Range: a Roc City Graffiti Legend [Interview]

For our first Smokin’ Buta Hip Hop Showcase of the year this Friday, January 5th, we decided to add a hip-hop element that had been sorely lacking: graffiti.

In an effort to do it proper, we tapped Rochester legend Range to be the first artist to do live work.

Ahead of this event I tapped my friend and fellow graffiti enthusiast Murdok, to prepare some questions for Range.  Here’s the interview:

Murdok: What age did you get into graffiti?

Range: I got into graffiti when I was in elementary school.. early 80s ..hip hop was in its heyday..you were either rappin’ ..breakin’.. dj'n..or doing graffiti.. it was the thing to do at the time.

M: What artists are you inspired by?
R: As an artist I'm inspired by many different artists. I really enjoy doing different types of art. Graffiti wise, the 70’s and 80’s subway writers for sure..

M. How did you come up with your name?
R: Funny story, I came up with the name RANGE in the 4th grade. I flipped through a JC Penny catalog and came across an army themed power wheels (kids these days have nooo idea).  Anyway, in the description it said it came with built in walkie talkies. (they probably don't know what that is either..haha).  With up to a mile "RANGE".  I took it and ran with it..true story..not many know.

M. So your crew’s name is FUA, what does it stand for?

One of Range's characters

R: Originally F.U.A stands for FROM UP ABOVE..
But over the years we have created many acronyms..
-find us anywhere
-famous urban artists
-full urban assault
-feared upon arrival
The list goes on...

M. At what point did you get affiliated with FUA?
R: I got affiliated with F.U.A in the summer of ‘89 right before my freshman year of high school. F.U.A was previously out in the early 80s but kinda died out. The younger brother of one of the originators decided to give it life again and as they say the rest is history. We are world wide now.

M: What advice do you have for kids that want to get into graffiti?
R: My advice for kids that want to get into graff is: although it is very easy to copy and follow trends, try really hard to be original. Learn your history and study more than you draw.

Another dope ass Range character

Another dope ass Range character

M: What’s your favorite color way?
R: My favorite color way? I'm old school I paint with whatever I have, but I gotta have some skin tones for characters.

M: Do you still hit freight trains?

R: I’m not gonna front I'm not a big freight train painter.  I paint those when opportunities arise. I mean I have destroyed quite a few, but I'm far from the likes of BONES (R.I.P.) he will always be the freight train king!!

Come check Range out live at the ButaPub Friday January 5th.  That's in the South Wedge on Gregory Street right underneath the Historic German House.  We hope to see you there!