DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, El-P And Others React To Death Of Pioneer Graffiti Artist Phase 2

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, El-P And Others React To Death Of Pioneer Graffiti Artist Phase 2
Source: Madara's Videos/YouTube
DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, El-P And Others React To Death Of Pioneer Graffiti Artist Phase 2

Source: Madara’s Videos/YouTube

Phase 2 is credited as the originator of the bubble letter style that is now commonplace in graffiti and street art.

Lonny Wood, best known by his moniker Phase 2, has passed away. According to a report from HiphopDX, Wood passed away earlier this week and had been in the hospital since August with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Wood presumably died in his ’60s (his Wikipedia claims he was born in 1955, while an Artnet page on the late creative has him listed as being born in 1957 and 1958).

Wood is credited as the originator of the bubble letter style of writing that is now commonplace in graffiti and street art. As HipHopDX also notes, Wood “DJ’d, rapped, made logos for Mike & Dave Records of Cash Crew fame and was a member of the B-Boy crew Electrified Movement as well. He was also responsible for assembling another infamous B-Boy crew called The New York City Breakers.”

Wood is also known for creating flyers for hip-hop’s early days, having made flyers for Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, and others.

“When I went to Grandmaster Flash’s manager to suggest making flyers to advertise their jams, there really wasn’t anything like that happening, and that’s why I suggested it,” Wood said in an interview with AIGA. “What you did have were big Merengue posters by Salsa Kenny and Izzy Sanabria, but we weren’t really promoting jams on any real level like that. I thought that it made sense to, so I started doing flyers for Flash, and then the wave came behind it.”

A number of people have offered tributes on social media since news of Wood’s passing surfaced. Veteran New York City Hip Hop promotor Van Silk took to Facebook to share how Wood made his first set of flyers when he started promoting his own shows.

https://www.facebook.com/rapamania.silk/posts/145248316888256

DJ Premier, El-P, R.A the Rugged Man, MC Debbie D, Lord Finesse and others also offered tributes, which can be read below.

https://twitter.com/therealelp/status/1205516875687436288?s=20

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Damn… This is crazy.. R.I.P. Phase 2 (Graf Legend & Pioneer) Where do I begin here.??? I knew Lonnie since I was a kid. Unknown to most we grew up together in Forest Projects in the Bronx “same building.. same floor” building #965 I never knew he was a writer until I became an artist and was running into him in different parts of the world 🌎. Also known along with Buddy Esquire for creating the legendary Early Hip Hop flyers. I just knew him as my next door neighbor before that. We always got a good laugh about where art had taken both of us. Always proud of his iconic journey in the Graf world. Rest In Peace Brother 🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Phase2 #TheLegend #TheIcon 👑✊🏽✊🏽👍🏽

A post shared by Lord Finesse – The Underboss (@lordfinesseditc) on

H/T: HipHopDX

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