Today, Hip Hop mourns the loss of one of its founding pioneers, Jeffery “KING KASE 2″ Brown. Kase 2, as he was also referred to, was known as the “King Of Style” in the world of graffiti art. Featured in the classic Hip Hop documentary Style Wars, Kase 2 will be forever remembered for his elaborate artwork and overwhelming confidence in his abilities.
DJ Kay Slay, also featured in Styles Wars film, tweeted earlier today (August 14) in the memory of Kase 2. Kay Slay also said via his Twitter account that Brown succumbed to cancer although official reports have yet to surface. Even with one arm, Kase 2 and his style was inimitable although many tried to emulate his epic work. Below is a tribute to Kase 2 from his protege Edwin “King Phade” Sacasa.
As one of Kase 2’s first born when it comes to what the kids call today ‘Swag,’ I respectfully send out my condolences out to the Jeffrey Brown family. Me and Kase met in 1978; We quickly became friends and he began to mentor me as his protege. We fought side by side in the street, Kase respected me not as an underling but almost as an equal. He helped shape and groom my aerosol art career in its early stages. He always had perception as to what was next.
He is truly the ‘King of Style.’ Kase gave me an outline in 1978 in the form of my name ‘Phade.’ He was impressed that I was able to scale his art professionally, and proportionately so we became piecing partners. Whether it was one of his many monikers or our names, we painted hard. Kase took me to clubs like Celebrity club, Harlem World, Renaissance Ballroom and Audubon Ballroom. He enabled me to meet the heroes of the day such as Busy Bee and Kool DJ AJ. We called ourselves “The Moore House Crew.” That was Kase’s family he always mentioned Dee, Glenn, Crusader Rob, Al Boogie,Tray-Bag, Gill Seville and others.
We became his extended family. He taught me how to stand up as a man and protect my artistic ability by any means. So many words can describe Jeff aka Kase 2 of The Fantastic Partners. When Butch came home he embraced me also. They together embraced my team Lil Seen, Doze, Daze, Lady Pink, Harold, LC, EC3, CUE, he showed us all how to be and conduct ourselves as “Kings.” There were collaborations that only pictures can bring back the memories of those nights at Gunhill Road lay-up and bussin’ 6 whole cars.
Kase/Butch, Phade/Agent, kel139/Cos, Mare/shy 147,piecing with Skeme/Dez, Lil Karado/SO, Jap 115, Moet, Gnome etc. Kase was unselfish, willing to teach and always opened his heart and doors for others. I have been so blessed to meet and be a pivotal part of this man’s life that meant so much to others. 33 Years of knowing a true “King of Style.” I can brag about that but missing Kase is gonna be hard. I wear my crown proudly and do daily watch the throne; that was Kase’s life….letting you know who the true “Kings of Style” are and whose crowns are on tight.
Thanks to a mentor, brother, historian, fighter, artist supreme, To the “King Of Style,” thanks for the memories and the love of the life game we are in…Hip Hop.
Edwin Sacasa aka King Phade
RIP to the graffiti art legend Jeffery “Kase 2″ Brown.