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  • Writer's pictureErica Stella

Dirt Cobain: Dirty Style Takes Over NYC

Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

For Dirt Cobain, landing in New York City had been a long time coming. As a teenager, he was always intrigued by the BIG Apple. He grew up watching Rap City and Yo! MTV Raps, and as a huge Wu-Tang fan - the street scenes always looked so dope through those classic music videos. It was definitely a different world than California. Even though he will always consider himself a Cali boy till the day he dies, he knew he'd conquer the 5 boroughs one day.

After achieving street cred & gallery recognition in the Melrose/Hollywood art scene, Dirt visited NYC for the first time last Fall. Born in the Bay Area and living in LA for the past 10 years, he thought he'd seen it all. When he landed, he spent the first few nights running around solo. He knew quickly his expectations would be far exceeded.

Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

There he was driving cross-country, with 1 agenda: to create art and give his "Dirty Style" its next chapter.

He also realized this trip wouldn't scratch his East Coast itch. This was during the Chelsea bombing in September '16, and cops were out deep. He wasn't trying to catch a charge on an inaugural trip, so the last leg of the visit was calm, with the cool confidence of a return.

Goin Back to Cali, he felt like he belonged on the East Coast, and his "Dirty Style" needed to be seen in NYC. He got back to the grind, and made extra cash to get back. Within a few months there he was, driving cross-country, with one agenda: to create art and give his Dirty Style its next chapter.


But before this big life changing decision, Dirt Cobain had demons to tackle. He looked at how life was going in LA, and he wasn't satisfied. He faced his reality and decided that life and art were more important than the drugs and alcohol he wasn't able to control. It may seem pretty surface; a 40oz, a pill bottle, a strung out Bart Simpson... but promoting drugs is not what Dirt Cobain is about. In the truest sense of an artist, it's exactly what he was trying to get away from.

Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)
During the worst of his detox, drugs were all that was on his mind. He started drawing and creating them with repetition. The cathartic and ironic exercise helped him create his way through the toughest times. The funny little jokes in his head when previously drunk and unmotivated - came out in his sober artwork. With a liquor store on every corner in LA, it wasn't like he could get away from it, nor was he trying.
Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

"Dirty Style" is the definition of FUN, and being yourself.

Dirty Style is the definition of FUN, and being yourself. Don't confuse the dark emotion behind it, he still evokes nothing but fun in his work - but Dirt Cobain is also about the essence of the independent artist and self creation. It's raw and real, and even if it's taken the wrong way - it doesn't matter, it's for him. Life gets Dirty sometimes! The motivation gained, the positive outcome of sobriety did not make him shy away from going out to bars, clubs or changing his lifestyle otherwise. But more so, getting sober readied him for the real life challenges ahead.
Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

In addition to the best and healthiest decision he could have made; the boredom of sobriety gave him lots of time to work and focus on his goals. He wouldn't have made it to NYC without sobriety first. With more productivity, he's in the middle of an East Coast Domination! Since he arrived a few short months ago, he has tackled multiple walls including the basement project at 510 Flatbush, First City Project's Graff Mansion, JMZ Walls, Underhill Walls, and East Village Walls. He's been invited to paint independent gates, rooftops, participate in group shows, and commissioned pieces have been coming his way!

Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)
But like many artists, Dirt Cobain puts the challenge on himself. He pushes himself hard; using personal subject matter, and drawing on raw emotion from his own experiences. Disappointments, let downs and loss - all a part of living. When you find your healthy outlet, you handle it better the next time around.
Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I’m sure
And if you fall, stand tall and come back for more.” –Tupac
Out of all the achievements to date, Dirt hangs his hat on the 40oz bottle that you can see from the elevated 7 train platform, in Sunnyside, Queens. Visibility is everything. A year prior, almost to the day - Dirt Cobain did a similar 40oz in the Compton Swap Meet, that can be seen from the Blue Line LA Metro, another elevated train. After standing back from the 2nd version of the completed gate; he could take a breath, pat him self on the back for a moment & know he had accomplished something BIG.
Photo By: Erica Stella (StellaBella)

Keep your eyes peeled for more Dirt Cobain, he's just warming up! Follow him on IG for the latest, check his website for Dirty Style apparel & merch, and look for him just about everywhere in Summer '17!

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