On Getting His Start

"When I started tattooing, it was like 92, the only black tattoo artists I knew about were Jackie Gresham in New Orleans and Zulu in LA. The only people I knew about getting tattoos was from Fishbone, the rock band. Seeing Fishbone's work sparked my interest in tattooing. As soon as I saw him in a rock magazine, I new I had to get into tattoo. Nobody was buying painting at the time. I was living in the projects, no one was buying my paintings, I thought if I started tattooing in my home town, I'd be the only one doing it and get paid to make art.

"I had an older friend who was a tattoo artist. He’d let me hang out in the shop

 

When I started tattooing, it was like 92, the only black tattoo artists I knew about were Jackie Gresham in New Orleans and Zulu in LA.

 

while I was in high school, sweeping the floor and making stencils and stuff like that, and he was the first one really to let me in. He was from Florida. When I was growing up it was really racist growing up in north Carolina, but he was from Miami and a cool hippie type dude and he’d let me hang around. He gave me my first autoclave and he was like 'yo man, you’re gonna need this,' and I took it down to Atlanta  and I got my first real apprenticeship.

"I met Tuki Carter in college and when I started tattooing it was a little lonely, I asked Tuki if he'd join me and we've been working ever since."