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The Nasty Terrible T-Kid

15 September 2005 No Comment

The Nasty “Terrible” T-KID 170 is the autobiography of graffiti writer Julius Cavero aka T-KID 170. This autobiography chronicles the life of a gang member, turned graffiti artist and style mentor for urban youth—the uncensored Bronx hip-hop story. During a gang shoot-out in a local park, Julius Cavero suffered three shots to the leg, one nearly severing his major artery. Left for dead, by gang rivals and so-called comrades, T-Kid survived the ordeal only to come face-to-face with 3 weeks of intensive surgical procedures…

In those three weeks, Julius Cavero sketched, endlessly. It was there that he chose to become T-KID 170—T for the tall and skinny look he had, and KID just because that’s what so many people called him. At that moment, Julius Cavero gave up gang life for a new vocation. T-Kid would now focus on art, specifically street art: GRAFFITTI.

The Nasty “Terrible” T-KID 170 retraces his life from the early 1960s to 2005 through his written accounts and artwork, including images of painted trains, walls, canvases, drawings, and sketches produced over the last thirty years. Few artists today can tell a tale like T-KID’s—a ghetto childhood, gangbanging, and daring feats of graffiti. Many who lived in such times either left their lives or their art behind. T-KID, who won fame early on, lived to tell the tale and withstood the test of time. A journey through a life, an era, and the South Bronx. 

T-KID 170 aka Julius Cavero is one of few, who have left their mark on the history of graffiti. T-KID came up in the golden age of Hip Hop and became one of the leading figures in the emerging New York graffiti scene. Few artists today can tell a tale like his – a ghetto childhood, gangbanging and daring feats of graffiti. His work featured in the book Subway Art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant (Thames & Hudson publishers) made him an international legend. His style, 3-D letters and unique characters have been a source of inspiration for many other writers from all four corners of the globe. Now in his mid 40s, he is still a style master, a pioneer of Hip Hop culture and a significant part of the artistic heritage of the graffiti movement.

Text by T-KID 170
Edited by Celia San Miguel and Nick Torgoff 
Photography by T-KID, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Dr Revolt, COPE2, MYRE & ZEBSTER

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