Jesus Saves





By Jesus Saves, as told to

I’ve been through a lot in my life: arrested a number of times, gone to jail, been robbed, shot at, bought it, sold it, and smoked it. I started being in the streets in ’87 with MSD crew — Money, Sex, Drugs. It became this posse or gang thing. People made it more than a graffiti crew. I was real young — about 12 years old.

“I don’t want to brag about it though. People think you’re phony when you talk about how tough you are, how ghetto you are, how you smoke pot, carry a gun and rob people. I was tired of that life so I try to stay quiet. People think they can push you around if you don’t shine, but you might just be a teddy bear packed full of TNT, like Tom and Jerry. Everything is between me and God these days.

I’m old fashioned. I like a lot of things from the 80s because it was fun back then. I love listening to the Beatles, going to church, playing Super Nintendo — those are the only games I’ll ever play. I’m not buying Playstation or Xbox — they’re difficult and they’ve got too many buttons. I got Pacman, Ms. Pacman, Super Mario, Mario All-Stars with all the lost levels, Pinball, F-Zero, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter 2. I always got to be Ryu. Ken and Ryu are brothers with the same moves, but Ken’s kick goes a little further.

Even though people don’t play these games they’ll miss them someday. Do you know how many people would die to play Atari 2600 again? But you can’t find it anywhere. I miss playing the boxing game, Pole Position, and Strawberry Shortcake. They look like kid games, but they entertain me.

It’s embarrassing to have done a lot of bad things. Right now I got love for people. I regret everything I ever did, but I still love graffiti. Since I was converted around ’94 I’ve been memorizing the Bible a lot. I’m learning that salvation doesn’t just happen through religion or church. Lots of people go to church, but it’s just a building. Religion is just a name, but through Jesus — well, you know.

I wanted to start writing something positive like Jesus Saves, Jesus Lives, or God is Love or something. People tell me they saw my message on a bad day and got a smile on their face. People tell me: “You stupid contradiction! You go to church and praise God, but you’re writing on people’s property!” I go to church with a lot of graffiti writers. The Bible doesn’t say anything about graffiti being a sin though. It’s like drawing on a piece of paper. We’re young. We just want to paint. God understands that.

Maybe I’m giving the gospel a bad name. Who knows.

Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.

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Posted on May 31st, 2005