With the amount of stuff Ive been through since Ive picked up a camera, it feels like Ive been doing this forever.
It was only awhile ago that I was still in York University taking urban geography and global politics classes, or when I was driving around in a Bell van, climbing phone poles and creeping through dingey ass crawl spaces in weird peoples' houses.
I wont lie, when I showed up to the scene with a camera, I didnt know anyone. I wasnt up on Toronto history. I didnt know who was running the city. I just showed up with a camera, ready to shoot, simply because I enjoyed it.
Before I knew it, I started to meet some pretty dope people. Skam was one of them.
If y'all dont know, Skam is a legend in Toronto street/ hip hop culture, especially when it comes to graffiti. You might also remember him from the old RapCity intro as the guy painting the logo. However you decide to remember Skam, just always remember him as a real Toronto OG. He's responsible for a lot more than you know. But Ill let you guys do your own research.
Anyhow, Skam had me come along with him one day while he put up another piece in Grafitti Alley (the alley south of Queen St W from Spadina to Bathurst). I never knew how complex graffiti was. I guess I thought it was simple because my 'graffiti' sucked. But the dope thing was, after he did his piece, he put a piece up for me! That was one of the coolest things that had ever happened to me...well besides Drake shouting out my name in a song. But to be cosigned by guys like this made me feel like I was doing something right with my career choices. I felt like I just got certified or something.
The piece stayed up there for about a year or 2 which was pretty dope. In graffiti culture, other artists wont go over your pieces unless they mean to disrespect you or theyre better than you. Im pretty sure no one cared much about 'Photo Will' but for them not to go over my piece for 2 years shows their respect for Skam.
You know how cool it is to walk through an alley and see your name and website on a wall and knowing it was done by a legend? Its pretty bad ass. Had me blushing and shit everytime! lol.
Shout outs to my brother, Skam. Thank you for that man. Ill never forget it.
Follow the big homie on instagram @skamoney