Claudia Gold first fell in love with graffiti in the late ’80s. The New York native was so inspired by the notion of “claiming space in a giant city,” she embarked on her own mission of space-claiming, and eventually developed the famous claw signature that would earn her her name: Claw Money.
“I painted a bubbly claw with a chubby ’w’ and added nails to it. Someone who didn’t like me wrote over the first three letters of my name,” Gold tells us. “I see the truck drive by and there was the claw just sticking out. I said to myself, ’I’m never gonna write my name again.'”
While painting graffiti inspired by VH1’s upcoming Hip Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens event, Gold spoke to us about what influences her style. She cites fashion, pop art and hip hop, crediting Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa and Queen Latifah with being “in the soundtrack of my life.”
Find out what else Gold had to say about these three hip-hop queens in our interview with her below, and catch Hip Hop Honors when it airs on Monday, July 11 at 9 p.m.