Recently, two legendary graffiti crews, The Magnificent Team (TMT) and The Cool 5 (TC5), decided to initiate a “brotherly” graffiti battle. With the help of sculptor Metal Man Ed, master builder of one-sided replica subway cars, several “trains” were built. Here’s some more info on how it came together.

After both sides agreed and signed what one site called “The Infamous Declaration of War,” writers representing their respective crews went to work. There’s been a few rounds so far, but on Sunday, ANIMAL was there to witness the most recent battle.


In the TMT corner, the lead contender was SKEME (pictured above) with support from crew members CES and CHAIN3. In the TC5 corner, the title fighter was SEEN (pictured below) backed up DASH and PHADE.


It took place in the underbelly of Red Bull Studios in Chelsea, where a month long exhibition of graffiti art and workshops are taking place. Dubbed Write of Passage the event is curated by Sacha Jenkins and David “CHINO” Villorente—check the teaser video here.

Due to the narrow, subterranean area the faux train was situated, not to mention the exact-like dimensions of the train itself, many of the writers said it felt like they were painting inside a layup—a term used to describe the place where NYC trains are parked.

As the strong smell of aerosol wafted through the air, the crews got to work. Each was given the same size section of train to paint. The whole thing took a little over four hours. As for who won, you’ll have to watch the video above to decide yourself. And then vote here.

(Video/Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)