Chino BYI – Historian Of Classic New York Hip-Hop culture

David “Chino” Villorente aka Chino BYI is the old-school graffiti artist and subsequent historian of classic New York graffiti culture  was among those who rose to the top with his determination and style.

Chino bombing career subsequently helped pave the way for a successful run in music, writing, and publishing and he continued to paint and travel around the world. A walking encyclopedia with an inexhaustible amount of knowledge of NYC graffiti culture, also known for being one of the first artists to spray-paint on trains in NY.

CHINO is one of the most prominent historians and ambassadors of the culture, He grew up in NYC in the 70s and his two heroes were Muhammad Ali and IZ THE WIZ.

Chino started high school with guys that were actually bombing trains. His boy LC JCS (Just Can’t Stop) from Bed-Stuy had these little Saturday matinee subway graffiti bombing sessions where he would take the guys to hit trains. His buddy TORCH NBG (Nothing But Graffiti) from Brownsville went to school with his. PZ, or PIZER, KO Crew (Kings Only) went to school with his. PIZER was partners with RE MOG (Masters of Graffiti). The MOG crew; JAZ (CITO), BUST (BT) and BROKER (BR) were killing the Js, the Ls and the Ms at the time. RE would sneak into our school to hang out with PZER. Chino also met his partner TAPE, who also wrote TRECH in high school.

TRECH is the president of BYI, which is the primary crew Chino hook up. Chino is vice-president of the crew and TRECH was his mentor. Chino also met WEBSTER CAC in high school. He took Chino to his first lay-up, and put Chino down with his first real graffiti crew CAC (Cool Art Creators) with RAB, DOLE, SLAM, DESIRE. They were also doing dope pieces and had cool throw-ups.

Chino wrote on his first train in junior high, but seriously started bombing trains on high school years. By the time ’84, ’85 rolled around they began to gain some serious traction, and by ’86, ’87, ’88 they had insides on lock.Chino released his third book “World PieceBook: Global Graffiti Drawings” in a series documenting graffiti pieces, this installment highlights pieces from 34 different countries around the globe.
The significance of the “piece book” in graff culture goes back to when aspiring graffiti artists would pass around a notebook to their favorite artists and try to collect “pieces,” signatures painted for them in their pages. Being how secretive graffiti culture is, often the only proof that one has met some of the more elusive artists is by collecting their signature in their piece book. David’s three releases have served as “fantasy piece books” of sorts, collecting these signatures from graffiti’s most respected names.


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