Duke 9 hails from Queens, New York. He first saw the name Duke on a race car around 9 or 10 years old and also contributes his name to his friend’s older brother, a 7 Immortals gang member who would write Duke 7 all over New York city streets. But it was the graffiti artist Bell 3, AKA Fame 5, that inspired his personal writing style. When Duke first started writing, he didn’t know where to get Minis and Uni-wides, but did know where to get Flomaster ink, so he began making his own markers with an inkbox, blackboard erasers, and a whole lot of black electrical tape. The homemade markers were fatter than the Uni-wides and everyone would ask him what kind of markers he was using. Duke said he would juice up his homemade markers “real good” so his tags had drips coming off, but not so much that they couldn’t be read.
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