R.E. RANDY began writing his name in 1983, when there were only a handful of people really getting their names up. He is a founding member of the Gangsta Chronicles, an early 1980s street crew, which had chapters around the city. He is one of the first writers in DC to go all-city; his signature adorned the insides of buses, and the outsides of many popular music venues.
The R.E. in his name is an abbreviation of the name for his favorite go-go band Rare Essence. Randy would write his name in the traditional signature style, however he pushed stylistic boundaries by incorporating the logo of Rare Essence into his signature.
The band’s logo, which has a connected “R” and “E” leaning forward, served as the main form of the Randy’s signature with the rest of the letters following suit in a forward lean. Additionally he would add an outline of the “R” and “E” giving it prominence, and add a 3D effect to make the “R” and “E” stand off the wall.
Inspired by Lisa of the World, to go bigger with the use of the spray can after her storied hit on the H Street bridge, Randy carved out space for himself in a city that gave no quarter.
No early images of R.E. RANDY’s signatures are known to exist, our initial knowledge of his work came from COOL “DISCO” DAN who cited Randy as his single biggest influence to begin writing.
Indeed, many old school go-go writers are quick to mention him as the original DC graffiti king, even inspiring the work of LIL R.E. RANDY, a fan who continued on Randy’s style into the late ‘80s, after Randy had moved on from graffiti.
R.E. Randy never made the transition to painting the newer forms of graffiti, he like many south side writers got caught up in the social ills that afflicted DC in the 1980s, however with his reemergence in 2020 at the 14th Street Graffiti Museum, only time will tell.