Running From Cops…A Hip Hop Odyssey
Rast RFC shares the story of his come up in the gritty streets of New York City.
RFC had a yearly tradition of causing mayhem throughout the city on Halloween night. This was the night that we could purge our aggression towards society and strike back at a system that we felt was neglecting us.
We would meet at West 3rd and 6th Avenue in the Village and end up with a mob of at least 100 to 150 soldiers ready for combat. We would simply walk through Manhattan entering clothing stores, delis and bodegas taking virtually anything we wanted: coats, sneakers, jeans and boots, 40s, deuce deuces, six-packs and whatever else we wanted. We gave those Clockwork Orange lads a run for their money. But the violence is where things got way out of hand. We would simply rob, slash or hack anyone that was unlucky enough to cross our paths.
One night I remember this dude dressed up as Batman became a victim. He was huge and appeared to be a real threat and somehow he got into it with one of my soldiers, FED-5. Now, FED and his partner RISK always loved razors, I guess they found it to be a more intimate way of channeling their violent tendencies. So this dude just happens to walk by and he must have said something slick, because before I could blink his black Batman costume was blood red with razor rips and tares all over it. It looked like that jacket Michael Jackson wore in the “Beat It” video. Of course the cops came, we scattered like roaches and eventually all ended up meeting up somewhere else, almost as if we were guided back to each other by some unseen force.
We Didn’t Always Win
At one point my brother KEL and his 5MH (Five Million Hoods) Crew had beef with some cats that called them selves RNS (Rough Neck Soldiers). At the time I had never heard of them but I would eventually find out that they didn’t fuck around. One night we rolled like 30 deep to club Velvet. It was a typical night for RFC: drinking, smoking weed, bagging girls’ numbers and robbing motherfuckers on the way to the club.
As we approached the club on 26th Street and 11th Ave, one block from the Tunnel, two kids with hoodies come out of nowhere and shot a 5MH soldier at point-blank range right in the head, in front of the cops. The message to us was: RFC has some competition. I didn’t like this, I wanted to be number one when it came to viciousness, but for that moment, they took the title. The kid who got shot lived, he was just grazed and I remember saying to him later that night, “Oh shit man, you’re lucky to be alive…”
A couple of weeks later, me and my RFC soldiers were ten deep in club Melting Pot. I was fresh-to-death that night in a yellow and blue RL 2000 Polo Hi-Tech Ski coat with the matching vest under it and some snow goggles on to match. I remember walking through the black light with my gold teeth glowing feeling like a superstar. I can still envision that feeling of power, control and looking and feeling my best. It was like I was living a Hype Williams video on acid. The moment was just perfect — or so I thought. Shortly thereafter, I spotted some RNS kids. These motherfuckers just shot my boy’s partner in the head, and now here they are standing mere feet from where my whole crew was standing.
I don’t know what the hell I was drinking, but I approached these kids and ice-grilled ‘em to instigate an altercation. Some shit talking ensued and a brawl broke out. Within seconds the bouncers had tossed us out of the club. I noticed my man REST had a slash on his hand, but I didn’t notice my injury until my homegirl Liza said, “There’s a rip in the chest of your jacket.” I stuck my finger through the hole and put my finger inside my chest. I’d been stabbed and didn’t even know it.
No big deal. I went to the hospital, got stitched up, and continued to party all night back on West 3rd. We took a loss, but it was just one battle in a seemingly never-ending war.
But what was the purpose of the war? What were we fighting for and what were we trying to win exactly? Bragging rights? Street credibility? The right to say that I had permanently injured another teenager that talked, walked and looked just like me? In a way it was all pointless, but it was our whole universe at the time.