Whipper Whip member of the Mighty Force, Salt and Pepper Emcees, Cold Crush Brothers, Kool Herc and the Herculords, Fantastic 5 Emcees as well as the Fantastic Freaks and a solo artist.
Winter of 2006
Troy Smith: What year were you born, and where were you raised at?
Whipper Whip: November 29, 1962. At Bronx Lebanon Hospital, I later moved down town to 149th street and Broadway with my grandmother. I also lived on 183rd and Audubon Avenue. I went to Puerto Rico when I was about 9 years old. I lived out there for about three years and when I came back I went to the Bronx, and lived on 183rd street and Valentine Avenue.
TS: Who did you first hear play?
WW:I heard Hollywood play but I wasn’t really feeling his music.
TS: Well I knew you and Grand Master Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers were homies from way way back, how did you two meet up?
Well I met Caz through a guy name Smiley Smile. He use to live on Creston Avenue and 181st street, which was across the street from Caz.
TS: Smiley Smile was a D.J. as well?
No, he was a street gangster, and he had a brother name Moe who was down with Lay Lay and the Fun City Crew.
TS: Now the name Lay Lay comes up! I have a tape with somebody saying his name on the mic. Lay Lay and the Holiday! Do you remember Holiday?
Yes of course. Lay Lay was the leader of the Fun City, those were the Baby Spades. If you went to 129 park, that was the dudes that ran it. Lay Lay and the Fun City crew with Holiday and a mob of cats that didn’t play games.
TS: So when you met Caz right away the two of you started to click?
Yes he had music, crates of records and speakers, so we would help carry them. We were down with him, so we became his crew.
TS: So was he called Casanova Fly at that time?
Yes at that time he was called D.j. Casanova Fly.
TS: Now I thought he had a crew of other emcees down with him called Casanova emcees also, and I am not talking about the Casanova Gang members.
No, it was just him and Disco Wiz, and I was the first emcee.
TS: So you was down with the first group that Caz ever formed?
Yes we were the Mighty Force.
TS: Did he have some dancers as well?
Nah, but we did have some fly girls with us, Casanova Fly girls.
TS: Oh, Casanova’s Fly girls. And so they use to just hang out with ya’ll like the L- Sisters ran with the L- Brothers?
Right, exactly. We also had the first female D.j Pambaataa.
TS: I heard about that! But they don’t really talk about her. Where did ya’ll catch her at?
I didn’t really remember where we met her, but she was down with the party’s back in the days, she was from around the way. She was down with us for awhile. She did high school joints and she spinned with Caz for awhile, she was nice. I don’t really know what made her leave D.j.ing, but she was official. See we really started moving on once the crew thing started blowing up, especially when the three emcees and Flash started doing their thing that made everybody step up their game. It would be me on the mic and Caz spinning. It would be one person on the mic at 9pm, until 4 in the morning. One person you understand, rocking all night long. The only break you might get is at 11pm and they might play Frisco Disco or some crap like that. Then come back at 12 midnight. From 12 to 1 to 2 you know are the hype hours.
TS: So you don’t think Frisco Disco was a hype record?
It was a hype record but I never liked it. I use to hate that break part.
TS: I hear you, we all had records that might have been a real crowd favorite but personally one would not like. For me it was Love is the Message. I could not understand why that was a party favorite for a lot of d.j.s…. so now when did you and Dota Rock become so cool?
Well that was when it became too hectic for me to rock alone. That was when we heard about Dota Rock. He was rocking with this guy around the P.A.L. So one day he and Dot were rocking at the same P.A.L. and when I listened to Dot rhyme I was like this cat is wack.
TS: You said Dot was wack? (We both start laughing.) And that’s my man, I love the way that dude rhymes.
I was like my man is wack. They was doing this little party over by the P.A.L. and I am standing there with my arms crossed because I am now Whipper Whip with a little rep. So I was like let me get that mic. Took the mic and blew it up. So Dot was impressed and I later told him he had to hype his s--- up. I broke out and we didn’t link up again for awhile. Then finally I recognized that he was the only one trying to do something on the mic where we were from, so I said why you don’t get down with us. We did the audition thing. I told him he needed to write some routines, because this is when the routine stuff started happening. That was when we started writing our Salt and Pepper routines. I wasn’t about battling yet at that time but you had to be ready to compete against Flash and them. Mel, Kreole and Cowboy were doing their thing. They had the pack party’s and Ray Chandler. So we had to be down with that. At first we called our self’s the Treacherous Trio, when Dot joined up. It was me Caz and Dot on the mic, and we had A1 D.J. Money Mike. Although we were called the Treacherous Trio we still had the whole unit that was called the Mighty Force.
TS: So you are saying there was a time when you Caz and Dot rocked together doing routine’s together?
TS: Damn, I got to get these tapes, man this is hard. This is like 1978, 79
TS: Those are the hardest tapes for me to get. I got 1979 but only a couple of 78’s. The most that are out there are from 1980 to 1982. So you and Dot started to get real tight.
Yes we became blood brothers. We used to hang out and if we had 5 dollars we would split that down the middle. We would share a trey bag of weed, and two quarts or beer.
TS: That’s right kid, the Malt Duck or what ever.
Pink Champale and all that, that’s how it was.
TS: Did J.D.L. get down with ya’ll at this time?
No, he came just a little but later. We first put on T- Bone and Teddy Ted.
TS: I never heard this Treacherous Trio thing.
Yes well you will hear Big Bank Hank say the Treacherous Trio.
TS: (Troy’s voice rises.) Ah my man 50 Grand, that’s what I am talking about Whip drop those little jewels like that.
So if you listen to the Sugar Hill record you will hear him say the “Treacherous Trio be a ruling the joint.”
TS: Right, exactly
That was us. As Salt and Pepper, me and Dot hooked up with a crew in Manhattan that nobody knew about called the Gestapo Crew. With D.j. Kenny Ken and the Rock Count Dee and this brother name Speedy Speed. They were from 150th street and Riverside Drive.
TS: They were over there by your grandmother’s block.
Right, so we used to do party’s over there on 155th street and Broadway, right by the cemetery. To be honest with you, I know you are from the Grant but my sister is from Douglas projects.
TS: Damn, small world, that’s down on 103rd street and Amsterdam.
TS: So now what was up with the Gestapo being as there was a Gestapo crew up in the Bronx as well?
Exactly, we were an extension of that because we were Zulu.
TS: So you were Zulu way back then?
TS: Damn I never heard ya’ll talk about that on the tapes.
Well, because it was Bam’s thing. But because we were musicians it was like an automatic in, because once we became who we were we had recognition and nobody was messing with us. And this was before Fantastic days. We use to stroll from 183rd street and Valentine, where we lived at which was also by the P.A.L. all through Crotona park, yata, yata in the middle of the night drinking quarts of beer and we had cats from every where saying yo what’s up, because we had respect and props every where we went.
TS: That’s what I wanted to hear.
It’s funny because I actually had a fight with some Zulu’s. They came and tried to recruit my girl.
Yeah it was a big myth, mother f----- were trying to say I single handedly took on the whole project.
TS: Did you know Karate at that young age?
Yes I started martial arts through my dad at a young age. My dad was a kung fu instructor. So what happen was during the time I was still down with Caz, I had this girl and her name was Vicious Tee.
TS: Did she make a record or something?
No another girl name Vicious Tee made that record. This girl’s name was Val so they called her Vicious Tee. So this guy name Rondo who was Zulu at the 333 Twin Parks projects (Dota Rock use to live there at the time of the fight.) off of Burnside Tremont and Webster Avenue, by the school 137. Baby Casanova and Nice and Smooth were from there also. It was run by straight Zulu.
TS: So when you went in there you didn’t let them know that you were also Zulu?
No because at that time we were the Mighty Force and we didn’t care about anything. We also hung out with Ching a Lings and represented with them. We did their party’s, as far as we were concern we had the biggest gang at that time.
TS: What was the deal with the Ching a Lings because Dot and others have told me about them?
They were family and they loved us because I was Latino and Charlie was, and they were Latino. They were crazy funny with theirs because they would have dance contests and the winner would receive acid or coke as a prize.
TS: Yeah they were funny with theirs! (Troy is laughing.)
They used to joke with us telling us we can’t leave; we have to rock another hour or more. Their home base was 180th street and Burnside. The project was Monterey. We use to rock for them right dead smack in the middle of the project. Hold outside jams for them. Herc and the Herculords played inside the community center when ever they came around.
TS: When the Ching a Lings had their parties were there just Spanish people there?
Yeah, but it was mostly their family. They were a very close family. That was the first time I seen little kids with Magnum pistols wearing colors. I am looking at them saying what the f---. But that was their life style.
TS: They were strictly a Spanish gang?
Mostly but they had black people running with them. They resembled a motor cycle gang. They was crazy but they had our backs and I loved them for that.
TS: Dot told me they were notorious.
They had the juice you didn’t come up in there’s f------ around. We also had Fun City which was the Baby Spades. So we weren’t claiming anything but our selves. We weren’t down with the Casanova’s or the Nine Crew or none of that. So I had this one dude from my block and his name was Peter Gunn, a crazy big black brother that took no shorts, and it was Dota Rock and I. So we walking through these projects and I am looking for Rondo because I hear about him talking s--- about me. As soon as I walked into the foot of the projects they already knew.
TS: They knew you were coming.
Right, so I took off my glasses and passed them to my man and me and home boy Rondo went head up. We threw down for awhile, it was crazy. They broke it up and he said lets take it to the back, I said yeah lets go to the back. I was walking to the back and my man grabbed me and said “hell no.”
TS: Yeah they were going to try and put it on you in the back.
Exactly. So my man Peter Gunn said who wants to mess with this? Nobody wanted known of the Gunn. So I walked out of there looking good, drinking a quart and nobody ever messed with my girl after that. When I seen Rondo again months later we made peace and smoked some herb. I had to make my stand, what ever is what ever, but you ain’t messing with mine. I did my s--- and took my stand. Cats were like “Whip” because it was like who is going to walk in to a whole project of gang members and just straight up thump one of the biggest mouth’s that was there.
TS: (Troy starts laughing.) You right kid. So Zulu wasn’t making noise at that time because they were so new?
Right, the only place they were making noise at was Bronx River at that time. Don’t get me wrong it was crazy over there. But we were cool with guys like Monk and them when we did go over to Bronx River. What was also cool was Smiley was down with Zulu, and at a young age he carried a 32 nickel platted. So we didn’t have any beef. Everybody knew it could get put on them. It was do or die during those times.
TS: So you went from the Mighty Force to the Cold Crush?
No, after the Treacherous Trio and Salt and Pepper, Caz got with Big Bank Hank. We did a party at the Sparkle and Hank said his father was this, that and the other, and they built a large system so he asked could he manage us. We said sure its no puzzle, because we needed a strong system then what Caz had.One night we were doing a party and after the show me and Dot felt kind of shaky about the money situation. So me and Dot left the group. I ended up going to Kool Herc and the Herculords. That is where the name materialized Herculords big Boys!
TS: Right I just heard that on a tape recently.
That was Whipper Whip that came up with it. It was a big thing to rock with Herc back then.
TS: Dot didn’t go with you?
TS: He stayed with Caz?
No he didn’t do anything, he was in limbo. But after awhile me and Dot was like we have to do something. We heard about Chase so we thought about it. He had some crew at the time called The Disco something. So we met with Charlie. Charlie was one of those brothers that played 118 Park and he had a nice system. At this time Caz and J.D.L. met and they formed the Notorious Two, and they were rocking and making noise.
TS: Hold up let me say this when ya’ll were the Mighty Force ya’ll had a monster crew! It was you, Dot, J.D.L. and Caz.
Man we would have had the monster, monster if we stayed together. Especially with J.D.L. he was always the s--- that was my n-----. He was rocking with a kid name Disco D, and D lived in the dam projects that I was talking about.
TS: So how long did you run with Herc, because the Imperial J.C. told me you were down with Herc for almost a year?
It could have been. But on a whole I really wanted to rock on that system of his, and at that time he didn’t have any emcees. Coke La Rock was some where else doing his thing getting money at that time, all though I would from time to time see him hanging out at the parties that we were doing. I guest that is why Herc put me on because for a time Coke La Rock would be on the block getting that money. Personally I didn’t know him, but we always said hello. But he was always a fly brother, stayed dressed and rocked the silver medallions and from what I seen he didn’t take no shorts. And as far as veterans in the game you can’t forget about Smokey of the Smoke a Trons.
TS: Well your man Tony Tone tries to say that Smokey really wasn’t down. He mostly stayed over there on Webster Avenue, by the projects.
Well he was up there with Herc as far as age and being down with the cats that did their thing first in there area. So he deserves the props. Then you had to also take notice to the bad boys from that time. There was this Spanish crew that use to dress in black and drive around in limos. They were stick up kids; they use to come to the T- Connection with crazy knots of money and pistols on them. Telling me “anything you need Whip let us know.” There were times we had beef with people up there, they are all dead now. But there was this kid name Black Jack…
TS: Hold up wasn’t Black Jack down with you and Herc?
Well this is another brother name Black Jack. I used to go with Sweet and Sour, she was my girl many years after all that. Kool Kyle used to go with the sister, Yvonne. So when I went up there I always had to have my pistol on me.
TS: They wanted to rob you up there?
No, they wanted to kick my ass, and that was because I took their girl from the biggest dude out there. He was one of them cats in jail for awhile, and when he came home we went head up with our guns. I told him straight up this is my girl, you late. The thing about it is T- Connection was our home and that was his crew, so I always had to watch my back. Some times I am taking trains; some times I am taking cabs up there. When we were coming out of the party that’s when all of them n------ was out there, they knew we was coming out with dough and everything. So Kevie Kev was always carrying our pistol and he would always say lets get some cabs and get Whip the first one. That’s how it would always be, me first then them. Then I ended up moving up there.
TS: You bugging.
I ended up moving in with her. We stayed together for a few years. Which lead up to me leaving and going into the military. I went into the Navy in September of1983 because I just got tired of the life. Sniffing Coke and doing parties, I felt their had to be more to life then doing this. It wasn’t like hip hop was the biggest thing back then. After Flash and the Message I didn’t think it was going to get any bigger after that. So I said that’s it. Then while I was in the Navy, Run and them flipped it, I was like “yo I am getting out and going back in to the business.”
TS: So did you do the four years?
I did three and a half. I got the delayed entry program. I was in for a year even before I went in. So I did the Kool Herc, we did the Charlie Chase, and that’s when we came up with the Cold Crush name.
TS: Hold up let me ask you this, when you were doing all this switching around did you ever think about hooking up with the Funky 4 once Rahiem left, because they were in search of emcees?
Nah, to us they were wack.
TS: Even when Rahiem was there?
We kicked their ass all the time. I will never forget me and Dot was walking down Washington Avenue, and we heard somebody rocking some music and I heard an echo chamber. Me and Dot were passing out flyers, so we went up there and Rodney Cee and Jazzy Jeff were on the mic. They let us get on, and me and Dot tore it up. We rocked the mic, killed it passed out the rest of the flyers and broke out. We showed them what it was all about. They might have been down with the Funky Four or were about to get down.
TS: But how did you feel about the Funky Four before Rahiem broke out?
Let me put it this way, before we broke up in 1983, Flash was number one, Fantastic was number two, Cold Crush was number three. Nobody came up to us, we spanked everybody. We battled Furious one time and lost at the T- Connection. They had records, we didn’t we were just known for our stage performance.
TS: Ya’ll actually battled them, because I don’t really remember any one talking about it?
Yeah we battled at the T- Connection for $500. Back to Funky, they had Break Out and Baron, and to be honest they weren’t a threat to us.
TS: There is a question. No one seems to know who was first between Funky and L- Brothers or Furious 3. Actually they are saying the Furious Three emcees are first, but after that it is a toss up between the L- Brothers and Funky.
The Furious definitely was first, and then came the L- Brothers. Let’s put it this way; Break Out and Baron were doing their thing up in the Valley by the T- Connection. Flash had his thing by the Black Door, which was his home. Herc was every where, but he was usually on the west side. He used to rock the Galaxy 2000. Bam was Bronx River and that was it, as far as the clicks were concern. Oh and the L- Brothers had Boston Road with D.j. Mario. Disco King Mario I should say, God bless the dead.
TS: He was in that area, because I thought he was closer to Sound View.
He was but that was L- Brothers home.
TS: So you are saying Mario was down with them?
Yeah, that was the system that they used, it belonged to Mario.
TS: Damn this is some new info again! That wasn’t Gene and Theodore system?
Nah, that was some of their little s---.
TS: So you weren’t feeling the Funky Four like we were feeling them?
TS: I got a tape right now and Rahiem is singing on it, and they killing it. People were looking for these cats.
They were doing their thing, and Rahiem was a singer.
TS: In fact it was said they were the first to do routines.
They were hot but when they broke up I didn’t feel like I needed to be down with them because I was doing my own thing.
TS: I just thought you might have wanted to be down with them because they were heading to a legendary level.
Nah, I was happy with what I was doing. I had my Whipper Whip rep. that street n----- I walk where I wanted, say what I wanted to say, because I knew how to fight. Where ever I went I had no fear for nothing.
TS: So how long did you stay with Cold Crush?
We stayed there for a few months, maybe a year. We were doing routines together and all that. Dot and I used to have these meetings with Chase and say A.D. and K.G. they cool and the gang but you have to drop them. Chase was like those are our friends. I said I got friends to but this is business. A.D. had a style that we didn’t really care for, and K.G. was cool but he had another style that we didn’t like. Our flow was much faster. I use to like records like “I can’t stop.” Those were my records. I had no problem rocking off of “God made me funky.” So Chase was like I can’t do that, so we were like “either they go or we go.” So one day we went to Rock City which was also called Duck City, where the L- Brothers use to hang out. We told them we wanted to get down with them, they said “o.k. let us hear ya’ll.” We spit our salt and pepper routines, they was like “yo it’s on.”
TS: Now was Caz down before you left Cold Crush?
No, him and J.D.L. took our slots when we left. It was Teddy Ted, T- Bone, Dot, Easy A.D., K.G. and me originally. I think before A.D. got down he was with a crew called the A- Salaam Brothers. I think Donald D from Funk Machine was rocking with him. When me and Dot left for Fantastic, Charlie ran with the Furious emcees. That was a thing that only lasted for a minute until Flash and them settled their differences. Once me and Dot got with Fantastic we would practice every day our routines, we would do parties and the next thing you know we were large and in charge. Of course we were still sliding off on the L- Brothers juice. We took everybody out in battles, Celebrity Club, Harlem World you name it we were number one and you can quote me on that. The only crew that beat us was Flash and the Furious Five, and that was a later battle. They had those records, like the Message and White Lines. We had nothing just our stage show and that one wack ass record that they made a beat to. We were against it so we never preformed it. That’s why you have never heard that record on any of the tapes that we were on.
TS: You are right about that.
We were like hell no, we are not going to do that.
TS: So who forced that on ya’ll Mr. Soul?
Yeah, Johnny Soul, we signed a real bad contract with him. That was one of the reasons why I left. I said “yeah I got a contract for ya’ll, one that ya’ll can’t f--- with.” I am going to sign one that belongs to Uncle Sam.
TS: (We start laughing.) Yeah battle them, take them to court.
That’s right take the government to court. We didn’t have lawyers when we signed to Johnny Soul. He had a little pull in Harlem, he was doing his thing.
TS: Do you remember when and where you battled the Furious 5?
It was the latter years, and it was in the T- Connection. Before I went into the service, so it would have to have been 1983. The reason why is because there was no one out there to kick ass. So we battled Furious and they definitely won. It was for $500. In fact that’s the tape Herby Luv Bug gave to Salt and Pepper. I will never forget we started the show off with my mic sound nice check one, you know my mic sound nice check two. Are you ready! You know we came in there with the heavy guns, Whipper whip are you ready to turn it out, Kevie Kev are you ready to turn it out. You know we came out with the turn it out routine. It was 1983 but I don’t remember the exact date. That was the last hurrah.
TS: So why did ya’ll do it in T- Connection instead of Harlem World? Especially since the Bronx clubs are dying out and Harlem World was the Mecca.
I really don’t know it’s a good question. The best answer I could give is it is a Ray Chandler the Promoter situation. Everybody knows when Ray Chandler does a party its going to be pack, it was packed and it was nice.
TS: Now the martial arts that you know, did you have to use it on any one in those parties back then?
I used to have to flex on cats. Whoop a mother f------ ass. I use to have a lot of fights, kick they ass like it wasn’t nothing. Many times it wasn’t even a fight, I hit him a couple of times and it was over, they would be down and out. It wouldn’t be during the shows, but afterwards and when we went to the clubs after the shows. Cats were jealous of us because we were taking everybody’s girls. They would get upset, but there were times we would have to tell them “yo the girls were on ours”. It wasn’t like we walked in there and said yo I want homeboy’s girl. That was basically where all our fights were stemming from, Jealousy, which was the reason for us carrying pistols all the time.
TS: You said Kev was the one that mostly carried the pistol.
Yeah Kev’s mom is the one that laced us with the pistols. She would make sure we didn’t leave the house unprepared. She had our back; it was rough in those streets. Kevs father felt the same way. The Strong family was untouchable on the streets.
TS: Did she finance those tuxedos that ya’ll were using for the big events?
I don’t really remember, but it was probably us just putting money to the side and buying them our selves. We also got a hook up from the guy that ran the store. He said if we took a couple of promo shots he would look out on the price. We like that elegant look; those tuxes were the s---. I don’t know who thought it up but I liked it. The competition hated it. They knew we were going to wear them but they didn’t know what flavor. That’s was why Cold Crush said in their routine “we don’t need tuxedos”.
I said “well you don’t but we still kicked your asses.”
TS: How did the popularity effect you and the crew during your hey day, were you still in high school at the time?
Yes, wow we were still in there. Taking the O.J.’s to school (Livery cab, taxi.) the fly thing was going to the all girl schools giving out the flyers, places like Dodge an all girl school before it went co-ed and Walton and our school Roosevelt were the first three spots we would hit with flyers, making sure we packed the place with honeys. Of course with that we were pulling all the honeys. I think that’s what corrupted Whipper Whip. (Whip is laughing.) Nobody gave a f--- about Clinton because you know that was an all boy school. We went on tour with Sugar Hill records and we never played our record, we went on because of our stage show.
TS: So did they have some type of party for you before you left for the Navy?
Nah this was just us as a crew hanging out the night before I left. It was a hell of sending off for me from my boys. We spent all night in front of my grand mother’s house, and over on Riverside Drive.
TS: All of the Fantastic Five?
TS: Were ya‘ll very close to each other? Ruby Dee, Theodore etc.
Yes. We were brothers. But it was my time to go, before I left we were on top. I figured that was the farthest Whipper Whip could go. When I got out of the Navy I hooked up with Ice Tee, and started touring with him and did the west coast thing. Then I started my 18 years in California as well as doing shows traveling with Africa Islam, to Europe, Japan….
TS: As a solo emcee?
Yes as Prince Whipper Whip.
TS: So when ever you were with Ice T you were down with the Zulu Kings. Ice Tee, Bronx Style Bob, Mele Mel and Caz?
Yeah, we hooked up, and Ice had came here to New York to get some, he was Cali but he said he needed that respect in New York.
TS: Right, but didn’t he actually grow up in the Bronx and moved out there?
I think he was from Jersey initially. I think I came out to Cali first then Africa Islam, Donald Dee and then Caz. We all migrated west. Ice T didn’t get to New York until he linked up with us. That’s when they did the Beach cut.
TS: I am not familiar with this cut, I knew about the Rumors cut they did. Who was involved with this Beach cut, the Zulu Kings?
Yeah Mel and Ice, but I don’t know who the other players were. It was mostly Mel’s. It wasn’t popular in New York but they liked it in Cali, and when you go to Japan they really love it. Islam did a lot of producing and they did a whole lot more productions with the other guys but I don’t know all the particulars. But I have to tell you I survived all the beefs in the Bronx to catch a bullet in Hollywood.
TS: Ain’t that something? How did that happen, hanging out with Ice T, because Caz and Pow Wow told me that brother was really off the hook back then, and that’s coming from some street Bronx brother’s?
Nah just caught out there in that gang s---.
TS: Were they trying to recruit you?
No they were trying to kill me! (Whip starts laughing.) I didn’t know who they were but they were trying to rob my ass, and you know me I wasn’t having it. The next thing I know I took one in the chest, but they didn’t take anything, but I was out of it.
TS: Did you see your life Flash before you?
I seen it, but the lord said he is not going to take me from my kids. He won’t leave my children with out their dad.
TS: That’s deep my brother I hear you! I want to take you to the Moe Dee, Busy Bee battle. You mentioned to me about you, Spoonie G and Busy Bee getting lit in the projects one night!
Right, Right. We were at the P.A.L. on 137th street one night. We went out into the projects to smoke and during this time Spoonie had a rhyme that Busy wanted, which was “there’s a little place called dittie bon dittie it ain’t no town and it ain’t no city. We were there for about 20 minutes smoking and Spoonie said “alright here.” He put the papers in Busy hand, and I think he sold it to him for like $5.
It was something small! You know what I am saying?
TS: Right, now sometimes people will say $50, and you have just said $5!
It was $5 to the best of my recollection, I know it was a 5 and I don’t think it was a 50. But it could have been. But the thing is Busy never paid it. Moe Dee got pissed for that fact, and not only that but he felt all the contest were set up and Busy would win because he knew everybody yada yada! It wasn’t like that; the crowd usually picks the winner. But Busy not paying Spoonie set everything off. Moe planned it to the max. He said “the hell with that I am not going to let this slide.” After Busy finished Moe didn’t even sign on he just grabbed the mic and did his thing next and went off as we all know. It was all over that one rhyme and Moe was feeling like he was just as good as Busy. They are two different rhymers.
Busy was one of those crowd rocking guys and Moe Dee is a lyricist. You basically know the rest.
TS: So in actuality you believe Moe prepared this whole rhyme long before the battle and not that night?
Yes of course he had that already prepared before that night. I was there that night on the stage. “Busy Bee I don’t mean to be bold but put that bob ditty bob bull---- on hold.” Come on that wasn’t off the top of his head. You should know better then that!
TS: I don’t know, I am kind of with you on it. I asked other people more then once the same question. I even tried to bait D.J Easy Lee in to making his fess up.
That was set up!
TS: I asked Lee “you sure Moe didn’t do that before y’all got to Harlem World?” He said “Moe is very secretive but to the best of his knowledge I believe Moe did it all off the top of his head.”
TS: But how sure are you, have you ever heard anybody talk about that in that way?
Well what I am sure of is the reason, I was there when Spoonie sold Busy the rhyme. The only three people that can tell you this is me, Spoonie and Busy. The thing is Spoonie wasn’t the type of guy to flip like that. He stays to him self. Moe Dee was like “Yo I want that slot.” That was during the time Moe started stepping up. I never heard Moe say that but if you know Moe and Busy, Busy won everything and if you want anything you got to take it.
TS: Can you go a little bit more into that night of the battle between you and Cold Crush?
We got to Harlem World in O.J.s. it might have been Touch of Class that drove us. In one cab was me and Dot, Kev and Rob in another and Ruby riding with Theodore maybe. We carried our Tuxedoes in our hands. When we pulled up the crowd always went berserk. Cats were always asking us to get them in free. But that was always the exciting part, just to show up some where and we would just have that post up look. Some body would clear the way for us and we would slide right in and go right upstairs to the big dressing room. We was up there getting our stretch on and blazing. It was crowded outside; in fact we were watching some one get stuck up out side the window. Them Brooklyn n----- were crazy, they always came to Manhattan to bug out. I am sorry Troy but it’s kind of sad because all I can really remember is the high lights of that battle. We were getting lit, cats were getting skied, and cats was puffing trees and drinking.
TS: That didn’t mess with your memory to do the routines or your rhymes, once the game started huh?
Nah once it came to the routines we all knew our s---.
TS: Hold up for a minute, even when ya’ll get inside Harlem World the crowd went crazy?
Of course, where ever we went they went crazy. The only place we didn’t get a reception like that is Brooklyn. I remember reading the story you did with Dot when he said the promoter shot in the air to try and get us in the party and nobody moved just looked at him asking “what the hell are you doing.” What Dot didn’t mention was they didn’t give us the dressing room at first because n------ was using the dressing room to stick people up. So we ended up changing in the hall.
TS: So they would take people in the dressing room to rob them? (Troy is laughing.)
Yeah that was the room to stick people. “Yo come in here”. (Whip says it aggressively.) It was like that, Brooklyn was sick. I mean Bronx was sick but Brooklyn was sick. Manhattan got the worst of it. They had Brooklyn coming up to their parties and the Bronx coming down to their parties.
So back to the battle, I remember being up stairs of Harlem World, and you know we were being who we were, so the Cold Crush went on first. We watched them come out with their little suits, hats and machine guns and s---. So we were like oh they bringing out props now, they better.
TS: So ya’ll watch them do their show?
Yeah, we watched. The only reason why the beginning of our routine was flawed was Rob’s mic wasn’t working.
…other than that we would have had a flawless performance.
TS: Right it always had me in wonderment because your group always seems to have mic problems.
Yeah it sure was, I don’t know what it was……we didn’t have a sound man, we didn’t have a Tony Tone like Cold Crush did.
TS: But what about Theodore’s back up, Kevie Kev Rockwell?
He wasn’t a sound man, he was just a D.J
TS: How did he get on?
Him, Water and Theodore were linked up. He just got put down some how. But he wasn’t at any of the major shows; he was just there when Theodore needed a break.
TS: As far as those mics it was like an omen, a bad thing, a curse or something.
Well if Rob’s mic had worked it would have been, “and my real name is Robin.” That part is where it f----- up, because after that, it was, “like a four leaf clover when the parties over Cold Crush will be starving Marvin.”
TS: Then ya’ll say “you don’t see any bums in Fantastic Five.” I was like damn.
(Whip is laughing.) Yo we were throwing out the punches man; we had to go for the gut because it was all or nothing. Then they thought we were going to have to go back and forth. Yeah right! Soon as they mentioned Fantastic 5 the crowd couldn’t shut up.
TS: You right I noticed that, it was damn near humiliating when they said Cold Crush again, they booed them hard. I was like Damn! The upper hand that ya’ll had was Cold Crush did the same routines from the past except two or three new rhymes or routines. As well as the “F----- up attitude and the different flavor British Walkers” routine, which he didn’t get to finish. Now on the 21st Zulu Nation anniversary (tape 120.) he does that whole rhyme that he had for Kevie Kev and Master Rob.
TS: So I said why you didn’t do that whole rhyme during that battle. He said they were tight, meaning a lot was on the line so they weren’t as comfortable as usual.
Well it was always all in fun.
TS: I understand that now, in fact Dot told me the same thing. He said one time before the battle ya’ll went to Caz house arguing with them, and he couldn’t really understand it because once again ya’ll were all really good friends.
Exactly. But they took it too serious.
TS: Well maybe Kev made them like that! (Troy is laughing as he says it.)
He might have intimidated them, and I wasn’t always down with what he said, because I would still always say those are my friends, because Caz is my man. It got to a point where me and K.G. was going to fight. He got tired of us calling them bums. I was like “I ain’t trying to fight you”. I didn’t want to fight him. I liked all of them, especially J.D.L... Me and J.D.L. had been through so much stuff together.
TS: Such as.
Being together through the Bronx, all the parties we did together. We hung out on the regular, everyday. So it was like man this is fam. The sad thing is after the battle they act like they didn’t want to talk to us any more, at least for awhile!
Yeah we went up to the Fever that night after the battle, but they didn’t go with us. We were chilling in the elite section of the Fever with Sal and them getting blitz. The Cold Crush was pissed with us, we didn’t see them for awhile. It was like months for sure. Finally me and Dot went to Caz house and had some weed and beer and talked about it. It wasn’t really much said, but he was like “yo ya’ll know ya’ll n------- lost”. We were like “no, we know we won”. (Troy is laughing.) But I am not going to front I used love going to Caz house when we were growing up. Especially when we were the Mighty Force, Caz used to have so many people coming to his house. Man when he would put his speakers in the window when we were practicing it would be off the hook. There would be big crowds right in front of his window. The whole block knew who Caz was. This was on 181st street and Crescent Avenue. A block away from the Grand Concourse and it was a five story building and he lived on the first floor. Those were beautiful days, you would walk around the block and get some pizzas and beers and come back to the house and rock some more.
TS: Damn that was some good stuff, I seen at the Ecstasy Garage ya’ll use to do the FanCrush9!
Yeah, see that’s when we were really kicking their ass. When I say they, I mean the crowds that use to come and see us all together. I use to be like “see there is strength in numbers.” People use to love that. To be honest a lot of that arguing to hype the battle was planned, sorry to say Kev use to go to far. (Troy starts laughing.) When ever I see that movie Five Heart Beats, it reminds me of us.
TS: Right, right.
But Flash will say the same thing, that it reminds him of his crew. Every body grows up together and they have different agendas.
TS: You know that kind of hurt me, because we have some of the footage of J.D.L.’s coming home party up at Willies on 145th street before it closed and moved up to the Bronx on Webster Avenue.
Right I remember.
TS: A tear came to my eye because although J.D.L. rocked the mic for only 15 to 30 seconds, but he rocked it, and I am saying to my self this is a bad n----- but he keeps getting caught in situations. It reminds me of Marlon Brandon in the movie on the Water Front where he says “I could have been a contender”, because I believe J.D.L. is a very talented brother, Caz even said when The L. is on he is very talented, creative, bad brother. So at the same token the Cold Crush also remind me of the Five Heart Beats. Every crew probably has a Five Heart Beats situation.
Yes you are right, but J.D.L. also reminds me of Method Man or Meth reminds me of J.D.L.!
TS: Yes you are right, as well as Clarence Williams the 3rd in the movie Sugar Hill. (We both start laughing.)
TS: That’s my man, the L.!
J.D.L. has always been my man; I love him, no doubt. But through all that arguing and beefing with the Cold Crush me Dot and Caz was always chilling, even while all that was going on.
TS: Caz told me he used to have you and Dot before the battle days writing your rhymes right in the lunch room. This was during the Roosevelt High days?
Hell yeah, sure. He was the one that was the writer.
TS: Was there anyone else that was in the school with ya‘ll at that time?
Yeah Gordy B. who use to break dance with the Zulu Kings, he was Islam’s right hand man. Islam was also a break dancer with the Zulu Kings.
TS: It seems like everybody was break dancing before they became emcees and d.j.s.
I wasn’t one, I couldn’t do that.
TS: Pow Wow loves you and Dot. He says the two you were the reason why he started emceeing.
That’s my man too, I love Pow Wow.
TS: During the time of the battle with Cold Crush and they were on stage where were ya’ll at?
We were sitting in the back of Harlem World and we all had girls sitting with us. We sitting their saying to each other we are going to crush them when we get up there. Man we was up there in the back stretching, in fact I did a full split on the stage when we came out on Tina Marie. When she said woooo! Kev would freeze everybody.
TS: Say this again.
Kev would walk up and have a hand full of glitter and he would throw it at each person, and that person would freeze. Then with me, he would throw the glitter and I would go into a full split.
TS: Then ya’ll started going into the routine!
Right. I wish we had a video tape of that, if we would have had a copy of that oh my God. We had many trophies in our day. Kev’s mother had all of our trophies at the house.
TS: Well our man J.D.L. said that even though ya’ll won that battle that night, the Cold Crush became number one and Fantastic became number two!
Yeah right, (Sarcastically.) they didn’t become number nothing until my crew broke up. Whipper Whip left, when the crew broke up that’s when things changed. We told them all they were doing was copying Force M.C.’s; don’t go there with that sing of the song s---, because that wasn’t our stello. That’s why the Force M.C.s chewed them out on a tape!
TS: Well actually that wasn’t a battle.
No you right it wasn’t, but boy (Whip starts laughing.)
TS: They were talking real bad.
Yes they were. It’s sad because it wasn’t right, I remember them sitting down saying that we was their idol, yada, yada. We were like kool and the gang what ever, because we always heard that. But that wasn’t our style to do all those singing joints.
TS: He was just trying to add something different.
Yeah he did something good.
TS: No I am talking about the Cold Crush!
Right, he took that Gilbert O’Sullivan song. Who would of though of something like? That’s that 1981 routine. When 81 rolls around that’s that Gilbert O’Sullivan song, Alone Again Naturally.
TS: Caz was good with that idea.
What was even better was they didn’t sing on key, which was a great thing.
TS: No you are right the early days were classic, but when it got to 1982 and they were still trying to sing off of certain joints, I was like this ain’t making it like it use to. I was more like “stay hard core what ever”.
Caz, J.D.L. me and Dot, we would have killed the world.
TS: That’s the thing I didn’t understand how could ya’ll four have separated.
That was hard headedness, we were stubborn. We were all stubborn, if we would have did that we would have conquered the world! We would have still been together right now.
TS: You right. Now you ended up today in Detroit, how did you get there?
My wife is from here. I came here and visited and I liked it. It’s a nice place; we didn’t want to raise the kids in California, it was rough over there.
TS: That’s where you met her at?
Yeah, at the Rap Mania show. She was a dancer for Kurt Blow. We have now been married for 15 years, with four kids. I am working and traveling, I and my wife have our own dance studio out here. It’s called Steps of Praise. The name of the studio is Spirit of Dance. We are on the internet.
TS: Why did the two of you not choose New York or California?
I didn’t want to raise my kids in no crazy cities. I figured me being from both of those spots is enough. You know how many times I walked through Cali wearing red and getting guns pulled out on me?
TS: Them Crips, right.
And we wore red all the time, because the Booya Tribe loved us, me and Caz. I still wear red to this day. Booya were Bloods, you know Piru’s. So when ever they seen us they was like “O.G.’s” and they wearing all red. I remember one time W.C. came up to us and said “I just came up to say what’s up, but I got to bounce because ya’ll are too bright.” (Whip starts laughing.) When we were in Cali we had much love. We broke all the groups over there in Cali. We broke Tribe Called Quest and so many more.
TS: What you mean ya’ll broke them?
By having the hottest club in California, which was called Water the Brush, United Nations with Africa Islam.
TS: So tell me a little bit about what you were doing in Cali.
When I went to the Navy I got stationed out there in San Diego. When I got out of the navy I stayed out there, moved to L. A. that’s how I got on with Ice Tee. From there we started doing Hollywood.
TS: So how did you and Ice T hook up?
It was a fluke. (Whip is laughing.) I was calling up the radio station to make a dedication to one of my girls. I tell the D.J. this is a dedication to Valerie from Whipper Whip. The D.J. that was taking the dedication said his name was Hen G and his brother was Evil E and he was the D.J. for Ice Tee and he wanted to plug me in to Ice Tee. He gave me the number and we hooked up. So me and Ice met up, and these guys opened up for Ice and then I would come on next, and then Ice. We started touring. Then we got up with Islam and started club called Water the Bush, United Nations. Cats from New York would funnel through our club. You would even see it on that L. A. video show with D. Barnes. It was like the only club to come to when it came to Cali. Tuesday nights would be packed with 15 to 20 thousand people a night.
TS: So when you started this club thing that’s when everybody came out there including Caz?
Right I picked Caz up in a pimped out white Jaguar with some purple, purple interior, and a bottle of Remy. This was one oh my rich homies out in Cali, that owned the car.
TS: Did you try and get Dot out there too?
He never came out there during that time. I was in the mix being Whipper Whip at that time. I started traveling with Islam over sea’s to Europe and Japan. Next thing you know I got Japanese people telling me “we want you to come back and do some shows out here.” I remember when me and Is first went out there, we were supposed to only be out there for one week, we ended up staying there for 6 weeks, they kept adding shows.
TS: I hear you, they was loving ya’ll to death.
They were like “these O.G.’s are here”, and it was just me and Islam. That’s when I met Tupac, before he did anything. He was writing at the time and Queen Latifah and Digital Under ground were on stage at the time and they called us out there and they asked us to get on the mic. So we did our thing, and then Tupac came out he rocked with us as well. I still have the pictures from back then.
TS: So how did you feel about all those Manhattan groups back then like Treacherous Three, Crash crew etc?
We didn’t care about nobody- we were very vain. When it came to competition we didn’t think about anyone. We didn’t go to other people’s parties. If we weren’t getting paid we didn’t care. By that time cats had records so we didn’t even have to cross paths any more, s--- was blowing up everybody was doing shows which was a great thing. But it takes us back to the Coke, it was endless it didn’t seem like things were going to change. The thing about it was I wasn’t caring for it any more, so I wasn’t going to spend my money on this b.s., in fact it was almost always free because n------ was giving it to us any way. I never forget one time we were at the Fever and these Columbia kids told me and the other brothers that preformed with us that night at the T- Connection to come to the back room. They pulled out what looked like a pound of cocaine in a baggy and handed it to me and I am standing there saying what the hell am I going to do with all this. Everybody just pulled out their bill and filled up. They said what ever ya’ll want.
TS: Alright Whipper Whip thank you for this interview.
No problem my brother peace.
I want to praise God and say God Bless you.
Troy L. from HARLEM, One
With his son’s Troy Jr. and Shemar.