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MTL #01 More to Life

More to Life #01


More to Life #01


[Start Here] More to Life was an idea I pitched to a friend and colleague during my media debut as an opportunity to diversify content. At the time I was dedicated 100% to producing skateboard-related content. If I wasn’t skateboarding I was watching skateboarding and if I wasn’t watching skateboarding I was reading skateboarding, and if I wasn’t reading skateboarding I was talking skateboarding. Slowly but surely I was OD-ing on the thing I loved. I knew that if I didn’t switch lanes and focus on other things I was going to get burnt out. There had to be more to life than just skateboarding. Inspired by the things I saw, the places I went and the people I met, I drew sources for a short lived column that tried to mix everything together into a creative dialogue. I wanted the person who came looking for skateboarding to leave with more information that just another boardslide or grind. Whether I succeeded or not is another question...? Time has passed since then and today I return to the task of drawing inspiration from the people I meet, the places I visit and the things I see to take you out of the box and on a journey. More to Life is... Photos, poems, quotes, lyrics, stories, articles, ramblings and more.

More to Life #01


I am not a poet “I wrote this poem twice. The first version attributes a single colour to items of my everyday life. I wrote the second version for a friend who was gathering poetry for a cultural event. I boasted that I would send her a poem about the colour orange which doesn’t rhyme with anything. The end result was this second version of my initial poem except with more colours. We are surrounded by colour all of the time. Sometimes colour is taken for granted and misinterpreted. The colour orange still doesn’t rhyme.”

More to Life #01


Colours V.1.0 Green is the colour of the tea I drink Purple was only built for Cuban link Orange is the colour that doesn’t rhyme Black Red and White Jordan Fives in a size nine Grey is the colour of boredom Yellow is the sun that rises every morning Blue is the colour of the sky White is what I’ll see when I die

More to Life #01

Colours V.2.0 Orange is the colour that won’t rhyme Purple grapes are used to make wine Grey is the colour of boredom Green lights in the sky are Northern Blue is for boys and Pink is for girls That’s if you live in a stereotypical world Beige is rather bland and not very fun Brown is the colour of tequila and rhum Yellow fever is best to be avoided Gold always leaves silver disappointed Black is not a colour because it swallows light Add all of the colours together and you get White


More to Life #01


More to Life #01


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More to Life #01


“I’m a pirate, we do what we want.” N.D.

More to Life #01


Things done changed

“Taggers switched ink for battery acid�

More to Life #01


There is an ongoing battle in perpetual escalation between taggers and local authorities as each side tries to eradicate the other. The sole purpose of tagging is to leave an anonymous trace of your passing through an area. The end result is to have your tag everywhere by all means necessary. Taggers started with paint pens and markers but their efforts were quickly thwarted with simple detergents and cleaning products. Writers didn’t back down and sought out the most potent inks available to make sure their tags stayed put. Chemistry came into the equation as writers mixed and blended inks and dyes to create dark indelible hues that would seep into surfaces and leave a mark as permanent as a tattoo. Authorities quickly realised that their cleaning products were helpless against the new source that soaked into surface. At best the dark stain would wash away to reveal a faded signature still visible to the naked eye. Clean up squads coated their walls in non-stick paint and wax-like sheens that could be easily erased and replaced. For more persistent blemishes, the cleaners geared up and blasted high-powered water cannons at the graffiti. The technique worked even though it slowly skinned the surfaces on blast. The authorities were back in the game and determined not to lose.

The taggers reacted quickly with etching and carving their names into the floors and windows. Using a drill bit or stone to scratch your tag into a window was less aesthetic than the calligraphy of a chisel tip marker, but the end result remained the same. Replacing window panes was proving an expensive pill to swallow for the authorities but their eagerness to overcome the taggers meant that they dug deeper into their pockets. Sheets of anti-graffiti film were layered over glass fronts in a bid to prevent the abuse of inks, dyes and scratches. The new technique worked, but not for long. Taggers were already thinking one step ahead as they replaced their indelible inks with battery acid. Applying battery acid to glass surfaces was similar to that of the potent dyes applied to dry walls: the tags burnt into the surface in thick grey smears. Writers even enjoyed the aesthetically pleasing drip effect their new corrosive compound produced. This new chapter in the battle for the urban canvas highlights the lengths to which an anonymous sub-culture will steep in a bid for infamy. True pioneers of the game have taken their tags to new levels altogether by soldering iron cast letters to signposts, projecting laser messages and tagging with invisible luminescent paint. However, such applications are a step away from the roots of graffiti and lean more towards the trending medium of street art; A concept that core taggers refuse to accept.

More to Life #01


More to Life #01

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More to Life #01

WARP SPEED!!!


Cappadonna The first time I heard Cappadonna’s verse on Winter Warz, I was chilling in my bedroom listening to Radio Brume’s Rap Show. I had no idea who he was but his marathon verse had me listening to every rhyme and metaphor. I still consider the line about P.L.O. Style being thrown out of the car and run over by the Method Man jeep as one of the dopest lyrics - period. You heard of the rasp before but kept waitin for the sun of song, I keep dancehalls strong Beats never worthy of my cause, I prolong Extravangza, time sits still No propoganda, be wary of the skill As I bring forth the music, make love to your eardrum Dedicated to rap nigga beware of the fearsome Lebanon Don, Malcolm X beat threat CD massacre, murder to cassette I blow the shop up, you ain't seen nuttin yet One man ran, tryin to get away from it Put your bifocal on, watch me a-cometh into your chamber like Freddy enter dream Discombumberate your technique and your scheme Four course applause, like a black dat to dat You're stuck on stupid like I'm stuck on the map Nowhere to go except next show bro Entertainin motherfuckers can't stop O in battlin, you don't want me to start tattlin All upon the stage cause y'all snakes keep rattlin Bitch, you ain't got nothin on the rich Every other day my whole dress code switch So just in case you want to clock me like Sherry All y'all crab bitches ain't got to worry Can't get a nigga like Don dime a dozen Even if I'm smoked out I can't be scoped out I'm too ill, I represent Park Hill

More to Life #01


Winter Warz Winter Warz first featured on the soundtrack for the B-Movie Don’t Be A Menace, but the buzz Cappa had created made him a rap celebrity over night. The song was included on Ghostface Killah’s debut album Ironman, with Cappa featuring on several other tracks and the album cover. Some consider Cappadonna as the Wu Tang Clan’s unofficial 10th member. See my face on the twenty dollar bill Cash it in, and get ten dollars back The fat LP with Cappacino on the wax Pass it in your think, put valve up to twelve Put all the other LP's back on the shelf And smoke a blunt, and dial 9-1-7 1-6-0-4-9-3-11 And you could get long dick hip-hop affection I damage any MC who step in my direction I'm Staten Island's best son fuck what you heard Niggaz still talkin that shit is absurd My repertoire, is U.S.S.R. P.L.O. style got thrown out the car and ran over, by the Method Man jeep Divine can't define my style is so deep like pussy, my low cut fade stay bushy like a porcupine, I part backs like a spine Gut you like a blunt and reconstruct your design I know you want to diss me, but I can read your mind Cuz you weak in the knees, like SWV Tryin to get a title like Wu Killa Bee Kid change your habit, you know I'm friends with the Abbott Me and RZA ridin name printed in the tablet under vets, we paid our debts for mad years Hibernate the sound, and now we out like beers and blunt power, born physically power speakin The truth in the song be the pro-black teachin

More to Life #01


More to Life #01


More to Life #01


RUNY (A Short story)

Inconsolable, Runy ran away for the rest of the sunny afternoon

Runy’s earliest memories date back to his 4th birthday where a table stacked with plastic figurines of knights in shining armour and dragons was laid out for him under the warm June sunlight of suburbia. There were warriors in red tunics, blue tunics, gold tunics and black tunics. The small horsemen wielded vicious weapons ranging from double-edged swords to spiked flails, passing by battle axes and sharp spears. The dragons breathed flames and had claws the size of footballs. Runy was so excited to see his new toys, his mind rushed with intricate battle plans and war cries. But before he was allowed to play with his gifts, Runy had to finish his cake, wash his hands and thank his guests for coming. Once all of these chores were done, Runy rushed through his house, down the corridor and out of the backdoor to his garden where the toys were waiting for him. Unfortunately, some older kids from a few gardens down had crept through the hole in Runy’s fence and stolen each and every one of miniature toys. Staring in shock at the bare table, Runy’s eyes re-drew the lines of each of the scaly monsters and brave knights. He could see the pile of presents in his mind’s eye, but in reality they were gone. Forever.

and hid in the basement. The sudden shift from blazing sunlight to sudden darkness, hot air to a cool breeze, sent a shockwave through Runy’s sensory system. He stopped and shivered at the bottom of the stairs and fought against the shadows to make out his surroundings. As his irises grew and things began to get clearer he noticed a huge form moving towards him. A wall of white foam was creeping slowly but surely towards him, ready to swallow his 4 year old frame in one gulp. One of the communal washing machines had been filled with too much soap and had subsequently exploded spreading a sea of bubbles through the inner trails of the building’s basement. Escape through to the garden was blocked and Runy curled into a protective ball as the suds engulfed him in a wet crackling noise as the bubbles burst upon contact with his skin.

Runy couldn’t remember how long he was eaten alive for, but he did remember a stiff yank pulling him up off the steps and into the open air. His father was angry and scolded him for running away. His mother looked on and shook her head as she tried in vain to dry Runy’s birthday suit with a kitchen towel. Runy promised to never run away again (even though he would a few years later after arguing with his little sister and whipping her with the tail of his favourite Iguana toy) and headed back into the house.

More to Life #01


Ever since that fateful summer’s day, Runy hated birthdays and basements. If people asked him when his special day was, he answered the 29th February. That way he only had to eat cake once every four years. He hired maids, found helpful flatmates and scoured the local directories for people willing to take his clothes to the cleaners rather than risk a journey to the laundrette. It was whilst searching through the phonebook that he came across a job ad to be a visual aid. Runy had never heard of such a job so he applied at once. It had to be better than his current occupation which was cleaning up html code up for an incompetent IT firm. A glitch in their software meant that every time an employee submitted code for an animated web page, the html was infected with a random sprinkle of open tags. Normally, software existed that could do Runy’s job at the click of a mouse, but his incompetent boss thought that such a problem needed to be treated with a human eye. He worked in IT but didn’t trust computers.

When Runy rang the number at the bottom of the job ad a quiet voice answered. It was that of a man with a slight lisp and very British accent. Runy instantly conjured up the image of a gentleman in his sixties, dressed in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat, perched upon a wooden chair with a small terrier dog at his feet. The person looking for a visual aid had a subdued tone as he asked Runy when he was available. It was almost like a telephone operator who connects calls all day and informs the people at the end of the line that they would soon be charged an extra shilling for extra time. Runy told the old man that he was free right away and took note of his future employer’s address so that they could meet.

Sure enough, the man seeking a visual aid was British (from St. Albans), in his sixties, wearing a pinstripe suit and bowler hat and owned a small terrier dog. He was sitting in a grand leather arm chair though. Runy had no idea how he could have thought he could tell the man was sitting on a wooden chair just from speaking to him on the phone. But anyway, he was here and eager to learn about his new role as a visual aid. The old man held up a camera to Runy and told him to look through the viewfinder. Runy did what he was told then handed the man back his camera. Next to the armchair stood a table covered in photographs. The photos were of everything and anything. Sometimes they were of people, other times of places and sometimes just of things. The old man explained in a soft but incredibly eloquent English, that he was alone. His wife and daughter had died in a freak accident when removal men dropped a grand piano from the fourth floor of his apartment building and sadly squashed them both. It was a quick and painless death, but the old man said that he could never listen to the piano again or walk outside without looking up.

His task for Runy was to help him see the beauty in life again.

The old man took photos in search of something special, but when he developed the film, he never found it. Runy knew exactly how the old man felt after losing his best birthday present ever that fateful sunny afternoon many years ago. Staring at the pile of photos gathering dust on the table, Runy could see the stacks of plastic knights and dragons staring right back at him. The old mad took a small marker pen from the breast picket of his pinstriped suit and told Runy to draw what was missing from each picture. Runy went straight to work and hasn’t stopped since.

More to Life #01


Another hard day at the office spent staring at a screen. You clock off and slip into the rat race that rushes home to sit on a sofa and stare at a different screen. For a brief moment the streets come alive with a swirling mass of pedestrians, cyclists and commuters. Like a river running its course, the crowd gradually runs dry and the streets are empty again. The concrete concourse is now open to free thought. Your first pushes out of your door are like warm up laps getting the energy flowing as you prepare to ride through the city like electric current. Alone, you are the only animation these cold surfaces will see until daybreak. The daily routine of life dictates the direction you take and the path you tread during business hours. Stick to the sidewalk, look out for cars, enter shop, purchase goods, exit shop, go to the cinema, go to the bar, go to where the other people are. Tonight you have no limitations, pre-defined routes or people to see. Drop off the curb at a zebra-crossing then turn and push down the meridian of the main road. Re-write the Highway Code as you ignore red lights, roll the wrong way and make illegal U-turns. Like a child avoiding the cracks in the pavement, you leap over every manhole and grate. Island crossings become manual pads and the steep surfaces of jersey barriers feel the heat of friction as your urethane wheels grip to their sides. A street lamp highlights a new obstacle that awaits your next move. Rubbish bags and cardboard boxes line the walls. Abandoned by their creators and awaiting termination, you breathe new life into them as you put together a line with these forgotten blocks of detritus. Hidden gems reveal themselves when the tapestry of daily commerce is pulled away. Passageways reveal marble floors, shop fronts boast window ledges and courtyards offer embankments. The only noise you hear is the roar of your board as you run the road. Your mind goes blank as you bomb hills in the dark. Night owls are the only ones who see you race through intersections and screech through plazas. Eventually the Sun must come up and play must stop. You cruise away from the crest of dawn, eclipsing the rays of light as they signal the dawn of a new day. You slip away from the night with the knowledge that for a few dark hours you were the only person alive and kicking with your skateboard whilst the rest of the world could only have dreamt it.

More to Life #01


Night Time is the Right Time More to Life #01


Diamonds the size of boulders strewn across the black beach

More to Life #01


More to Life #01


Thank You / Fuck You Sweet-P Sifu Wheelbite Schief Romz Green Tea Biscuits

Property developers Rude waitresses Loose paving stones Misty rain Tendonitis Petrol prices Boredom

More to Life #01


All Photos / Text by Ralph Lloyd-Davis ! 2011 Blog - http://firstnameralph.wordpress.com Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/FirstNameRalph Tumblr - http://firstnameralph.tumblr.com

More to Life #01


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