Interview by: Breez
Over the past two decades plus some change, Cope2 the true legend has made his mark on this earth an uncountable amount of times. Traveling from country to country on a weekly basis Cope2 has been popping up in more places than just the numerous walls he attacks. He has appeared in a converse commercial, bombed the fashion set for Vibe’s premiere issue of Vibe Vixen, and at the same time still manages to get down with crews and rock productions from L.A. to Paris. We were able to catch up to him and get that exclusive shit from the king himself about his aspects of the game today.
With no mercy for the weak what so ever Cope2 creates the vision of what it really takes to make it this long in the grimmy back alleys and hidden spots where all the creativity goes down. So with any further a due I’d like to introduce to you the Bronx King Cope2 the True Legend. Also to see more of his work you can hop on www.cope2truelend.com
Breez: Being that you’ve been around now labeled a king or legend what is your point of view on the evolution of graffiti from when you started until now? (do you feel the newcomers are doing a good job of keeping it what it is or do you think they’ve strayed from the roots and are forming a new sub-culture?)
Dam its so different cause in my days and era the early 80’s it was all about subway trains nothing but trying to become a King and famous of the New York Subway trains inside or out. It was so challenging and dangerous you had to worry about other writers rivals and crews that you might bump into in the yards or lay ups and also the police. It was excitement, drama and also horror trust me and I thank God for blessing me with the experience its something you cherish and take it to your grave old school niggas know the deal. But today its so different really its so layback you know everything is permission walls, productions, freight trains its just to easy and laidback and as for street bombers some toy wakes up today bites a style from some writer he idiolizes does a couple of throw ups around the city all of a sudden he’s King! “Please” that word king and the meaning of it died back when the trains died. It’s so easy to king the city even though you have the vandal squad also these pigs are dirty as a bums asshole and thats dirty stinky and disgusting. These guys will raid your crib take everything and you just have to deal with it in court. And also make fake police reports on each other too bad some haters can’t see or understand it but you know graffiti has gone on way farther than I’ve ever thought i mean it amazes me how its gone worldwide. These europeans are no joke they’re making it happen. as for New York its ok but niggas need to stop hating so much and do them and stop stressing on how much more graffiti writing you’ve done than the next man just do you. The art has definitely changed but we gotta keep it alive however where ever just keep rockin and shockin. cause thats what I’ll be doing.
What’s your current preference of surface to paint on walls(illegal or legal), freights, canvas or are you still able to sneak a few F or M trains in, or E lines maybe hit the 7 for good ole times?(also if you can explain how the subway situation has been…is it harder now, what’s a few secrets to em’, how long does new stuff stay before they buff it,etc.)
My preference is anything and everything goes, however whatever I gotta do to keep rockin and to pay the bills and eat whether its still rockin trains which I love to do cause its in my blood baby to rockin a canvas and showing it in London, Japan or Paris to pay bills eat and live cause I’ma do me fuck what the next nigga is doing unless you got love for a nigga cause like 2pac said niggas is gonna hate you for whatever you do so do you! Thats how I live so I’m still rockin walls with niggas like YMI, WALLNUTS, and the FC CREW and my dog TKID a real motherfucker. As for trains always with whoever is down you know New York and worldwide baby the subways in NY are easy, yeah they get buffed right away but as long As you got that flick yo good. As for the street bombing I still get down here and there but only with real niggas like my crew KD GOD,QUEST, JEZ, JEE, REPS, SAP DEEM, MAD, and many more also BTC always for (SPEK RIP) and JA, SKUF, KEZ5, JUST, WAY2, since whoever’s down I really dont care just be real about it but otherwise i’m just trying to do shows around the world and promote my new book (COPE2 TRUE LEGEND) the Realest and illest out so represent and get yo copy its real baby.
Well back in June of 2004 I got rolled on in front of my exgirls crib in the morning. I dont know why but the vandal squad claims that some 2 writers hit the Bedford park yard on Superbowl Sunday and caught a couple of the last red trains hmmmmmmm!!! I wonder who was it. Anyway They took me down to the precinct and showed me some pictures of the trains that were hit you couldn’t really see what the names read cause whoever was the writer’s they had buffed out their pieces on the trains. So you really couldn’t read or see what it said one of them could of said Cope but it was really blured out I told them I had no idea who it was and couldn’t help them so they said they thought it was me but I said listen I dont paint trains and I have nothing to say so they broke out for a couple of hours left me in the cell then they came back and said well Cope since we like you and we’ve fucked with you enough we’re gonna give you a DAT and let you go and i said what there’s bullshit And They said listen Cope were cutting you a break take it or go through the system so I said “ok cool”. Also the precinct was really packed and the Bullpens in 161 bronx was backed up so they were letting people go with bullshit charges on DAT’s. That’s rare I haven’t seen those in years. But I was out and a month later went to court they had nothing so my lawyer Got it dismissed and thats a rap!
Is there any color that’s extinct that you wish you could get your hands on? And tell the last time you remember using it and what the importance or essence of the color that made you drool over it?(kinda like nicolas cages unicorn in gone in 30 seconds)?
Oh man (High Heat Nybco Silver’s) these joints were the bomb, better than any european silver anytime. These silvers were no joke they never faded away always stood bright and chromey. They coated like a motherfucker. PJAY was the one who put me on to them back in 87 when we use to go wracking. I remember him cleaning out shelves of it and I would clean out all the rusto silvers thinking they were the best but when we went bombing I realized his throw ups would look more solid and bright especially in the freezing cold winter these silvers would never fail you. Man those were the good old days my last can I had for several years but I gave it to PJAY last year cause he’s a good friend and I know he loved those silvers if anyboby sees or has any hit me off please they still might make them otherwise I miss the old Krylon Brick Pastel Aqua, Fedpurple’s and Aqua Turquois those were the
days thank GOD.
Do you think you’ll ever stop or would be doing graffiti if you were a quadropledic? Why?
Stop graffiti never till my last breath its in my blood for life it’s what I’m and what I do I’m cope2 now and I’m taking it all the way with all the blessing from God and my imortal goddess my Mother who passed away God bless her heart and soul, and as for a quadropledic thats nothing to joke around with I pray for the people who suffer from that around the world may god bless them through life.
Are there any goals that you haven’t accomplished as a writer or do you feel if you retired tomorrow you would you be happy with your career as a writer?
Yeah, I guess I’ve pretty much done it all in graff I mean my goal was done back in (1983) when i became the king of the #4 train in the Bronx and the d train and the #2 train and 5 trains when they became white with my partner Cone, TNF at the time so I’m pretty much content with my goal cause it was done and blessed over 20 years ago so whatever I do now its all good and a blessing I’m gonna keep on rockin though you know its amazing sometimes thats why I laugh at all these toys today who claim to become king, please dead that. You gotta alot of dues and years to put in and pay nigga. So go ahead with your bullshit crew and throw ups cause you aint got nada on this Killer God Of Destruction boyee but otherwise if I retired today I think I’ll be good and go down as one of the best ever the most brutal and farocous, vicious, destructive bombers of all times baby and you know it True Legend status nigga what!
Being someone of your caliber is there anyone you think that’s really stepping they’re skills up right now that’s just like amazing the graff community in your mind?
Not realy the last time i saw a writer getting busy was my dog(SPEKBTC)RIP! This kid had like 5 different throwups and backwards but his life was cut short 2 years ago god bless his soul i miss ya Tim. But one of my favorites and you gotta give it to him is (JA,XTC) this guy is a graffiti bombing machine. This guy really destroys shit at the same time he’s having drama and war with like every fucking writer who fucks with him or anybody in his crew. He brings excitement to the game and we need it cause lately in New York it sucks. Too many village bombing homo’s who think their rocking shit by just bombing the village in new york otherwise new york is wack if it wasn’t for real nigga’s like JA, SKUF, LES, WAYS, CHEEZ, JEE, NAISHA, CLAW, SINCE, WALLNUTS, YMI, SAP, TATS CRU, and many more New York would suck.
What’s more important to you skills or fame?(what should the next
generation concentrate on?)
I guess both but writers should just try and be as real as possible and just do what you feel is good for you just rep for yourself and your crew I mean I do it all burners, tags, throwups, trains, walls, whatever and learn to respect those who respect you especially your idols and the writers you looked up to when you was nobody and still probably is. If you can’t fight don’t talk shit and fuck around with other niggas you know you can’t fuck with cause you know when you get caught its beatdown lumpcity cause thats how
I get down BTC style (Breaking Toys Chin’s) like SPEK use to say and do. But at the end of the day just have fun and enjoy the graffiti world cause its something else.
Any last words shout outs, fuck you’s, or anything the readers should know about Cope2?
As for me just doing me being Cope2 and my life is really disfunctional if you love life don’t fuck with me trust me its 2005 and I’m not having it cause you fuck with me you better know what your doing cause I really don’t give a fuck about life anymore to me its whatever! Much love to all my KD FAMOS you’s know who you’s are to many names to name and to that fagget-ass fake thug g-unit wanna be white pussy ass nigga (MET TA) from ohio give me my money or my trains you crackhead motherfucker I can’t wait till the day our roads will meet God bless me cause its gonna be hell. My kids Chulo, Vanessa I love you’s, my brothers, pops you’s are all my heart my whole family I love you’s all but most of all my Mother who passed away on Dec. 4Th 2004. I will always love you baby you’ll always be my heart and soul now you can rest in peace and may God bless your soul my immortal goddess I love you protect and be my angel, for now I will conquer the world I’ll miss you Mom. (COPE2 GODS OF DESTRUCTION) KILLER DOGS, GRAND CHAMPIONS, TRUE LEGEND WHAT!
One love to the god COPE2 from the Unda$treaM obviously if you ain’t on some real shit you better get on cause this graff shits real it’s ill in the field muthafucka we don’t play ABS Crew and I’m out!!!