It's Ooh - We Thought You Knew? March 31 2018, 0 Comments
Super juiced to share this next artist interview.
We’ve been following Udon’s work for the last few years now. As one of the founding members and creators for @oit_taipei we got an exclusive with him about his roots, the inspiration behind all the creative work he does in the streets, his music and with the brand. Yeeeee!
(@its_ooh & we thought you knew)
Yo Don, we’ve been following your work for some time now. Really diggin' all that you are doing creatively. How long you been writing Udon & where did the name originate from?
I got the name "WU" from my ancestors on the China/Mongolia side of my family. I added the "DON" part cause I went to De Anza high school where the mascot was a Don. I guess also cause I'd rather be a Don than a King...
I was sitting in English class around 2:00pm in the afternoon trying to figure out a name... I don't have any connection to the noodle, but it has helped me connect to my Japanese culture. I started writing Udon in 2000 but was spraying here and there since the 3rd grade.
(The Ghost by Udon)
So what's the deal with the character that you write with black eyes and a hood?
Ghostface...Thats the spirit bruh...
"The ghost of graffiti " ... I basically am biting Twist since that is the era that really got me.. and that generation made characters an essential part of the game...if not.. at least tolerated.
Sometimes I felt it was a self portrait of me lurking...
other times I felt as though I worked for him and he was/is from another dimension and I had to paint him in this realm for whatever reason. *hits blunt*
(TAIBAY courtesy @OIT_Taipei)
Yo Ooh, when last we heard you’ve split lot time between the Bay and Taiwan. Are you a native of the Bay - or where are you from exactly?
Do you stay in Taiwan mostly and how did you end up taking residence there? .
Born in the Bay.. but I have been hybridised since a lil kid always visiting Asia in the summers usually.
I moved to the Philippines when I was 13 for a 3 years. Moved back to the Bay for a while and I left for Asia around the time Bush stole the election. Then I remember seeing Obama win the election and I was like.. Oh man America...
I came to Taiwan not knowing if I would stay but I just couldn't see myself subscribing back into the system that is America.
Where am I from exactly? I'm still searching for that answer but for now the word "Baysia" will suffice.
(OIT Eggshell Slap, courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
Word up! Traveling man we dig it. With regards to Taipei, we’ve been checking the creative work you’ve been doing for OIT. Are you the main creator for this movement, or are there others involved that are puttin in work?
OIT is a Tribe.. A collective. I do my part doing some creative/design work and also keeping our Taipei location in motion but am not the main creator.
At the moment NOE, @onetwoclu @fundelight @tpooc are very active in projects but the list of names goes deep. Shout out to everyone who does their part to keep OIT and the tradition alive.
(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
(@Oit_Taipei courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
Yo Ooh can you breakdown the history and inspiration behind OIT?
OIT originally stood for "Only In Taiwan". Used to express how amazed we were as Cali kids in Taiwan getting away with what you wouldn't in the Bay. Around 2009, SAYM and FAST were drinking beers in a 7-11 in Taichung and xerox copying photos to make the first OIT zine. After that, NOE made a OIT zine with lots of gems. We were just focused on painting and photos at that time. No idea of ever making clothing.
A year or so later, HOWA and some of the homies printed some OIT logo T-shirts and slowly it bubbled into where we are now. Having a team full of writer/biker/skater/lurker kids we had the city grilled with stickers and paint so we got alot of free advertisement.
OIT at this point in time is both local Taiwan culture and a mixture and blend of the outside culture that comes and adds to the flavor.
(#OnlyInTaiwan courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
So Ooh, you’ve been involved with music, for sometime right? One of our NBK homies RUOK @w3tpaint was talking to us about how he picked up one of your mixed tapes a while back. Can you describe how the music you are mixing/producing/listening to influences the work that you do?
I would say the one main direct effect music can have on my graffiti is hitting up lil quotes next to tags.
But I suppose a certain song I might have on repeat might make me feel a certain color vibration and I will want to use that color to paint with.
1. In the street - good mobb music for driving around at night to smack spots and make me feel all ninja.
2. On the OIT Label - as far as when trying to do creative work for OIT.. I just try to listen to whatever fits the vibe im in. I usually take walks and listen music and take visual queues from the streets and snap shots for reference.
That’s dope. We can see how music can have a big impact on you depending on what you are doing creatively at the time - we can dig it.
(Udon by @Its_Ooh)
Yo OOH, what are some of the major projects that you are working on creatively right now and the rest of ‘18?
Mainly, I'm just trying to get these passport stamps and dump these streakers, stickers and cans of paint. I'm trying to wrap up the Udon world tour by 2020. Other than that, more mixtapes and possibly some type of production?! I wanna record a mix of songs to give to people at my funeral service too.
I'm also helping Optimist and Stuey with their UCIT video project which is coming along well and hopefully we can get some type of backing to do more episodes in different countries.
Other than that, I'm currently working on building up a new location for OIT in Taipei as well as doing more pop up events around the island of Taiwan, Asia and even in California.
Oh and I just decided that I am gonna work with @e40 at some point soon. Can't speak on details but it will happen.
Sick! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of this as it develops.
Can you share some of your goals creatively for the art you produce in the streets, and/or for galleries?
For the streets, to get those super dummy cutty tuck spot tags that when seen fools will be like "bruh!?"
Also, to do it all from shitty fill ins to colorful bangers to huge rollers preferably on a rooftop up high or close to airplane landing zones so fools flying into a country see it as they descend on to the tarmac.
I don't have much aspiration to be in galleries but I am not 100% against it. If I did do anything gallery wise, it would be something to do with the Ghostface character or just centered around photography I have been working on lately.
(Often In Transit courtesy @Oit_Taipei)
Yo Ooh, what about OIT? What are some of the goals you hope to achieve with the movement?
Although, there is always more to achieve, I do feel happy about where we are and what we have accomplished. Seeing people from Japan, Australia, USA, Europe, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong etc. come to the shop keeps me pumped.
But one thing other than making more dope gear, would be to start bringing both musical and visual talent to Asia and doing shows and parties out here. I feel that both sides need it. Some DJ or painter from the Bay would probably benefit from coming out here and the local youth and scene here needs to be exposed to the culture in real life, not just thru the internet.
Word, travel and culture exposure is good for the soul.
(YE'OL, Udon, OptimiStuey, Metro Manila, Philippines Courtesy Is Tap)
So can you tell us about your crew THE MD's.
The MD's was founded by YE'OL and myself in the early 2000's around the time grape Swishers and Hyphy Juice were poppin.
I had met YE'OL in passing several times at Hip Hop in the Park in Berkeley but we never linked. When I moved to Oakland, I noticed his cutty hands around the area I lived and figured he might live around also. When we finally linked thru other hip hop functions I realized he was repping YMD and I was repping BMD which was a lil fake crew me and my older brother made in like 1994-95.
Finding out me and YE'OL were basically on the same vision and mode we decided to drop the Y and the B and just rep THE MD's since there weren't many crews with that kind of name.
We have Many Definitions for the MD's but here are a few : #MyDogs #MaineyDreams #MobileDispensary #MarijuanaDoctors #MakingDollars #MultiDimensional #MostlyDirty #MobbingDolo #ManagingDistricts #ManilaDecorators #MayorDellums #MikeDream #MacDre
(Udon Roller by @Its_Ooh)
Yo Ooh, top 5 hip hop songs that you feel everyone should search for that you feel are underrated, underground or otherwise?
Stunny - Run that shit back
Green Team - Go Dumb USA (intro song) (this song should replace e40 tell me when to go as the main hyphy anthem)
@E40 - three jobs
Messy Marv & San Quinn - Smile
L-Deez - Going up (only on sound cloud)
I could go on and on .. but there you go.
Can I just include one song I hope to never hear in a party setting again...
Jay-z and Alicia Keys - New York ... please never play that
No diss to those artists.. I fux with them but that one song.. please spare me.
Haha word that shit gets waaaaay too much play. I think we can all agree we good for the next 10 - 20 years.
(Udon Roller by @Its_Ooh)
Yo Don tell us a joke.
Donald Trump is the president of the United states.
Hella people still think 9-11 was caused by middle eastern terrorists.
Got emmmm... Ok, ok, so nowww ask us any question. What have you been dying to ask? Anything you want. Go!
How do you feel when you hear a record like 2pac's new one?
Would u rather eat noodles or rice for the rest of your life?
Noodles all day boyyyy. Long life on birthdays for all the Pinoys - shout out to moms!
What do you think would happen if all different ethnicities left America to return to their home country and brought all their money and resources with them?
A small population of Native American tribes that still own Casinos would continue to prosper and all the writers would go buck on all the govt. buildings.
Aight anyone out there you wanna shout out before we rap?
@wontywon @strait.toy @gravoringo @enjoy_one1 @nastynush
@later_est.2013 @henkaone @220_220 @dynomiteemcee
Word we got em! Peace & Love homie! Bless Up!
(TMM Blackbook - Handstyles by Udon)
Mad love to the Don for taking the time to connect with us!
(Ghost by Udon)