard of going overseas just to paint. Since I’ve never been, I hear that Ages still has pieces riding in Spain and Italy that date back to the early 90s. In Chicago, he’s played host to visiting legends like Rens, Gigs, Fred, Left, Reas, etc…
Ark is a monster — point blank. Most writers learn how to paint on the streets, gaining experience and honing craftsmanship through low-stakes, creative risk behavior. Not the case with Ark. He learned how to paint inside CTA train yards, and for the most part, only painting CTA trains. This can be attributed to his mentor, Temper’s, militant approach to painting graffiti.
I’ll be transparent about my bias here, and say that Awol is a longtime great friend. That said, this fool is wild as hell! I met him when he started painting at 12 years-old. Because he was around DC5 at such a young age, we held him to high expectations.
Depte, Rest In Peace. Depte was your favorite tagger’s favorite tagger. Homie had ups everywhere in Chicago. He definitely went all city. It takes a refined eye to appreciate a clean handstyle with nice flow — and that’s exactly what made Depte stand out.
Fact was about 8 years-old when I used to go to his house and pick up his older brother, Soke KMD FAR. I would’ve never guessed he’d become such a beast on the streets. Fact’s huge face-smacking throwups started turning heads in the late ’90s. He became known for his daring antics of painting street-side spots with high visibility.
Again and again, Koname has continually surpassed generations of hardcore bombers with longevity. He periodically reminds us and teaches newcomers who the “West Side Champ” is. Everyone either knows someone who got gone over by, or punched in the face by Koname. Completely self-taught, Koname’s aesthetic is a testament to autonomy.
Lone is a definitive bomber. Tags on everything and everywhere was definitively his focus. He would have a multiple series of tags across a wall, on an expressway, or along a train track. And when it comes to pieces, his focus on precision and legibility refer back to the significant focus of tagging.
Nike/Nyke deserves way more shine for the tons of work he’s put in over the decades in Chicago (if someone can get a hold of Jove’s photo collection, contact me ASAP). I remember him wearing crispy Air Max’s and Jordan’s way before graffiti artists got into sneakers. Nyke’s agility is evident by his body of work on streets, rooftops, trains — with tags, throw ups, pieces, burners. etc… He’s definitely a ‘lifer’.
Don’t let Sivel’s smile fool you. The gawd don’t play. He’s basically the graffiti mayor of Chicago. He has painted so much, in so many different social circles that he’s come to know everybody who’s anybody. Growing up as part of J4F, along with Lone and Koname; being an all-city king was always the focus. And you can be sure he achieved that level of respect a long time ago.
Temper the emporer. What’s left to be said? That title says it all. This guy epitomizes graffiti in its purest form. Trains on trains on trains. Temper stacks clean train photos like a sneakerhead does Mikes. I feel like such a toy whenever I bump into him.
Factoid: He was the deciding vote when I got put on SAW crew in 1992. He clearly owns Chicago’s clean train scene.