Ecko Takes Air Force One

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Ecko - 'Still Free'
Ecko - 'Still Free'
Ok, so when, in this age of graffiti cool and street art chic, has tagging someone else's property been a matter of national concern? When that property happens to be Air Force One. Last week, a mysterious online film began to circulate on the web showing hip hop outfitter Marc Ecko taking a spray paint can to the President's 747. The viral got netizens and news outlets, from ABC News to Wonkette, debating or flaming about the stunt and its veracity. Even the Pentagon stepped out twice to comment, denying that the high profile defacing ever occurred. Well, the fact that in the film the tagger gets past security without a hitch, and that the stunt is posted on Ecko's site ( along with a big fat disclaimer, should tell any right-minded websurfer that it's all a hoax.

While the AP reports that Ecko himself was indeed the culprit, he'd enlisted some familiar Madison Avenue talents, David Droga and production company Smuggler, to help get the job done. "Marc Ecko wanted us to create a pop culture moment," says David Droga, of his new thinktank Droga5's first completed venture. "He wanted us to create something that reinforced Ecko as an urban street culture brand, and he didn't want to do anything traditional. So we thought, Why don't we create a video that is so controversial that it supercedes anything that's happening in the mainstream media?" Thanks to Smuggler and director Randy Krallman, the heavy duty tagging looks about as genuine as it can get.

The production company pulled together a huge under-wraps production at night with a hired 747 in a SoCal airfield, but everything was shot on everyday camcorders. "We had to stay true to how terrified an amateur graffiti artist would be trying to get past security," says Smuggler EP Patrick Milling Smith. "Everyone was fighting against making it look like a Michael Bay movie."
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