criminal type // 01
Page 1 of 4

00. play
01. criminal type
02. one-click
03. skateboards
04. niketown
05. catalog
We weren't your stereotypical graffiti writers. We were into punk rock, we hung out in cafés (back when there wasn't a Starbucks™ to be found in the city of Chicago), and we spent our evenings watching independent film at the Music Box and the Three Penny. However, that is not to say that we weren't graffiti writers to the core.

My crew was called Under Estimated (UE for short). My friend Alex and I got the idea to call our crew UE from a skateboard company of the same name. I know that sounds terrible because we kind of stole it, but we really didn't. You see, the skateboard company UE stood for Underworld Element. We were Under Estimated. That was the difference. The skateboard company was also in the process of shortening their name to Element--without the Underworld prefix.

The crew was called UE, and we were a rag-tag bunch of kids from all different types of backgrounds. Of course, we were all friends and we listened to the same type of music: punk rock. We were also into hip-hop (just like you would expect from any other graffiti writer); but what really got us going was bands like the Ramones, Youth of Today, Sick of it All, Bad Brains, the Misfits, Dead Kennedys, etc.

So, this difference set us apart from the other writers--not only in what were into, but what kinds of subject matter we concentrated on. Instead of painting a hip-hop character with a skull cap smoking a joint, we would paint a harë krishna character (reference to the bands Shelter and 108).

There are three things that graffiti writers will take pride in: 1) To be "up" everywhere. 2) To do graffiti in a crazy insane place that is highly visible. 3) To be original. UE strove to be more original than either "up" or crazy insane.

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