Thursday, January 8, 2009
AN EARLY PERSPECTIVE OF THE BRONX BEFORE AND DURING THE CREATION OF HIP HOP
in the late 60's early 70's there was a revolution goin on in the streets of NYC. we had some of the sickest gangs rumbling in the parks at midnight, and running the ghetto hoods block by block. Back then being in a gangs like being in a family. and your family was also your entire neighborhood. Some gangs stretched out throughout the entire NYC area, and had chapters in every borough.
THE SEVEN CROWNS
Being raised in the Bronx myself, i grew up on east Treomont in Grand Concourse near Echo park (an area known for gangs and original hip hop jams). where i lived we were surrounded by Javelins and Black Spades. I was constantly learning my street knowledge by hangin out with baby javelins in Echo park when i was only around 6-7 years old. i drank my first liquor in echo park with SHORT STOP from the javelins, i smoked my first cigarette picking up buts off the streets while playing hookie at age 7, i started my first fire by echo park during school hours and watched the smoke rise till pedestrians yelled at me and i ran, i also learned my first tag and was givin the name "lil KOOL KAT" by my older sister. i was hung out my apartment window 4 flights by members of a gang called the IMPERIAL SPADES that my older sister CINDY hung out with. Every time my sis left the room they would grab me and hang me out the window. lol. i was always finding 007 knives, stilettos, and broken clackers (a toy that had two heavy balls attached to a string and made a click clack noise when you swung it. It was used as a gang weapon and became banned due to violence). during these times the music was based on allot of heavy rock (Jimi Hendrix), and heavy revolutionary soul (James Brown). i learned tons of ghetto rhymes growing up in the streets from the older cats.
Growing up amongst, gang violence, drugs, poverty, police harassment, broken down abandon buildings, and bad schools added to this rebellious attitude that the youth had towards society. it was like living in a war zone at times. hearing gun shots in the allies at night and seeing the blood stained streets the next morning on your way to school. that was mine and every other young kids life in the south Bronx during these times. back the rumbles could start over any thing from stepping on some ones shoes, messing with the wrong girls, or being in the wrong turf and not removing your colors (gang jacket). The south Bronx gangs emulated the biker gangs except most Bronx gangs couldn't afford bikes. So war seemed like the only vehicle that these gangs rode. and there was allot of wars. weapons of choice were zip guns (home made weapon), bats (sometimes with nails in them), Molotov cocktails, sawed off shot guns, hand grenades, chains, 007's, stilettos, clackers, nun chucks, pipes, ect. And to become a member of one of these gangs you would have to go through some sort of test. One such test was called the APACHE LINE, where a new recruit would have to walk in between two line of gang members and get beat down from one side to the other. Another test was RUSSIAN ROULETTE, and as brotha LUCKY STRIKES put it in the book YES YES YALL. Allot of potential gang members were left dead in abandon building, with the police thinking it was suicide and not a gang recruiting ceremony.