Welcome back to the #SDK History Pt. 6.
In May 2007, I had released 75 graffiti videos on the Stompdown YouTube channel. For the first time in my life I had found something that I was truly passionate about, filming and editing short videos. Almost every day I was filming, sometimes I would be out all day and night with one artist, drop them off, and on my way back home I would get a phone call from another artist that wanted to film a video. There were times that I was up for three or four days before I finally made it back home.
YouTube was still fairly new and we were one of the only graffiti channels posting consistent videos. For this reason we had an unbelievable amount of views in a short amount of time. For me personally it felt like we were famous and on our way to greatness, so I was more than happy to keep pumping out the videos. Not everybody was happy with what some people called “self promotion”. According to the older writers, graffiti was meant to be witnessed in person and not in videos on the Internet. I got quite a lot of negative feedback from people that wanted me to stop doing the videos, but I didn’t listen and kept going. Now there are thousands of people on YouTube doing the same thing we did back then.
It was obvious there was a serious chance of us getting into legal trouble because of these videos, but it was just too exciting to stop. All was good until it was the top story on the 6 o’clock news one night! “We’ll show you how YouTube may be creating a whole new brand of criminal” “Absolute vandalism!” Is what the mayor of Surrey called my videos. “Vandals are using the Internet to broadcast their graffiti”. My heart sank, it was all over!
It was an out of body experience as I watched the news channel showing my videos live on TV. I knew my parents and my family would be watching this. Immediately the phone calls started coming in from the artists, they were as worried as I was that we were all going to be arrested and they wanted me to get rid of the videos. In a panic I went onto YouTube and deleted all 75 videos without realizing that I had none of them backed up. To this day I have never found them again. That was one of my biggest regrets, but at the time it seemed like my world was crashing down around me and I was scared. We knew we could get arrested for what we were doing, but being the top story on the news never crossed my mind!
The next few weeks dragged on, I was constantly waiting for the worst to happen. Since being evicted from my house for all of the graffiti on the walls I had been reluctantly living in my parents basement with my two large dogs. One day there was a loud knock at the front door, looking through a side window I could see it was police. I just froze and I didn’t answer the door, after about 15 minutes they left. The next day when I was at work the police came into the front retail store and asked the cashier if KEEP6 worked here. She obviously had no idea what they were talking about and they left. I was in another room listening to them. It felt like just a matter of time before my door would be kicked down and I would be arrested.
The police came by my house again, this time only my mom was home and they asked if LABEL the graffiti artist lived here. My mom was so confused and told them she had no idea what they were talking about. The police came by twice more but both times I was the only one home and I didn’t answer the door. The strangest thing was it just went away, they never came back and none of the artists were arrested. But the damage was done and nobody really wanted to film with me anymore. I was devastated and lost, for once in my life I thought I had a potential career filming videos. Alone and with so much free time on my hands I spent the next six months at a shady motel pub in Aldergrove BC. drinking, partying and getting involved with a very bad crowd. It was another low point in my life. Next week I will talk about the sad reality of my drug abuse and terribly poor choices. Thank you for reading, see you all next week! #stompdownkillaz 🌎❤️