As part of my efforts to provide more insight into the world of graffiti (as opposed to merely just pictures), I have been interviewing some of Philly’s best graffiti writers. Earlier this week I interviewed the immensely talented/awesome dude REKER, and today I will be interviewing PADAE. Similar to REKER, PADAE is a very generous, very interesting person with incredible talent who has a lot of good things to say about the world of graffiti here in Philadelphia
Chris: How long have you been doing graff?
PADAE: I have been actively writing on walls since around 1998ish. I hadn’t gotten around much when I was younger, I didn’t know a lot of other writers at the time.
Chris: How did you get started writing graffiti?
PADAE: I simply saw it all around the city, and just the idea of names on walls in cool lettering caught my attention. Then once I started, I couldn’t stop. Walls, paper in school, books, everything. I practiced tags and pieces.
Chris: Is there any graffiti piece you have done that you are particularly proud of?
PADAE: Personally, I like one I did next to a mural of my brother’s girlfriend who passed away. Its a blue and white one I did on 6th street, North Philly. I just like how it all came together, and I used good paint for once so it was clean. Plus that girl who passed away introduced me to my current girlfriend, who I now have a baby with so it means a lot to me.
Chris: How do you feel about the people who argue that graffiti is nothing but senseless vandalism?
PADAE: I don’t think its necessarily senseless, because every tag/throw up has its purpose, whether it means a lot to other people or not. Obviously we always expect a property owner to get mad, I’m sure its senseless to them. But it is the people who are on the outside who say its senseless, they just don’t understand the thrill of it, and how it can be so stress relieving. They don’t understand it. Me personally, I love it and it’s a passion, but so is my job, home, family, and graffiti is behind all that. So getting caught for it is senseless, so I am careful when I do paint. I only go out with people I trust, no sloppy kids.
Chris: Who are some graffiti writers you have a lot of admiration and respect for?
PADAE: The writers I grew up seeing that I always had respect for was Nyce, Ced, Pre, Kair, Oz, Caem, Kid, too many to name. Those are the names I saw getting around, too many to remember. Nowadays since I’m involved now, I have more respect for the writers I know personally, and who are good people to me. Person-wise and skill-wise… Nyce, Aknew, Midas, Reker, Caze, TNT, Crese, Ynk, Bard, Bam, Bark, and some others I forget at the moment, sorry guys.
Chris: Is there a certain type of adrenaline rush associated with writing in an abandoned location?
PADAE: I think there is more adrenaline writing on the streets where it’s easier to get caught. There’s a rush to the danger. Abandoned places to me are more laid back, they relieve stress and good places to get away from life issues, and also take time and just explore. I’ve always loved abandoned places, graffiti or not.
Chris: Can you share your best and worst graffiti-related experience?
PADAE: My best graffiti related experience was simply going out one night for damage, it was just me and Reker, and we walked from the bottom of South Philly to far North Philly, non stop. Along the way exploring tracks, abandos, and everything. All we had was paint and beer, and just wrote on everything. Everytime I do a legal wall it’s a fun time with my close friends, but theres nothing like a full night in the dark and cold adventuring with someone you trust and are closest to.
My worst experience was when I was painting a wall behind a fence, street level, two security guards snuck up on me and beat me with bats, shot me with pellet guns, and who knows who else. I limped away, but no hospital stay, just bruised ribs.
Chris: Do you get mad or disappointed when you discover one of your tags or pieces has been painted over?
PADAE: It depends, a throw covers a tag, a piece covers a throw; or simply if someone does something bigger I kinda let it live. They did more work than me, so they deserve the spot. If it is obvious they went over me as a diss, then I still stay calm cause if I don’t catch them, I know someone else will. I have good peoples on my side.
I’d like to personally thank PADAE for taking the time to answer these questions for us about the world of graffiti here in Philadelphia. I’d also like to send some thanks to REKER for helping me get in contact with PADAE and make this whole thing happen in the first place.
Stay tuned to LOLadelphia, as we will definitely be featuring more interviews with Philly’s best graffiti writers in the upcoming days.
For more from PADAE, check out his page from our friends at 215graff.com.