The Legendary Phase 2

GrafhistorybyPhaseI ‘d completely forgotten about my first interview with graffiti legend Phase 2, always a mysterious and hard-to-find character—and even more today than when Sisco Kid helped me track him down in the early 1980s.

I remember Phase came all the way down to the offices of the East Village Eye with me while the art director was laying out the story so we could take a portrait of him for the article. While we were there, I convinced Phase to make an illustrated history of graffiti off the top of his head (a portion of which appears at left) and I sat there watching him on deadline telling him to hurry up. Meanwhile, Phase is trying to do his best to honor some of the greatest tags in history. It’s amazing how effortlessly he pulled that assignment off.

I’m pretty sure the art director at the time was Dave Allen, an English dude who’d just arrived in NYC via Los Angeles. It was Dave who told German photographer Andre Grossmann that he should start hanging around with me, as I was onto sometime really big, which I was. Andre took a portrait of Phase for the article and it was the beginning of our collaboration, which would intensify after I moved over to High Times.

Craig Castleman’s book on graffiti had just been published and praised in the New Yorker by one of my favorite writers, Calvin Tomkins, but I found the book riddled with disinfo. Instead of interviewing the top dudes, which is what I was trying to do, the book relied on comments by toys and lesser talents, some of whom (according to Phase) had a distorted view of graffiti history.

Soon, I would be talking with Harry Belafonte about producing my film script “Looking for the Perfect Beat,” which mixed up real stories about Futura 2000 and Phase 2 (two of my favorite writers, although from different generations). I also got a book deal with St. Martins’ Press, although they never knew what to do with the first history of hip hop and actually cataloged it as a “dance book” because it came out as break-dancing arrived. Castleman called me up in a frenzy when he read my book and accused me of ripping him off, even though his book never really delved into anything but graffiti and was nothing like mine at all. Even so, I’d done a better job with graffiti history than he did, and I guess he knew it. And it was up to me to lay out the history of the gangs, the environment that helped spawn the culture, and how gang style evolved into hip hop after people got tired of violence and wanted to just have fun again. There were a lot of people like Castleman hovering around graffiti at the time, but not noticing rap music, break dancing and a whole new style of talking and walking were exploding in the Bronx.

BlackoutPhaseThe funniest part was how the Belafonte production team got swarmed by black dudes from Brooklyn who insisted hip hop started in Brooklyn and that Phase 2 and the other dudes I was promoting were really complete nobodies. In fact, when Phase delivered his one line in the final movie, at the big free screening arranged for all Harry’s buddies, Phase was actually booed by many in the crowd? Holy cow, what were they thinking?

After the screening Alisha, Harry’s assistant pointed out those boos as if it was some sort of condemnation of my perspective, or maybe just her rationalization for jettisoning me. After all, they didn’t use my script and the result was a disaster. I only wish someday, someone would actually produce the original script I wrote, which anyone can read on smashwords. Read my story, then go watch the movie and tell me something terrible didn’t somehow go awry with Beat Street.

Anyway, the real reason I wrote this blog was to let people know that the original interview with the great Phase is included in my opus on the origins of hip hop.

EsP: Emergency System for Peace

You’ve probably heard of the EBS, the Emergency Broadcast System. They often interrupt your violence pornography-laded television content with a message they are expecting an apocalyptic event sometime soon. It’s all about amping up the fear vibes, which is what keeps the population docile while they orchestrate wars for profit behind the curtain.

But have you heard of the EsP? The Emergency System for Peace? Don’t be surprised if you see a blizzard of photos of seven rainbow colored candles symbolizing world peace and don’t be alarmed because it’s just the Temple Dragon Crew holding a test of the Emergence System for Peace.

Vast Global Conspiracy Finally Unveiled?

A vast global conspiracy has been ongoing on for the past seven years, according to Steven Hager, founder of the Cannabis Cup and the first person to organize 420 ceremonies outside Marin County, starting in 1990.

According to Hager, a secret group he created at the 8th Cannabis Cup, known as The Temple Dragon Crew has been secretly plotting world peace intensively now for seven years. During ceremonies, the crew deploys their signature seven rainbow-colored candles decorated with magic sigils, a new rainbow menorah they hope to establish as a symbol for world peace. These dragons are dedicated to stopping hate, bigotry and violence with peace magic.

For years, this crew has worked in secret, appearing only briefly for ceremonies at major counterculture events, but now apparently, anyone can become a Temple Dragon. “Yes, says Hager, we have moved our ceremonies to Aspen, Colorado, as part of Abakus magazine and the Grand Lodge of the Pot Illuminati. Our flower Cup is in late December and the Munchie Cup in May.”

Stay tuned to see if the Temple Dragon Crew’s ambitious plans can defeat the black magic of the sorcerers who manifest war for profit by manipulating religions.

When will world peace finally break out? The Temple Dragons are certainly praying world peace comes sooner than later.

Guide to starting your own religion

Urbana in Fall334I grew up in Champaign-Urbana in the 1960s when it became a hotbed of counterculture activity. You won’t find much of that today, unfortunately, and the University and town seem like a foreign land almost, despite the fact my beloved cannabis plant has a very long and storied history in the town (more on that later).

Many people have read my conspiracy theories and how I think a web of secret societies often pulls strings from behind curtains, and they love my analysis of the black magic sorcery going on inside the central banks of the world, but when I veered off into suggesting a possible solution to our religion problem was to start manifesting our own corruption-free religions, I may have surprised a few. Actually, I think most everybody makes up their own form of spirituality these days, only some attempts are more effective than others. Starting your own religion is pretty simple really, no more difficult than starting your own garage band, and in fact, music and religion work hand-in-glove and always have. So do mathematics and religion.

Around 1966, the Turks Head, in Champaign (founded by Steven Simon) became the center of energy of the counterculture revolution in Central Illinois. Two people went there and landed, both older brothers of close friends. These had to be two of the most enlightened teens in town. Of course, the establishment came down hard on early revolutionaries. Don was threatened with the dreaded electroshock therapy, a polite term for torture, but ended up being shipped off to some Summerhill-like retreat for problem kids that may have been an MKULTRA op for mind experiments. Which makes me wonder if Summerhill was an op. The designated path leading to what looks the Garden of Eden is often a mirror trick leading in the opposite direction.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414931508&sr=8-1&keywords=steven+hager+candles