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Thursday - January 28, 2016 11:58:28 AM
1. First off, for those that may be unfamiliar with the Trepes stye, can you explain what Trepes is?

Ok so Trepes, plainly put, is hangover tags. Trepar in Spanish means to climb. Climb a ladder, climb a building. It's like climbing down a ladder from the top of a building, actually. Right or left, backward or forward, slightly slanted flare tags across the tops of buildings is what Trepes are. Roll calls are another dominant aspect of this style. The grittiness and energy of the tags are next to none. This is a style born in Tijuana Mexico, one of the wildest places on the planet. The tags not only add to the edginess of the city, they also tell the myth. Read the riddle. 

2. Obviously anyone with an eye for graffiti visiting Tijuana for the first time is going to be struck by the very distinct graffiti style that permeates the city, it’s everywhere, It’s almost too much for one to take in at first. What made you guys decide to dig deeper and document the phenomena? When you were taking the pictures were you guys planning on making a book? Or was that an idea that came up after?

I started painting graffiti in TJ in 2000. It was during that time that the idea of documenting the tags first started brewing. In 2003 Me, Adek, and Stefan were all on board for making a book about the style. We took several trips over the border to take flicks and interview different taggers. It's a trip man a lot of the really up dudes weren't around anymore. We heard they had crossed the border, were dead, locked up, in drug cartels, or they were cops. That's life down there. Pretty shocking. 
The tags, to me, are some of the illest, if not the illest, on the globe. I thought it was important to document such an original and nasty tag style. It's necessary to the history of graffiti. Yes, so the original intention was to make a book. It took a while to drop but I'm glad it's finally out! 

3. Were there any local Tijuana bombers or crews who played a pivotal role in the making of the book?

Definitely want to send much love and thanks to all the bombers of Tijuana for birthing such a raw style. Grimy to the core. HEM crew looked out super hard and hooked us up with a lot of the history and flicks. Pein, Kafy, Shente, Libre, Truko, thank you brothers. Also the homie Speed for giving us rides to flick spots and his wing man Peel. 

4.TJ is a wild, wild place filled with hella gnarly shit. You guys spent a lot of time there, whats some of the craziest shit that went down?

Yes man TJ is loko. Well let's see, the gnarliest shit that happened was actually very, very gnarly. One summer, during the early 2000's a bunch of us went to take flicks and record spots we had painted. One particular spot was this sound wall of a ranch out in the cuts going to Tecate from TJ. So we get to the spot, get out, get pics, record, then back in the car, all good. Twenty minutes later I'm stuck in traffic following the car ahead of me full of my friends. I start hearing sirens and honking behind me and as I looked in my rear view I notice the cars with the sirens are nice. A BMW, a Black Suv and a few more that had those single detachable sirens you can put on the roof of a car by hand. Anyway, I turn to my homie who's riding shotgun and tell him to turn on the cam because something felt wild and boom, all of a sudden there's a 9mm on my temple as I'm getting yanked out of the window in a headlock. Things started moving slow, I got put back in my car, there's a dude in my back seat now holding a gun on my back and he's telling me to drive. I notice the same thing happening to my friends in the front car. Shit. So we get taken to an abandoned gas station and set up like a firing squad was about to do us in. The dudes who had us captive were all dressed in expensive black clothing. They started interrogating us and reviewing the flicks and the footage. After a while they realized we were just documenting graffiti. I guess the "ranch" was really something else. They bullshitted us saying we were in a no crime zone and they were security. Yea right. Dudes were straight cartel members. Haha. Wild one. They let us roll out. There were probably a few in our group that shit their pants.

5. Yo, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you want people to know about the book?

Thank you homie. Glad to catch up with you and glad to talk a little about the book. Thanks for the support Art Primo. I'm hoping to make a hard cover edition soon, and want to do a show in TJ eventually. Keep you posted.

-Interview by Xanax BTM 

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