Atlanta based artist FRKO rides BMX and does art for Action Bronson, including his debut album cover. That’s awesome.
CLick below for a Q&A with FRKO.
First off. Name, age, location.
Rich Montgomery but I’m known as FRKO shortened and branded from Freako, I’m 26 but the mind of a 75 y/o jew, from/resides Atlanta (zone 6).
For those who don’t know you, who is FRKO?
I’m a walking computer, a real street dude, a man who doesn’t shower for days but never stinks…ever. I am also an illustrator who grew up riding bmx and still rides every damn day.
Getting right into it… I fuckin love Action Bronson and I love BMX. I love the fact that you ride and that you did Action Bronson’s album cover. How did that deal come about?
Thank you man, it was just a natural happening honestly. I had been drawing my lil silly cartoons of his lyrics and putting them up on IG and he would repost them. After the fifth one I illustrated I could tell he was really into the work. I shot an email to his manager just introducing myself and my art services. A month later I got hit up about doin covers for him and here we are now.
I noticed you snuck in a griffin head on there. That’s a great little nugget for riders with a sharp eye.
Yea I did. I’ve only ran mostly Animal parts since I was 14 that I pay for in full, except for some bars Jared Washington gave me in an art trade lol, so I threw Animal on this without anybody in the outside world being aware it was a holy bmx symbol.
I love when random dudes get put on and I think your cartoon style compliments Action Bronson perfectly. Would this explain why you’ve continued to do art for him?
Yeah that and Bronson loves it as much as his fans do. We work well together with the same exact sense of humor so it’s a easy thing as well as a pleasure. Respect.
Have you started getting hit up by people since Action started plugging you?
Yeah a lot, but people don’t wanna pay for art lol. It’s unbelievable how these rappers intend on making millions from a album but don’t wanna pay over $200 or so for the art. I honestly wouldn’t do art for any rapper anyway. I think doing Bronson’s work is branding both of us and it’s authentic.
In your opinion, what rappers have good art direction and what rappers have terrible art direction?
Big K.R.I.T got a good branding from his art direction on all his mixtape covers and his latest album cover is on point. He uses the same artist/same palette it looks like. The terrible art direction award has to go to these Atlanta rappers down here just following each others sound and not standing out at all visually and that’s what you gotta have these days in this internet age.
Whats the inspiration behind the things you draw?
I love to create scenes that I’ve seen in real life or in movies with a sick little twist or switch out characters. I like to make people go deep in the side of their brain that’s primal and just nasty lol. I’m a real street guy ya know, I see a lot of wild shit riding my bike everywhere.
How does BMX play into your daily routine?
BMX is my only means of transportation, so I ride everyday going to get coffee, jib around in the city, grab a curry chicken party from the Jamaican spot. Then go back to my apartment and start creating. I’m usually drinking beer or Fourloko by 4pm lol. That’s how we do it in ATL.
Everyone has a story, so how did you get into BMX?
Man I was watching the 1999 (age 11) Summer X-games BMX park and I’ve never seen anything like that before. I was hooked after seeing the greats like Mirra, Miron, DMC, and of course Hoffman compete. That summer I started cutting a lot of yards in my hood with my childhood best friend Chris and we had the same goal… to earn enough dough to buy a GT bmx bike. I ended up not making enough and had to go back to school, bummer. One day after school I came home and there it was. The blue Dyno/GT Zone. My mom knew which bike I wanted and surprised we with a early b-day present.
I never got off that bike and I just grew with the culture/sport. Steve Nowak is a legendary rider/OG here in ATL and he worked at this bike shop near my middle school. He built me my first custom bike in 2001 and taught me basic tricks and gave me the OG Animal Bob bars the grey ones as well as the S&M PBR frame. Bob Scerbo was my favorite rider so I wanted my bike to look like his lol. I run the Animal Big Fours now cuz I’m 6’0 240lbs haha, but I’ve always ran Bob bars.
Who are your top five favorite riders? No particular order.
BLACKMAN aka Desmond Rhodes
Thanks FRKO, anything you wanna add before we wrap this up?
Shout out to Defgrip. I’ve been an avid reader/observer since I was in high school, you guys understood the artistic rider and visually built an aesthetic in BMX blogs. Also shout out to my crew in ATL and all the people who support my art.