These are from last fall, but the fact remains that I love going to The Rez! Ever since last summer when O.D.D.Ball, Yeroc, and Eaze took us there, we’ve always enjoyed going there and back. We went back on out own last fall and got to actually relax a little and take a ton of shots. The main thing I enjoy about this place is all the years of street art that you’ll find.
Oh, and my favorite…. BURNING RABBIT HEAD OF DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This past summer, Pipelines and I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing O.D.D.Ball and Ease, two taggers that can be found all over Philadelphia. This is part 1 of a two part interview, the very first time we met them.
We found ourselves at IHOP, sitting at a table covered with stickers and markers. We had just met O.D.D Ball and Ease, two friends who had known each other for a little over a year.
“ When I first moved to Philly I went to a lot of parties at Ease’s house.” O.D.D recalled. He was tagging the walls of a room when Ease saw him. They started talking about graffiti and urban exploring, and started painting together(and with others) shortly thereafter. “Now the little fuck’s like family.” he said endearingly.
“ O.D.D brings the weed, I bring the spots.” Ease said as they drew and colored their respective tags on a slew of USPS stickers. Ease had changed his name many times before he settled on his current one. The most memorable part of his tags and pieces were the vibrant colors he incorporated into each one.
O.D.D. Ball chose his name for ironic reasons, as O.D.D. Stands for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He added ‘Ball’ to his name because it was more fun to write. He also considers himself somewhat of an oddball. It just made sense to him. His character was originally a caricature of himself that he later covered the face of and added a hood to, thus creating the O.D.D. Ghost.
Ease and O.D.D. Had been through a lot in the year they had known each other. They had narrowly evaded cops, had a run in involving a tractor trailer, and were spotted by a helicopter on the roof of a building(more about that later).
The cops walked in. They didn’t notice us.
The waiter asked if we wanted more coffee. We did.
They talked about Philadelphia’s crackdown on vandalism, and how the city views graffiti.
These days, even carrying around a paint marker will get you in trouble, as it is considered an ‘implement of destruction’. Recently, they discovered the city was appointing special people to catch vandals and remove graffiti when they happened upon a man with Something to the effect of ‘vandalism’ written on his back. He was driving a vehicle full of weapons, rollers, and buckets of paint.
When the coffee was gone, they decided to show us what they did. They became our guides for the night.
The streets were almost empty, save for the occasional sound of a passing car or a few faint conversations. The sidewalk and steps were still wet from the rain.
“Hey, do you guys want to come up to the roof and watch us paint?”, O.D.D. asked, motioning to a nearby high-rise.
“Up there? Now?” I sheepishly asked.
“Yeah, lets go, we’ve got some awesome stuff up there already.”
I took a look at the High-Rise of Doom. Pipelines looked at me and smiled, excited to see what was up there. “OK, let’s go.”
The building wasn’t far from the restaurant. From some accounts, it used to be Section 8 housing, but now it housed apartments. The security guard was indifferent as we walked to the elevator.
“OK,” Ease said when we reached our floor, “We need to get to the stairwell. We can get to the roof from there.”
It was easier said than done. After 2 minutes of wandering down a well-lit rundown hallway, we found the stairwell we needed. They led us through a misshapen fence, then a darker hallway with twists, turns, and steps we could only see by the light of our cellphones. We reached a doorway with some light shining through. O.D.D. and Ease went first.
The view from the roof was breath taking. The ground glistened like diamonds in the light of the setting sun. The air was warm and damp, and the view below reminded me why I was hesitant to come up in the first place. Within seconds, O.D.D. directed me to a beautiful piece he had done on one of the most dangerous parts of the roof.
We were soon met by two of their friends. We grabbed a ladder and ascended to the very top of the building, where I snapped a few photos of the surrounding skyline.
“Hey, you want some?” I turned around and Ease as he offered me a hit from the bowl. I politely declined while the others took the occasional hit over the course of the night.
“You know, we wanted to do a piece for you guys since you came out,” O.D.D. said to us, “Ease, you up for it?” “You know it!” With only a small amount of light to aid them, the free-styled on the skylight.
“So, do you guys have any codes?,” Pipelines asked.
“Well, not really. At least, nothing exact. We just try to stay cool with everyone and try not to start anything.”
As O.D.D. Finished up his tag, he looked at us and said, “You know, a lot of people think we’re these giant bad-asses. The truth is, we’re really just a bunch of nerds.”
We all had a good laugh.
“No, seriously, though, we are.”
“Well,” I said, “You guys are still pretty bad-ass.”
Coming soon, we visit the res, hang out in an abandoned building, and get to have a q&a with O.D.D., Yeroc, and Rhino. Stay tuned!
October 4th, 2:27 PM: Edited to change ‘spite’ to ‘spots’ which was originally misquoted.
On Sunday we had the benefit of interviewing O.D.D.Ball and Ease, and I would like to say that it was simply an adventure! It was an interview filled with coffee, rain, danger, and death-defying feats! It was a time to be reminded of why we’re alive and a reminder for myself why I got into this in the first place.
We plan on sharing these tales with you within the coming month. We also have more surprises in store for you all as well.
If you’re interested in meeting with us, want to send us a few shots, or maybe a tip, send us an e-mail at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you.