ARTIST GIGA ONE
interview by David Paul
Bomb: How and when did you first get into hip-hop?
Giga One: When I saw some graffiti in L.A., in 1988. Then I started
to do it myself after I met Hex at the "Hip-Hop Shop" in L.A.
Bomb: You say that you started to do graffiti after meeting Hex.
did you learn? Does the books Subway Art and Spraycan Art exist out
Giga One: I had just been taking photos of graffiti as a fan
met Hex at the Hip-Hop Shop. I already knew about him before he
opened the shop because he is a very talented artist. I liked his
personality and when he showed me his drawings I decided to be a
writer. So when I gave him my hand-made "Spray Can Shaped" pendant I
remembered that he really liked it. He also took some to sell in the
shop. He always feels that "hand-made is the best." When I met Krush
(the graffiti artist, not the dj) in S.F. I felt the same way about
him. Both of them are very artistic. They don`t think or care about
vandalism or disrespecting other people. They are just beyond those
things. So these two gentlemen I would call my teachers of graffiti.
I also have had many good ideas from Spraycan Art and Subway Art.
Not only technique, but how graffiti has grown from that time.
Bomb: When you were first starting out which rap groups were
Giga One: Run DMC, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Biz Markie, EPMD,
BDP, Eric B & Rakim...
Bomb: Which rap groups are popular out there now?
Giga One: Cypress Hill, Pharcyde, Nas, Jeru...
Bomb: Does Japan have alot of local rappers?
Giga One: Not many. Microphone Pager is most appreciated. Also
Kimidori and Gus Boys.
Bomb: What is the breakdance scene like out there?
Giga One: There are some members of the Rocksteady Crew in Tokyo
work very hard. But it is still underground.
Bomb: Where do kids hear new hip-hop? Clubs, radio, stores...
Giga One: Mosty clubs or at home by watching MTV USA, CATV.
Bomb: When American rappers come out there to perform where are
Giga One: In large live clubs or nightclubs, not it the large
Bomb: What is the best hip-hop show that you have been to?
Giga One: RUN DMC and Onyx. I didn`t like Onyx much before that
they had a very powerful stage act.
Bomb: How much do records cost out there?
Giga One: $12 for twelve inch singles and $18 for albums.
Bomb: How is the graffiti scene out there, do a lot of kids piece?
Giga One: I remember there were a few crews a couple of years
but now we can not count the number of crews that piece in Japan.
Sometimes they`ll fight each other.
Bomb: Is there a lot of tagging out there?
Giga One: In Tokyo, it has been multipling. Also Vandal Squad
starting to move.
Bomb: What kind of punishment is there for writers that get caught
Giga One: If they catch us they ask the owner of the wall or
building how much it will cost to repair and then we have to pay for
it. For example, bridges and pillars are owned by the Highway so
they would be paid. If you write on a train and get caught the Train
Company will be paid by you. I know a writer that has to pay a $2,
500 fine after he stayed in jail.
Bomb: Have you ever been chased or caught by the police?
Giga One: I`ve been taken by the police twice. One time when
bombing the wall of a pillar underneath the highway a neighbor
called the police. Four police cars came with eight policemen and
they took me to the police station. The police took my paint and
photos. I was lucky that time though, the highway company said that
it would be fine if I repaint the wall with gray paint.
Bomb: What kind of paint do you use out there?
Giga One: Asahi Paint Aspen (S).
Bomb: What is popular out there, letters or characters?
Giga One: Both.
Bomb: What kind of clothes do the hip-hop kids wear out there?
label names are popular?
Giga One: Conart, Third Rail, and Tribal.