Wednesday, June 4, 2008

RIVAL W.C.A. "Write in Peace"

Rival was one of our city's most important writers. His contribution to the graffiti scene was enormous. He paved the way for most Los Angeles writers today. What people don't know is Rival was the guy who pushed the "All City" movement. He also pioneered the "crew pride" attitude. Most people remember him as a style king from the Legendary W.C.A. crew. And he was that, but what he really had was the initiative to start a movement.

I'll never forget when he walked up to me at the Pan Pacific Auditorium on Beverly Blvd. (the first Los Angeles Hall of Fame). He said, "Hey let's start a crew called W.C.A. West Coast Artist." I said, "Yeah, sure let's do it." He said no let's start a crew.....and repeated himself. I didn't really get it, until that night while we were taking the bus as far as we could go to bomb un-charted territory. It was then I understood his vision: He wanted to start a crew to take over everything. Sure, there were crews out there mostly made of friends from the same neighborhood or school, but none had the attitude that they were going to dominate everybody, everywhere. From that point on we treated our crew as a corporation, so to speak. We head hunted for every position. Our members were from diverse backgrounds whom lived miles away from each other. Minor and Wisk were to dominate all city with getting up, Rival and I were to burn everyone with burners, Pj and Cool Boy were in charge of characters, and Ace and Cash were handing out beat downs, so no one would think about stepping to us. Etc., etc. You get the picture. We had crew meetings and outlined goals and targets, battles, etc. From that point on the format was laid out, Strictly Kings or better. Cartoon, Slick, even Bates from Denmark pushed W.C.A. See, Rival had the vision, similar to Armand Hammer's business philosophy of "I may not be the smartest guy but I'm smart enough to hire the best people for every position." Rival, as was everyone in the crew, was a stand alone, all around king. However, he knew we had to recruit and have a superstar line up to take it to the next level. This may seem elementary to you now, but without this attitude over 20 years ago, our movement would not be worldwide or where it is today.

He initiated a lot of Los Angeles graffiti's firsts. He was there the first time we hit the 10 freeway. I'll never forget Trak Auto was open 24 hours, we went in, bought some Krylon dull aluminum, Flat Black and High heat Orange for our border. We met behind the dumpsters of a 7-11 on Wilshire, planned out our mission and it was on! Sounds simple but we're talking about 25 years ago. Think about it. That's a quarter of a century ago. Seeing stuff like this was "Way Out." I don't really think I have to go into detail on the door that opened for Los Angeles graffiti!

Rival was aggressive and a natural born leader. Rival, true to his name, initiated the infamous West Coast K2S battle. He also bread a whole generation of Fairfax/Melrose writers who dared to be different. He had many clones, most famous the K.S.N. crew. Founders Rise and Rev were long hairs, like Rival, they listened to speed metal, hard core and punk. All of a sudden, it was OK to be who you were. You didn't have to be 100% hip-hop to do graffiti. This is what makes graffiti so unique today. It's a subculture of many eclectic personalities and lifestyles who all share the same social conscience about getting up!

Rival, thank you for all you have done, you will be loved and missed forever! Write In Peace, Nathan, I love you brother.



G said...

Thank you for sharing some history about this Los Angeles graffiti legend.

My condolences go out to his friends and family.


DRoss171 said...

Condolences to his people cat was one of the first LA writers I ever took note of in the early 90's cat had dumb ups.
Another soldier leaves the battle Rest In Power!
and Risky how ya doing?

Dante Ross aka Systemone TDA said...

I'll relay the message to Risky...
get at me next time you're in LA!

"Blast from the Past" said...

With all due respect, Does anyone know how he passed away? It is sad that you grow up around these people and then they pass away. I guess life is not forever. When you are young you are on top of the world and back then these graff legends seemed unstoppable. Rival created a created a whole West Coast Scene where most Graffiti writers today don't even know the orgin. I was reading Wisk's History Book and Rival was talking about that he just found out that Soon and someone else Passed way and commenting on babies having fathers, weird.. I was in Mr Pizza on Fairfax last week getting my grub on with my lady and I saw an old Rival Scribe on the table. It was haunting that there was a day when this legend was grubbing at the same table and was on top of his world and now he is deceased.
Rest in Peace

rage said...

Blast from the past wanted to know how my beloved son died. I would be glad to tell him or anyone else Rival's story. Look me up at his MY SPACE page at
or email me at
Thank You all for your well wishes. We in Rival's family are crushed and devastated by his unexpected death.
Blessings to all,