A Serbian rapper has claimed to be behind the infamous ‘Naz’ tags that are popping up all over the island as segments of the local graffiti community say they are the work of a Maltese female artist.
The graffiti tags, which has received a very mixed reception, generally just include one or two words in the same style – ‘Naz’, and ‘Ovde/Ajde’. Though they may come in different colours, they’ve generally been seen as an eyesore in the many localities they’ve been spotted in.
Since Lovin Malta wrote about the graffiti last week, a number of individuals have attempted to shed some light on the abundant tags. In the meantime, a police report has been filed by the Swieqi council as they request more patrols, and questions sent to the Malta Police Force on the graffiti remain unanswered.
Pictured above: An example of the tag in Naxxar
“We’re not in the UK, it’s a very different scenario”
Tagging so frequently to merely mark the area may be part of graffiti culture in many large cities around the world, yet some local artists say that Malta is its own place.
A person with knowledge of the people behind the tags spoke to Lovin Malta on the condition of anonymity, saying the Naz tag belonged to a Maltese female street artist, while her British boyfriend was behind the accompanying “Ovde/Ajde” tag.
“The girl is just following her boyfriend – the guy is from the UK, and is probably used to that in the UK – but here, we’re not in the UK, it’s a very different scenario,” they said.
Pictured above: Serbian rapper 90 Naz says the graffiti is a “memorial” to him
Serbian gangster rapper 90 Naz says the tags are being done to celebrate his newly released album
‘Yes, it has to do with me. My friend tagged my logo while he was staying in Malta. This makes me happy,” he told Lovin Malta.
The rise of the Naz tag coincides with the release of his latest album – but 90 Naz says it’s more than just that.
“You see, I spent 10 years in jail. I will never have the opportunity to visit any other country, so my friend dedicated it to me as a memorial,” he said.
When told that many people were finding the tags a nuisance, he was apologetic
“I’m sorry if somebody’s bothered… I certainly heard that Malta has beautiful graffiti. And actually, this is the first time I am seeing them. But graffiti is the way an artist expresses themselves. I think graffiti can send a message and change dull streets,” he said.
“Colours bring joy. It’s nice to see a silly wall rather than grey concrete,” he said.
Either way, he hopes the graffiti’s reputation does not precede him.
“I hope that I will visit Malta on my own day, I have heard that it is a beautiful island. When I settle everything with the law and get out the passport I will be a free man.”
And when asked if he thinks the graffiti will continue, he was unsure.
“I do not know that. I did not even know this. I can not influence people and their free will,” he said.
‘It’s the work of vandals’ – Twitch, a prominent Maltese street artist
Twitch, one of Malta’s most prolific street artists, says the tags belong to a couple who ‘cannot tag for shit’
“The mysterious graffiti you see all over actually belong to two vandals,” said Twitch. As someone who has been invited to showcase his murals everywhere from London to Amsterdam, he is dismayed at the lack of clarity in the work’s message.
“A tag is written to leave your sign around, not to confuse people: if people cannot read your tag, it’s the worst diss in the graffiti world. A good tag needs to be understood,” he said. “