Written by Spie one of the Mike DREAM TDK family collective...
RAISED IN THE HUSTLE -
ENLIGHTENED BY THE STRUGGLE....
Michael Francisco, better known to the world simply as "DREAM", was tragically murdered on the night of February 17, 2000. Oakland's twelfth homicide this year claimed one of West Coast's premiere "graffiti" artists. Hip-Hop in the US and internationally, is suffering a great loss.
DREAM started writing in 1983 and soon became recognized as one of the Bay's stylistic innovators. Pioneering the art form of "graffiti" on the West Coast, while hip-hop's various elements began taking permanent hold around the globe, his pure love for expression attracted hundreds, if not thousands to, also spray "your name." Inspired by the New York City originators, DREAM constantly stressed the historic developmental knowledge in the writin' game and always reminded us that "getting up is one thing, but to get up with style is a whole different ball game."
As DREAM earned respect, he saw the power of conveying messages through the aerosol medium to the greater society, especially amongst young people. DREAM pieces connected with and raised the sights of a broad community voice, unifying people from vastly different backgrounds. DREAM understood that art should not just be nice to look at but needs to be used as a weapon of defense against oppressive injustice. Mike DREAM organized and participated in very controversial gallery installations such as "No Justice, No Peace - Word from the Underground" (1993) and "Amerikan Terrorism - Shadows on the Global Street" (1995). Along with taking a stand against police violence, nuclear proliferation, colonialism, and cigarette companies, which target people of color, DREAM produced artwork in defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal and against corporate take overs of people's institutions. He did all this, while at the same time schooled kids to recognize self-determined pathways in life. Whether it was passing along an Assata Shakur, Malcolm X, Carlos Bulosan, George Jackson, or even an Iceberg Slim book, Mike DREAM preserved that culture of resistance by urging others to recapture their past and be conscious minded in their lives.
With a firm pride in his Pinoy roots, DREAM embraced other cultures as well. He built bridges between the Black and Asian/Pacific Islander communities. The spirit of fallen brothers PlanBee and PakOne continued to be expressed through his work.
For some, life is nothing more than grindin' and pimpin' on the east and west sides, but Mike had passion for life that was large, He created art which sometimes paid, but more importantly was not self seeking, and were always gifts to the community. That's what Mike was about, being a provider and he laid the ground work for people to come together. His folks was in the flatlands. DREAM was a survivalist in the Otown and what he had most was love for the people.
Opinionated, critical, and energetic, Mike's charisma defined what it means to be real. Dream stressed the importance to document our own contribution to the culture to insure it from being misrepresented by someone on the outside. He was a leader and displayed true love in all aspects of life through the soul of his pieces. You didn't just see his work, but the colorful fades moved you and you could feel it. You could sense the passion he represented clearly and directly on the walls. And when he matched the letters with a definite message, the wake up call was shot at the onlooker like the lighthouse beacon to the boat gone astray. Dream, but don't sleep.
Mike DREAM was a friend to all and one would often hear him blurting out with a gracious smile,"yeah, I love that." The line, color scheme, and symmetry of those kick ass burners' always had kids flocking, but a modest DREAM always kept asking to see their black book style progressions. DREAM was a visionary and what more could explain his persona better than an analogy of our own dreams...somehow they never are memories of past events, but inspirations to create future works. Forward ever, backward never... peace and safe journey onto the next...DREAM lives forever.