The graffiti flick "Style Wars" is 100% accurate, everything about it was raw & real.

Born under a crescent moon In the Rotten Apple aka NYC, Skam Dust, a Queens native who grew up amongst the unfortunate & the wicked as Skam puts it “If the streets could talk, you wouldn’t want to walk it”. A thunderbolt of terror on the mic, Skam’s lyrics are delivered with passion and his stories are personal & very explicate. Growing up Skam was interested in art & music, as were his childhood friends who were a big influence on him; Hoya of Madball & legendary graffiti artist MQ. We delve into these connections and much more in this extensive Skam Dust interview…:

Early Days

Q: Tell us about your childhood, obviously you were raised in NYC, talk about the dangers and pitfalls of growing in such a crazy city during the turbulent ’80’s.

Skam Dust: My childhood was interesting, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone. You asked about danger, there’s danger in cities across the world.. What makes NY different from other places is that we have every human from all nations across the earth, here! We have every ingredient cooking in the pot & this pot is a pressure cooker! You see back in the 80’s every thing was new, hipHop, movies, graff & at the same time everything was OLD, you know, OLD SKOOL, with OLD RULES.. There was a different attitude in the 80’s, it was ok to be a COWBOY..

There was a different attitude in the 80’s, it was ok to be a COWBOY..

Q: When did you first learn about hardcore/punk music and what drew you to it?

Skam Dust: My friend Na (graffiti writer) got me into hardcore & so did Hoya (of Madball). I got drawn in it when I first saw Madball perform live in CBGB’s.

Q: How and when did you cop the name Skam Dust?

Skam Dust: Back early on I used to write Shot then at 14 I came up with Skam cause I was always scamming, a little after I added the Dust after my favorite writer Angel Dust who was also a native of Corona . When I was out hitting the 7 train lay up’s, bombing the inside cars with my brother Nom who used to write Trek at that time & with some other writers like Dem, Mkue, Jo3, Look & Shame. Angel Duster was out doing fat throw up’s & big piece’s on the outside cars. He was a master street bomber who inspired me & got my respect from the very beginning. Angel Duster, Quick & DONDI were my favorite writers.

Skam Tag

A young Skam Dust showing off one of his early tags with Perico Ralph.

Skam Dust

Q: In 2010 Real Recognizes Real and Countdown Records released your cd “Corona Drug Bust” which featured your whole body of work with Son Of Skam & Skam Dust, as well as five brandnew tracks. How did you hook up with those labels and how was the cd received?

Skam Dust: I got hooked up with both record labels with the help of Ezec (aka Danny Diablo). Both labels gave me great support & helped spread my music all across Europe. The CD was received very well, I think people got it. I remember getting the first call from my boy Skid. He told me that my EP “Son Of Skarhead” kills everything out there that our scene is doing. And I got more & more of those calls. So after hearing the feed back, I figured it was time to drop a full length record & get this party started.

TWS: You released a video for the song “Corona Drug Bust” featuring Freddy Madball, Damian Burnz and actor Peter Greene. It was quite a surprise for many to see you acting with Peter Greene in the intro skit, how did you connect with Peter Greene?

Skam Dust: I met Peter Greene through Ezec (aka Danny Diablo), Peter & I just started killing it from that point on. When I first did the “Corona Drug Bust” video, I did not have Peter in it. The day after Peter asked me why I didn’t ask him to be in my video. I told Peter I didn’t want to fuck with his program cause he was busy filming a movie with Jennifer Aniston. & it was the 4th of July weekend. So I called up Michael Distelkamp (director / editor) & asked him if he could drive out to Manhattan & film some more. I was happy he agreed to leave his BBQ cause that part with Peter added character & set the story line for the video. Peter Greene is a real good guy & a good friend.. if you ever want to make him laugh ask him about the night we blew up a Chinese delivery man by accident, it’s ok to laugh cause he survived.

Peter Greene is a real good guy & a good friend.. if you ever want to make him laugh ask him about the night we blew up a Chinese delivery man by accident, it’s ok to laugh cause he survived.

Q: The last 2 years you have appeared as a guest on some tracks by KAOS 13, Danny Diablo & The Shotblockers. When will we see a brandnew Skam Dust record? Any songs ready?

Skam Dust: I just did a track with Danny Diablo called “Bodies Piled High” for his new record “Blood Of Eden”. I will be doing more music in Japan with my Japan partner Jap Zulu and then I am going to shut myself down for a bit. I plan to do more trips to Japan & record out there with Jap Zulu & others but I dont see myself doing another Skam Dust record other then my Japan collaboration’s, but I do see myself working on a new Son Of Skam record.

Skam Dust & Mr. Quick

Skam Dust & graff legend Mr. Quick

Q: About 8 months ago you told me about a show you were working on with Frank151. Will it drop anytime soon?

Skam Dust: Yes I been working with Frank151 magazine on some interesting projects & soon they will be released. Frank151 has asked me to interview a actor, rock star & a graffiti legend for a future Frank151 / Skam Dust collaboration , the name of this project is not yet titled. And most recently I interviewed a childhood friend who went a different path & became a narcotics detective for the NYPD, now retired for 10 years. This interview for Frank151 will be featured in a nation wide book store chain accross the states.

Q: Any other Skam Dust news?

Skam Dust: I have a new commercial video with my partner Mkue / MQ, its a project for Adidas Originals. Adidas had put together a art show in Japan featuring Mkue hosted by me. Adidas had rented for us a high-end luxury helicopter to fly over Tokyo as a part of their video. We were honored to represent Adidas cause both of us have been wearing Adidas since we were kids. I also will have couple new video’s for 2 new tracks featuring Danny Diablo & Jap Zulu coming out in the spring. And I will have my second annual Skam Fest in Japan sometime between spring & summer.

Adidas had rented for us a high-end luxury helicopter to fly over Tokyo..

Son Of Skam Era

Q: When and how did Son Of Skam get together?

Skam Dust: Starting a band was my idea, I got that itch after touring with Skarhead as a roadie, I just love music. Ezec came up with the name Son Of Skam. I got help early on with Freddy Madball & SubZero.. & thats that! Son Of Skam was one of the first hardcore / hiphop bands & it caught on cause we had a unique underground sound that got both type of fans interested.

MQ, Skam & Cancer Killah

MQ, Skam & Cancer Killah fucking up a dressing-room in Shibuya Japan. Pic by: Keigo Hanai

Q: After the EP you played some shows here and there and in 2003 Too Damn Hype re-released the EP with 3 bonus tracks. Afterwards it went kinda silent. Were there any plans around that time to release a full length, were there any new songs?

Skam Dust: Yes we had lots of plans. But when you got too many guys in a band, we had 8 guys, it becomes a fucken mess & it was hard to work on music, so eventually we broke up..

TWS: Slaine remixed the Son Of Skam “Zombie” track. Any more collabo’s with Slaine in the works?
Skam Dust: Working with my Brother Slaine was real easy, I love his vibe. Recording & shooting video for the “Zombie” track was a real treat & especially with Son Of Skam providing that ill flavor. We shot the video in one of the hottest clubs in NYC, Gold Bar. “Zombie” was the first video that I produced with my team at SkamDust Productions. I have no future plans with Slaine at this time.

TWS: Will we ever see any new Son Of Skam material? And a tour?
Skam Dust: I would love to do Son Of Skam again & I think I will. I just got to figure it out. I been thinking about doing a EP & add in a few SOS remixes to it, so keep a look out & support me on this..


Q: You do a lot of projects together with legendary graff artist MQ. How far back do you guys go and how did you meet..

Skam Dust: MQ / MKUE & I met like 26 years ago in Corona Queens, I did a big fat wet tag I remember the color was baby blue. So I went back to see my tag & I saw these 2 kids looking at my tag, so I approach them & say to them “You guys write?” & MQ says “Yes I write MQ” & his partner was Hoya (bass player for Madball) & Hoya said “I write JO3”. From that point on we became partners in graffiti. MQ didn’t want to get Hoya in trouble so we would leave him behind when we went bombing.

Skam Dust interview | Skam & Crew

From far right; graff legends DURO & KID56. Skam Dust & his Brother NOM behind him with some other writers. Picture was taken in KID56’s house in Jamaica, Queens.

Q: Talk about those old days of graff in the NYC. Of course we’ve all seen Style Wars and those movies, but a first hand account is always better…

Skam Dust: I can say that the graffiti TV Bio “Style Wars” is 100% accurate, everything about it was raw & real. I remember going out Saturday & Sunday mornings with my brother Nom (vocalist for Vietnom) & taking pictures of graffiti on NYC trains, you could get beat down or killed for any reason. Back then you could get killed for your sneakers, your camera or Walkman. So going out to take pictures in other boroughs was daring.

I can say that the graffiti TV Bio “Style Wars” is 100% accurate, everything about it was raw & real.

Q: Graff / street art seems more accepted nowadays, as opposed to the more underground / illegal nature it had back in the days, do you think that’s a good thing?

Skam Dust: Yes Graff is popular now & back in my day it wasn’t, it was only for the underground. But I like where graffiti is now, it’s evolved, it’s apart of American culture & it spread world wide, I like that!

Skam Dust interview | Skam Dust x MQ Show

Skam Dust @ The Last Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Q: When you were touring Japan w/ SubZero in 2011 we understand MQ joined the tour & even performed live with you doing your back up vocals . Can share with us how you guys hooked up in Japan?

Skam Dust: MQ told me that he was heading to Japan and would be there around the same time as my visit there, though I lost track of when and where. Still, I knew we were going to be there the same time. When my plane landed, I hit the Internet to find MQ’s art show . It turns out that it was on the same day that I landed. I was traveling with the New York metal band Subzero. I told them MQ was in town doing a gallery show. They were surprised and wanted to visit him, too. We left the airport and went straight to The Last Gallery, where we pulled up and saw a large crowd. Once inside, MQ and I saw each other and both of us had that “Holy shit… It’s on” look. You know that look.

Q: We understand things got really out of control that night, can you share that story with us..

I was leaving early that morning for a 6 hour drive to Osaka, when I got a phone call. We heard that night MQ was out dropping a street bomb & was unfortunately caught by the police.
I let my tour manager know I was staying behind & I did so with my boy Felix aka Gato420. Thank God for Gato cause he set it off immediately, he rented a car then we set off to free MQ.
We can’t speak Japanese so we recruited a young kid, he goes by “Gkq aka The Nutty Professor”, a local writer with 246 & BBB crew, to translate & drive us around.Gkq negotiated with the police to clean up the damage MQ left behind. We also got help from Wanto & Same who got their crew to buff a city block to satisfy the police. MQ then said “fuck it I am going on tour with you guys” then he passed out in the back seat. At that point we had to race to Osaka with no more time to waste. MQ later changed his flight. It worked out cause MQ knows the terrain & the Japanese people, MQ & Japan go way back, big advantage for us.

Skam Dust interview | The Last Gallery in Tokyo with Kazumi Asamura Hayashi

Skam Dust @ The Last Gallery in Tokyo with Kazumi Asamura Hayashi. Pic by: Brian Parks

Q: You & MQ just recently toured Japan again this time combining art & music can you tell us more about this collaboration?

Skam Dust: Yes we did the first ever Skam Fest together, we collaborated art with music, by having MQ doing live graffiti & selling his work & tattooing fans. Live music, graffiti & tattoo’s all this while your in a concert hall. We are looking forward to having our second annual Skam Fest for the summer of 2013 Tokyo bound.. I really like Japan & its people. They live there lives with honor, honor is #1 for them, they are really almost perfect people. I left luggage over there at a bar for 8 hours, I went back & everything was still in my bags, camera & money, nothing missing, if that was NYC you can forget that shit, kiss your shit goodbye.. God bless Japan!!

Skam Dust interview | MQ Getting paint in Tokyo

MQ getting spray paint from Snipe1


Q: We understand that your neighborhood is right out of Italian mobster movie, can you share some insights?

Skam Dust ; Where I was born & raised is nick-named Spaghetti Park, cause it was all Italians & the people who ran it were business men who took care of their business. Nuff said on that.

If it wasn’t for them I would be out of my mind, dead or in jail. I took a lot of risks before the kids, doing some serious shit, not anymore. I can’t do what I used do.

Q: What do you do besides music? How do you make ends meet..

Skam Dust: I am always hustling & been known for this. I hustled everything from fireworks, to a cheese scam, to bootlegging t-Shirts in front of a major sports event (brought in $18,000 in 2 weeks). It goes on & on. I am on a new hustle now & I like to keep that private.

Q: You have three kids (if I’m not mistaken?). When we were on tour I was suprised about how caring and thoughtfull you handled your kids when talking to them on the phone, and showing me pictures of them etc. It’s probably something most people won’t expect from someone with such a wild/hardcore image….

Skam Dust: Yes, I am a single dad living with my 3 kids. I have kept that private for many years & in my latest track “Bodies Piled High” I mention that I have kids, I never show pictures in any media. I always kept them out of my Skam Dust shit. If it wasn’t for them I would be out of my mind, dead or in jail. I took a lot of risks before the kids, doing some serious shit, not anymore. I can’t do what I used do. I love my kids Too Much!!

Q: Its been a real pleasure Skam, thanks again for the interview.. Any final comments and / or shout outs?

Skam Dust: I like to give a shout out to all the people from Europe, Asia, North & South America & else where, who show there support through actions either by going to shows, buying t-shirts, buying cd’s, buying our music through iTunes, buying drinks & tipping the bartender. We all got to eat so thanks for investing your time & money, I can’t party on a empty stomach!
And I like to say to all of our fans/friends who host parties for us, put us up in their place, feed us & back us up in tuff times, I know who you are & I appreciate YOU!!

Purchase Skam Dust music & merchandise:

Skam Dust @ iTunes

More Skam Dust pictures:

Skam Dust interview

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