Graffiti and Street Art - IRL memetic warriors riding a never-ending wave of drama, violence and ego

murgatroid

kiwifarms.net
MAP is a member of BTS crew.

An article about BTS from the 90s in Details magazine.

ecstasybandits1.jpg
ecstasybandits2.jpg


By Frank Owen

"Up until the moment the gang leader broke off our conversation in midsentence and dashed across the club to pull a knife on a bouncer, the interview was going swimmingly.

For weeks, I'd been on the trail of the notorious gang known as B.T.S.-a.k.a. Born to Scheme, a.k.a. Brooklyn Terror Squad, a.k.a. Beat the System-the one-hundred strong crew that has wreaked mayhem at raves up and down the East Coast. "Violence has become a major problem on the scene because of B.T. S.," reports one raver, a small-time Ecstasy dealer who says she has been robbed by the gang so many times that she knows some members by name. A lot of older ravers won't go to parties anymore because B.T.S. has taken over. They've ruined it for everyone."

I first saw B.T. S. in action at Back to the 'Future, a midsize rave held in July at the Manhattan club Down Time. The event's promoter had left a plea on the recording ravers had to call for the location of the party: "Please, everyone bring a positive vibe. Come to dance, come to listen to phat beats, come to meet some people. Don't come to rob people and feud n' fight and all that bullshit."

Naturally, B.T.S. ignored it. They hid in the shadows, but the gang members were easy to spot. Unlike the dopey-looking ravers stumbling about in a daze, the B.T.S. crew were sharp-eyed, dressed like label-conscious street kids. A couple of hours past midnight, just outside the jungle room, they staged a fake brawl. As the larger members pretended to take swings at each other, the smaller ones crept up behind distracted partygoers and picked their pockets or snatched their gold chains and beepers before crouching low and disappearing down the back stairs. In one corner, a messed-up raver waved a hundred-dollar bill in the air trying to attract the attention of a drug dealer and make a buy. Two B.T.S. toughs jumped him from behind. Moments later, on the first floor, another callow night crawler clutched his head and cried out to his friends, "I got beat! I got beat! They robbed me!"

When the club finally emptied out in the wee hours of the morning, the signs of B.T.S.'s handiwork were obvious: The dance floor was littered with items from purses and backpacks the gang had stolen and dumped -driver's licenses, photos, lipstick, and mascara.

A week later, I managed to hook up with a duo of fresh-faced B.T. S. foot soldiers from Gerritsen Beach- Skil One, Dope Star, and Seat- who promised to introduce me to the top dogs who run the gang. The one I wanted to meet most was a shadow figure called Chameleon, reputed to be the mastermind behind the entire operation. Skil One and company told me he'd probably be at a party B.T.S. was throwing that weekend at Planet 28, a cramped, low-key hole in-the-wall on the edge of Manhattan's garment district.

As I walk into the gloomy club, its walls covered with panels of the gang's graffiti, my stomach is gripped with a mix of anticipation and fear. Everybody who is anybody in the B.T.S. ranks-at least those who aren't in jail-is here, slapping each other on the back, showing off tattoos and knife wounds, and dancing furiously to thundering techno.

The unexpectedly upbeat vibe is greatly enhanced by the copious amounts of Ecstasy and strong green acid the gang members are popping, as well as the ketamine and crystal methamphetamine they're snorting off the backs of their hands. The closest thing to a disturbance is a small, ferocious looking "dust bunny" from New Jersey stumbling around, offering blow jobs in exchange for bumps of K.

In the corner, next to the bar, Era, a stocky B.T. S. old-timer with blond hair and blue eyes, tells me that at least a few of the stories I've heard about B.T.S. have been blown out of proportion. Yes, they sell hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of fake drugs. Yes, they beat up and rob "candy ravers," naive, colorfully dressed partiers tripping on Ecstasy. But no, they don't sell the bogus E that killed twenty-year-old college student Jason Williamson at a rave in April. "You'd think we were murderers," another B.T.S. member scoffs, "but all we do is rob people."

Around four in the morning, a compact, hard-muscled twenty-seven-year-old in a white fishing hat, an expensive-looking crewneck, and jeans with a hairbrush sticking out of the back pocket enters with his girlfriend, an exotic dancer who looks like a young Ellen Barkin. He's immediately surrounded by fellow gang members rushing to greet him. A few moments later, he struts up to me with his entourage. "You're the guy from Details, aren't you?" he says. "I hear you want to talk to me."

Chameleon doesn't deny his gang's exploits-he's in a mood to brag. He tells me he earned his nickname by changing outfits as many as six times a night. "I'll go to a club or a rave wearing something nice and flashy-like a loose-fitting Sergio Tacchini warm-up suit and a matching hat. I'll sell a couple pills of E and K, until I spot some- 'z body else selling, and I'll jack them for their money and their drugs, y'know what I'm sayin. Then I'll go into one of the back 'o rooms and I'll change.

"Underneath the sweat suit, I might be wearing a pair of jeans and a Polo shirt. I'll take my hat off and let my hair down or tie it up in a ponytail. I'll go back out on the dance floor and sell the drugs I just stole. After an hour or two, I'll rob somebody else and go to the bathroom and change again. Under the jeans, I'll be wearing a nice pair of shorts or something. Under the shirt, I'll have a tank top. I'll also put on a different hat. I store the spare clothes in a tote bag, then hand it to a member of my crew, who gives me my other tote bag with a new outfit in it." Afterward, Chameleon and his boys rent a suite at a fancy hotel and party away some of the loot.

Lately, though, he says, he's been trying to stay in the background. "I send out my younger kids with some money, and they buy drugs to find out who's selling what," he says. "Then they come back and my second string goes out-twenty, thirty, forty deep. The younger kids go around the room pointing out the drug dealers and we just go in-wham! wham! wham!- through the whole party. We'll grab somebody, five guys hold him, one guy goes into his pockets and takes everything, and we disperse back into the crowd. It takes about two seconds. We occasionally get resistance-then twelve B.T.S. members dive in. Some kids try to run, but there's really no escape."

In the middle of our interview, out of the corner of his eye, Chameleon spots a Planet 28 bouncer trying to shake down Era. Chameleon's face goes cold. And in a second he's across the room, with his butterfly knife pressed against the bouncer's throat. The bouncer backs off, reluctantly removing his hands from around Era's neck.

Moments later the bouncer is back, with a half dozen other security guards. The insults fly back and forth--'punk...... motherfucker,"'pussy boy'!-- and the confrontation escalates into death threats. Just when it seems an all-out brawl is about to break out, a shout goes up among B.T.S.: "Everybody out. We're gone." The standoff continues outside on the sidewalk, where the club's manager holds back his bouncers and begs B.T.S. to leave.

Later that night, at a nearby after-hours party, Chameleon looks sick-not surprising, given his 24/7 hedonism. (In fact, a few hours from now, he'll check himself into a hospital and be diagnosed with walking pneumonia.) "We're not as bad as we used to be," he says between hacking coughs, trying to downplay the incident at Planet 28. "We're not grabbing everybody like we used to. We're tired of the bad vibes."

UNTIL RECENTLY, gang violence has been more closely associated with the braggadocio and street litanies of hip-hop than the smiles and utopian mood of the rave scene. But just as the Hell's Angels went to love-ins to prey on '60s hippies, just as Woodstock gave way to Altamont, today's blissed-out teenagers make attractive targets for a pack of predators like B.T.S. Ecstasy's empathy-inducing effects are great in theory-but only if the person you're sharing your soul with isn't looking to knock you upside the head and jack your backpack.

"The rave scene today is largely made up of young, middle-class kids from good families with money," explains Chameleon, who told me he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. "These kids are spending a hundred dollars a night on drugs. A pill costs twenty-five, bags of crystal twenty. You get a rave with six thousand people and there's a lot of money to be made-a fucking ton of money

"And it's my money," he adds with an evil grin.

Though ravers like to portray B.T.S. as a group of parasitic latecomers, the New York rave scene first took root not among downtown trendies or suburban hedonists, but shirtless street kids from New York's outer boroughs. Frankie Bones, the DJ who originally brought rave culture from the U.K to America with his early-'90s Brooklyn Storm Raves, traces the roots of B.T.S. back to rowdy Brooklyn street gangs like the Kings Highway Boys, the Avenue U Boys, and the Bay Boys. "The older neighborhood gangs used to come to my early parties looking for trouble," he remembers. "B.T.S. comes from that same Brooklyn mold."

"The New York rave scene has always been about hardcore Brooklyn," concurs Fly, another B.T.S. member. "That's how shit goes down in this city. These people come from New Jersey and Connecticut and think it's all about peace and love. They don't know what they're stepping into in New York."

In many ways, B.T.S. has less in common with traditional street gangs like the Bloods and the Crips than with British "love thugs," the soccer hooligans who took over Ecstasy dealing at raves in the'U.K. in the early '90s. B.T.S. has no rites of initiation- new members don't get beaten in and can leave without fear of retaliation. They're not tied to a specific ethnic group or neighborhood-the gang is a veritable Benetton ad of Asians, blacks, Latinos, Italians, and Irish, with members in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. And there's no formal set of rules, other than one that forbids screwing over fellow members. At the end of the night, the crew don't pool their loot; everyone keeps what he's scammed for himself, though they all chip in to bail out members who get arrested.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 3.35.23 PM.png


Seemingly, the only requirement for joining B.T. S. is a talent for crime. "You have to have a skill to join," explains Chameleon. "Like a good head for scheming. Or be a good runner-someone who doesn't get nailed by security Or a good con artist like a young kid who buys the drugs and says to the dealer 'Yo, can you hook me up? Can I get your phone number?' Then when he gets the number, he calls him and goes to his apartment and kicks the fucking door in and takes everything."

Recently, the gang has begun exporting its mayhem all over the East Coast-- they've hit raves in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and all the way down to Florida. In September, fifty B.T.S. members flew down to the 16,000 person Zen Festival rave near Tampa, where they sold enough bogus drugs to walk away with about $4,000 each.

In April of 1997, they invaded a rave at the Washington, D.C., Armory. "Will you Brooklyn kids please stop fighting?" the promoter pleaded on the microphone. "Will B.T. S. please stop robbing people?" The answer was no. "We wrecked shop," boasts the aptly named Kaos, a beefy B.T.S. enforcer with close-cropped dark hair. "I even had cops robbing kids for me! I swore I was a promoter and pointed out all the drug dealers [and said they'd stolen my money]. The cops were taking their money and giving it to me."

In June, they turned the Funky Monkey party at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom into "B.T.S. central," as one raver put it. The scene was more like a British soccer match than a rave. Sporadic fights finally culminated in a massive free-for-all on the dance floor. The B.T.S. dealers were so brazen, they peddled their wares in full view of security guards, who were apparently too scared to intervene. "B.T.S. basically acted as house dealers," recalls one of the featured DJs, Odi of Digital Konfusion. "They totally controlled the party." Their greed was so boundless that they sold drugs to the same people they later robbed. Even little, barrette-wearing raver girls were battered mercilessly

But assaulting and robbing ravers may not be the worst crime B.T.S. has committed: Friends of Virginia Tech student Jason Williamson think the crew is also guilty of murder. Williamson attended the April Foolz II rave at Mount Airy Lodge, a holiday resort in the Poconos, earlier this year. It was a suffocating crush of nearly nine thousand bodies packed together like psychedelic sardines-a perfect setting for B.T.S. to conduct business.

In the hardcore room, Williamson befriended a group of kids from Brooklyn. One of them gave him a free Ecstasy pill, according to Sean Choudry and his girlfriend Caxla Ringquist, Virginia Tech friends of Williamson's who were with him that night. After swallowing the bogus E ecstasy- which a nurse later told Ringquist was actually a mix of drugs that included a horse tranquilizer- Williamson ran outside, where he collapsed on the ground and had a seizure. At four in the morning, after medics tried to stabilize his condition, he was rushed to the Pocono Medical Center, where he lapsed into a coma. "All of his organs exploded in-side of his body," says Ringquist, who described the doctors' bandaging her friend from head to toe like a mummy Early Monday, Williamson's parents, who had rushed to their son's bedside from Virginia Beach, gave doctors permission to pull the plug on his life-support system.

Choudry and Ringquist say they saw half a dozen other ravers in the medical center's intensive care unit. "There was some indication that at least a couple of those ravers took the same drug," says Sgt. Donald Fernbach of the Pennsylvania State Police. "But I did not find any evidence of an individual specifically intending to poison another person to death. If we had, we would have conducted a homicide investigation."

"Jason was a newcomer to the scene who thought everybody could be trusted," Choudry says. "B.T.S. are murderers. They knew the pill was bad."

"That's an absolute lie," replies Chameleon. "We're not looking to kill anybody we're just after the money and the drugs."

As of now, the New York City Police Department isn't even keeping tabs on B.T. S. "At this point," says a public information officer," we don't have anything on them." [As a result of this article most of the leaders were jailed]

"USING THE TERM 'GANG' about B.T.S. is a bit misleading," says Frankie Bones. "It's much more loose-knit." The group started out in the early '90s as a neighborhood graffiti crew, a bunch of friends who hung around a homemade recording studio in the basement of a travel agency in Brighton Beach, a shabby seaside resort that's the Russian mob's home-away-from-home. The original members were a Vietnamese immigrant named Soak; his right-hand boy, E.S.; the owner of the studio, Kaos; E.S.'s little brother Era; and Miss Melody, the only female founder. Originally, B.T.S. stood for Bomb the Subway, and initiates are still expected to tag walls and compile black books of their illustrations. Later, B.T.S. stood for Born to Survive, when several of the members were homeless.

The godfather of the gang was Soak. B.T.S. members told me he's now finishing up a two-year jail term for robbing $20,000 from the safe of a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn; when he completes his sentence, the government will try to deport him back to his homeland. "Soak always held everything together," remembers Mr. Lover, a B.T.S. veteran who looks tougher than his small stature might suggest, thanks to a broken nose. "Things are falling apart a little bit, now that he's not around. It was easier two or three years ago, when the younger kids were younger. Now they're getting older and they have their own minds."

In 1992, Miss Melody, an exotic-looking Italian-Irish-black-Cherokee woman from Sheepshead Bay, took the crew to check out one of Frankie Bones Storm Raves. "There were no kids robbing each other back then," recalls E.S. without a trace of irony. "It was all about dancing and having a good time." Miss Melody agrees: "There were no ulterior motives. Now every raver wants to be a drug dealer."

As the rave scene grew, the crew hit on the idea of selling fake drugs to gullible suburban kids. One weekend, Mr. Lover remembers, he and Soak hit a rave in Connecticut with hundreds of packs of breath mints that looked exactly like some green-speckled Ecstasy that was going around at the time. They sold out-at twenty dollars a mint.

"Before I found the mints," says Mr. Lover, "me and Soak used to sit in his basement and spray-paint hundreds of white tablets."

Another time, he recalls fondly, he and Soak went to Boston with eighty bags of Epsom salt which they sold as crystal meth, and two hundred niacin tablets which they passed off as Ecstasy Not one of the customers complained. Instead, says Mr. Lover, they kept coming back for more, pestering him for his beeper number. At the end of the night, he found himself in the bathroom surrounded by a bunch of pretty girls as he cut up huge rails of Epsom salt. "I was telling girls 'Bring your friends over.' I was sniffing with them - I didn't give a fuck."

Another favorite scam is selling incense as "Red Rock opium" -a con that has worked so well that kids come in from out of state to buy a "drug" that B.T S. made up. Mr. Lover sometimes travels to parties in Connecticut, where he charges $1,200 for a pound, $400 for a quarter, and $150 for an ounce. "When they find out I have 'Red Rock, 'the stupid motherfuckers fight with each other over whose house I should go back to. 'Come to my house, "No, come back to my place.' Even the people who figure out it's fake still buy from me because they know they can double their money by selling it to some other stupid raver."

"I USED TO BE CRAZY," Chameleon tells me. We're in the basement of a downtown club, where the gang leader is dealing hits of genuine Ecstasy to baggy-trousered beat fanatics. "I got shot twice and stabbed twice. I had my index finger sliced off by a big black guy with a machete who was trying to rob me buying pot." But the charismatic gang leader wasn't always a criminal.

At the age of eleven, he ran away from his comfortable home in Queens to Florida, where he learned to ride horses from his grandfather, a professional jockey, but his racing career came to an abrupt end at the age of nineteen when a horse fell on his upper back during a race at Belmont Racetrack. Temporarily paralyzed from the neck down, he had to wear a steel cage on his head for six months, Nvith four bolts screwed into his skull.

A few years later he befriended Lord Michael Caruso (no relation to the editor of this magazine). At the time, the scene at the Limelight was controlled by techno promoter Lord Michael. In order to ensure that Chameleon and his boys didn't disrupt business, Caruso struck a deal to buy up Chameleon's complete supply of Ecstasy-usually the popular brand known as ""moons' -at fifteen dollars per hit. He then gave the pills to his runners, who broke them in two and sold "half moons" for thirty dollars apiece.

Chameleon observed Lord Michael's operation closely and soon began to imitate his most lucrative crimes. Just as Caruso ripped off drug dealers he became friendly with, Chameleon would screw over rave kids who trusted him. "I'd befriend them to get into their apartments," he recalls, " and I'd tie them up with their phone cord, take all their shit, and leave them sitting there." Dealers also made perfect targets because they have large amounts of cash on hand and are afraid of the police: "I'm one of the ones that climbs through their windows at six in the morning, ties them up, and takes their safes. The most I earned for one job was $125,000, when I climbed up a drug dealer's fire escape.

His new line of work was so profitable that soon he was able to move into real drugs.

Chameleon was an avid club-crawler both before and after his accident, and one night at the Limelight, revved up on cocaine, he came up with a novel idea for a new career. "I realized the amount of money I could make selling drugs at raves. So I got a group of kids together and I showed them how to create fake drugs. Why should I spend money on E's when I can go to Duane Reade, stick fifty Chlor-Trimeton tablets in my pocket, and go sell them?"

Chameleon first met members of B.T.S. through mutual friends two years ago at a dance club called Vinyl. He sweet-talked himself into the gang's good graces, throwing sex-and-drug parties for the members at fancy Manhattan hotels. "Chameleon spent a lot of money on those parties," says Miss Melody "We were all ordering filet mignon and champagne on room service."

CHAMELEON IS SOMETHING of a controversial figure within B.T.S. He didn't grow up in the gang like most of the other key members, and he's from middle-class Queens rather than blue-collar Brooklyn. He claims he is the leader of B.T S. now that Soak is in prison, but other members say Era six-two Irish-Italian member whom I see wearing khakis and a white shirt after coming from his day job on Wall Street- is the acting don and that Chameleon is only the boss of the Long Island branch. "Chameleon is a crazy cowboy who thinks he controls everything," says Miss Melody "Sure, he represents B.T.S., and he's always there to help us up when there's trouble. But he's only been down with us for two years. He's older than the rest of us."

Melody's roommate Griz, who calls Chameleon "B.T Wannabe Prez," says that the usurper "wants to dominate us. But B.T.S. is like a tight friendship or a family. Everyone is equal."

"Chameleon is dogging my shadow," complains E.S., angry to hear that Chameleon told me he's in charge. "Chameleon is like a brother-but B.T.S. is my crew."

The gang face another problem that's even larger than their leadership struggle: They may have cooked the golden goose. "The rave scene has diminished alarmingly in the last two years because of us," admits Chameleon. "Kids are afraid to come out. That's why we're trying to boost the scene back up again by selling real drugs."

Other B.T.S. members are even trying to go legit. By day, E.S. and Geo sell stocks, cold-calling potential customers from a Wall Street office. They may be switching careers just in time: The DEA is currently widening its investigation into New York nightlife, and agents have already picked up Chameleon for questioning. But he says he isn't scared. "What happened to Lord Michael is not going to happen to me, because I'm mobile while he was in one club controlling dealers who kick back to me," he says. "Every night of the week I'm in a different place. That's the trick-to stay mobile and never carry large amounts of drugs personally."

Digital Konfusion's DJ Odi, who frequently plays B.TS. parties, says he can't believe it but he's nostalgic for the reign of Lord Michael-who conned and later ratted on both his enemies and his friends. (He became the star witness in the government's unsuccessful attempt to jail the owner of the Limelight, Peter Gatien, on racketeering and conspiracy charges.) At least then, Odi says, blood wasn't all over the dance floor. "Back in the days of the Limelight, dealers didn't step on each other's toes," he remembers. "There was a hierarchy and a structure. With the disintegration of the club scene and the disintegration of the rave scene, there hasn't been anyone with the authority to police the situation.

"That's how a group of wild-ass kids like B.T. S. can take over." "

5580416950_ca36ba684b_b.jpg
 
Last edited:

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
BTS absolutely poisoned the vibe of the rave scene in NYC.
Excellent addition to the thread, seeing as how they came out of the 90's graf scene.
What BTS did was an amazing example of why a scene like the rave culture could never last, while something like punk or hip-hop had much more staying power.
Cultures like Hip-Hop and Punk have teeth. They can and regularly do defend themselves. Ravers, tripping on some unarmed techno-hippie vibe, didn't stand a chance. Survival of the fittest applies to culture, too.

NY writer GUNZ has a great explanation of how he uses graffiti to stay sane in a clown world.
 
Last edited:

murgatroid

kiwifarms.net
Got ninja'd by @Oban Kamz Cope2 is a certified snitch and gets no love in the graffiti world anymore. It's kinda obvious since he's been on camera painting NYC trains with his face exposed in Videograf since the early 90s and has never done any time or serious charges or fines. Aside from the snitching he acts like a clown too. It bothers me a lot that he is so heavily featured in GTA4.
 
Last edited:

murgatroid

kiwifarms.net
May I introduce some of you to Wes aka WS or Max, real name Maksim Gelman.

wes3.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 6.02.26 PM.png

2329424661_40d406c3fd_z.jpg

wesstabber2.jpg


Wes was a writer who got up a little in certain parts of Brooklyn, NY, mainly around Brighton Beach and some surrounding neighborhoods. From what I remember he was never particularly well liked, or well known, and he tried to beef with a lot of people. He was also a known dusthead. (habitual PCP user) I remember him being in some lame youtube video years back with himself, some other writers, and some no-name rappers that was promoting...something. Wish I could find it now. I think he might have been taught by another writer named "Neck9" who was around a little before him. Based on their style, neighborhoods and I think they might have painted together but this is my personal speculation and I don't know for sure.

6a00d83451b46869e200e54f3186ae8833-640wi.jpg


Anyway, he would end up getting much more fame from something other than his pitiful graffiti career and beef. He went on a (possibly dust-induced) carjacking, stabbing and murder spree that lasted two days, involved multiple evasions from police. It was like something out of Grand Theft Auto in real life.

Suspect in Brooklyn Stabbing Rampage Is Captured

Feb 12, 2011
By Robert D. McFadden and Al Baker

A fugitive with a knife, who the police said had left behind a calamity of murders and broken lives in Brooklyn, was captured by officers at Times Square on Saturday morning after stabbing another victim on a subway train, investigators said.

It was the culmination of a roller-coaster of violence that included three fatal stabbings; a hit-and-run homicide; four other stabbings; four auto thefts, including two carjackings; death threats against several others who got in the way; a dangerous manhunt by hundreds of police officers; and for millions of New Yorkers a round-the-clock ordeal of a killer on the loose in the city.

The all-night manhunt led to several sightings in Brooklyn and Manhattan and to a cat-and-mouse chase through dark subway tunnels that ended shortly before 9 a.m. when the suspect, Maksim Gelman, 23, climbed up from the tracks, boarded a northbound No. 3 train and confronted a 40-year-old passenger, Joseph Lozito.

“You are going to die,” Mr. Gelman said, according to Mr. Lozito’s sister, then slashed Mr. Lozito in the back of the head.

The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said that moments later, Mr. Gelman pounded on the door of the motorman’s compartment, identifying himself as a police officer and demanding entry. Two transit officers were in the compartment with the motorman, scanning the tracks ahead for Mr. Gelman.

They opened the door, saw the fugitive with his knife and a man bleeding on the floor, and leapt out. In the ensuing fight, Officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor subdued, disarmed and handcuffed Mr. Gelman, with help from an off-duty detective, Marcelo Razzo. Mr. Lozito was taken from the train at 40th Street and Seventh Avenue to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was reported in stable condition.

STAB-jumbo.jpg

The police said Maksim Gelman, here in mug shots from Jan. 26, killed his mother’s companion, his girlfriend and her mother before wounding a driver, taking his car and fatally hitting a pedestrian. CreditNew York Police Department

Mr. Kelly said he had never encountered a crime spree like Mr. Gelman’s. “It’s so horrendous and bizarre,” he said at an afternoon news conference. “Obviously, if he wasn’t apprehended this morning, he could have injured, killed, many more people.”

The commissioner said Mr. Gelman had a record of 10 arrests dating to 2003, mostly for graffiti-writing but also for robbery and possession of crack cocaine. It was unclear if he had any history of mental illness. Asked if the suspect had made any statements, the commissioner cited only one — “She has to die,” an apparent reference to his former girlfriend, one of his victims.

Witnesses on the train said it had pulled out of Pennsylvania Station and rolled north, but had stopped suddenly as it approached the Times Square station. They told of panic as the power went off and officers with flashlights and drawn guns ran toward the front, while riders ran back, fleeing the violence.

“At first I thought it was just a mechanical problem, and then we heard all these people saying there’d been a stabbing in one of the cars,” said Danielle Nugent, 23, a graduate student at Quinnipiac University who was in town to run a race in Riverside Park.

The arrest was the climax of a 28-hour drama in which, the police said, Mr. Gelman killed his mother’s companion as well as his former girlfriend and her mother in knife attacks at two apartments in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, then seized a car, stabbed the driver, fatally struck a pedestrian and sped away.

The swirl of violence stunned the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Sheepshead Bay, where Mr. Gelman had lived for years and was known to neighbors as a troubled, unemployed man with a drug habit and a hair-trigger temper. Investigators said his last rage may have been touched off by the refusal of his mother’s companion, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, 54, a private-ambulette driver, to let him use the family Lexus.

In the apartment on East 27th Street, near Emmons Avenue, where they lived with Mr. Gelman’s mother, Svetlana Gelman, 48, the two-minute argument ended at about 5:10 a.m. on Friday, when, the police said, the young man stabbed Mr. Kuznetsov with a kitchen knife 11 or 12 times. Mrs. Gelman, who was not injured, called the police, but by the time they arrived, Mr. Gelman had driven away in the gray 2004 Lexus. The police released a picture of the 6-foot, 170-pound fugitive that was posted on news Web sites and blogs.


unnamed-1.jpg

A subway entrance at Seventh Avenue and 40th Street on Saturday. Maksim Gelman, who is accused in four deaths, was arrested at 8:30 a.m. after he boarded a northbound No. 3 train.CreditRobert Caplin for The New York Times

About 10 a.m., the police said, he entered the apartment of his former girlfriend, Yelena Bulchenko, 20, and her mother, Anna Bulchenko, 56, on East 24th Street, near Avenue Y. The younger woman was not there, but an argument with her mother followed. Mr. Gelman killed the older woman, stabbing her a dozen times, investigators said.

Investigators said he then waited for more than six hours until Yelena Bulchenko arrived home, about 4:15 p.m. He attacked her inside and outside the apartment. She, too, was stabbed to death, the victim of a dozen wounds.

“She was a sweet girl,” said Phil Kiernan, 36. “I knew her since she was young.” He recalled seeing Yelena Bulchenko’s body lying on the ground, with Mr. Gelman standing over her.

Mr. Gelman again sped away in the Lexus, the police said, but was apparently blocked by a dark green Pontiac Bonneville at East 24th Street and Avenue U. The police said he rammed the Bonneville, then got out and pulled out the driver, Arthur DiCrescento, 60, and stabbed him in the chest. (Mr. DiCrescento was taken to Lutheran Medical Center, where he was reported in stable condition.) Four knives were found in the abandoned Lexus.

Mr. Gelman then took the Bonneville and drove north on Ocean Avenue. He struck a 62-year-old man, Stephen Tannenbaum, crossing Avenue R. The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died overnight. As hundreds of officers joined the manhunt, at 8 p.m. Friday the search centered on East 18th Street near Avenue R, where Mr. Gelman was reported hiding in a garage. He was not found. At 9:15 p.m., the Bonneville was found in Midwood, the engine running.

Mr. Gelman was next seen at 12:50 a.m. Saturday at Rochester Avenue and St. Johns Place in Crown Heights, where, the police said, he hailed the livery cab of Fitz Fullerton, 55. Trying to commandeer the car, Mr. Gelman stabbed Mr. Fullerton in the shoulder and neck, and the cab struck another vehicle.

Mr. Gelman jumped out and fled. Minutes later, the police said, he attacked another motorist, Sheldon Pottinger, 25, on Eastern Parkway near Rockaway Avenue. “I was just waiting for my wife and this guy ran up, pulled out a knife and said, ‘I’m gonna kill you — get out of the car’ and started stabbing,” Mr. Pottinger recalled.

unnamed-2.jpg


The police said Mr. Pottinger was slashed across the hand and jumped out of his car during a struggle. The attacker drove off in the black 2001 Nissan, which was found abandoned in Queens near a subway station.

Mr. Gelman may have entered the subway system there, investigators said. Following reports of a man seen in the tunnels, apparently walking along tracks and third-rail coverings, the police began scouring the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 lines, walking the tracks and riding in slow-moving trains.

The breakthrough occurred about 8:30 a.m., when two witnesses reported seeing Mr. Gelman on a southbound No. 1 train between 137th and 96th Streets in Manhattan. One called 911. The other, a woman, was reading a newspaper when a man, apparently Mr. Gelman, moved close.

Mr. Kelly related, “He knocks the paper out of her hand and says, ‘Do you believe what they’re writing about me?’ ”

Frightened, the woman got off at 96th Street, told a police officer what had happened and the word was passed to officers who had set up a check-point at Penn Station, at 34th Street. Mr. Kelly said Mr. Gelman left the No. 1 train at 34th Street, and, avoiding platforms and stairways, walked across the tracks to a northbound No. 3 train that was just pulling out, heading for Times Square.

Mr. Gelman climbed from the tracks into the train between the first and second cars. Mr. Lozito was slashed in the first car as the train rumbled through the tunnel. Mr. Gelman then attempted to get into the motorman’s compartment, which covered the front end of the train. “We assume that he wanted to injure the motorman or take control of the train, something along those lines,” Mr. Kelly said. He said none of the officers were injured in the confrontation with Mr. Gelman.

The commissioner said Mr. Gelman had apparently not changed clothes overnight and was believed to have passed the early morning hours wandering the tracks of a Long Island Rail Road freight line that traverses Queens and Brooklyn. Mr. Kelly said Mr. Gelman had often scrawled graffiti along the line. Charges against Mr. Gelman were pending.

Andre Lev, 35, of Nyack, N.Y., who identified himself as the brother of Yelena Bulchenko, said in an interview at his sister’s home that he had never heard of Mr. Gelman and did not believe that his sister had any romantic ties to him. Acquaintances of the family agreed, saying Mr. Gelman had sought a relationship with her but had been rebuffed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/nyregion/13stab.html

He was later given a 200 year prison sentence.
 
Last edited:

Oban Kamz

goth cholos
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I didnt want to call cope a snitch because i have no fucking clue to be honest, I do personally think he snitched though. Cope acts like a fag on instagram any chance he gets.

another fun to follow nyc writer is Kez5. Kez smokes crack and likes to make a fool of himself and beefs with literally anyone he can to stay relevant. i like kez’s work and think hes a well established writer, but hes not that good anymore.


there are so many better writers than kez5 currently in newyork.
42652906-34B7-46C1-ADAD-24769A5CA73F.jpeg
 

murgatroid

kiwifarms.net
I might have found the video I was thinking of, its promoting a graffiti movie that never came out. However, I remember a few of these retarded youtube videos with Wes and some no-name rappers.


There are a lot of actually good writers in this clip who I guess Wes might of rolled with for a time.

*Deco snorting coke off a cigarette box in a train tunnel is not a good look imo. Smh.

*Also, ES of BTS is in this video.
 

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Kez smokes crack and likes to make a fool of himself and beefs with literally anyone he can to stay relevant.
That makes me sad. So many of these guys smoke dust and crack, it's always a drag to watch them flailing in their later years. Some of the 80's graf legends made something of themselves in one way or another. LEE is a paid and competent illustrator or architect now. SKEME joined the Marines and might've gone into spec ops, SEEN (RIP) was a world renowned tattoo artist.

The nature of graf culture changed for the worse in many ways with the 80's-90's shift. Really messed up shit started getting lauded as being 'hardcore' and 'sick', probably because of how the NYC crackdown made it impossible to really do large illegal pieces. With the hammer falling on the scene, its creative output degenerated into nothing but bombing. Fills and tags. The purism, the aesthetic genius, it all became unsustainable and the vibe of the culture itself got really dark.

With 1990's legends what I've largely seen is one person after another burning out, going insane, snitching or falling off somehow.
 

murgatroid

kiwifarms.net
That makes me sad. So many of these guys smoke dust and crack, it's always a drag to watch them flailing in their later years. Some of the 80's graf legends made something of themselves in one way or another. LEE is a paid and competent illustrator or architect now. SKEME joined the Marines and might've gone into spec ops, SEEN (RIP) was a world renowned tattoo artist.

The nature of graf culture changed for the worse in many ways with the 80's-90's shift. Really messed up shit started getting lauded as being 'hardcore' and 'sick', probably because of how the NYC crackdown made it impossible to really do large illegal pieces. With the hammer falling on the scene, its creative output degenerated into nothing but bombing. Fills and tags. The purism, the aesthetic genius, it all became unsustainable and the vibe of the culture itself got really dark.

With 1990's legends what I've largely seen is one person after another burning out, going insane, snitching or falling off somehow.
Speaking of falling off, Korn, who was in one of your earlier videos, died under mysterious circumstances by literally falling/jumping out of a 2nd story window. 😢

I can't even imagine losing a leg over a stupid graff beef, I'm sure his passion for graff helped him.

Sorry for horrible segue.

jeffrey-gamblero-1.jpg


Jeffrey Vanchiro, 38, dies after fall

NEW YORK -- Jeffrey Vanchiro, a popular Brooklyn Nets fan, died Sunday night from injuries he sustained when he jumped out of a second-story window at his father's house in Flushing, Queens, on Saturday night.

Vanchiro, commonly known as Jeffrey Gamblero, was 38.

The Nets offered their condolences in a statement.

"On behalf of ownership and the entire organization, I am terribly saddened to learn about Jeffrey's death," Nets CEO Brett Yormark said. "A proud Brooklynite, Jeffrey was a passionate Nets fan and one of our most visible and loyal supporters. I was delighted that he joined the team on our trip to London last season, and I always enjoyed his enthusiasm while dancing and cheering during Nets games at Barclays Center. The entire organization expresses our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed."

The Nets will do a special pregame video tribute for Vanchiro at Tuesday night's game against the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center. In addition, Vanchiro's family is encouraging everyone to wear neon to the game. Vanchiro became known to Nets fans for wearing neon T-shirts under a personalized white No. 44 home jersey and having his dance moves displayed on the Barclays Center video screens.

Vanchiro, who was recently in the news after security removed him from Madison Square Garden without his prosthetic leg, sustained severe brain damage and a fractured spinal cord as a result of the fall, according to his fiancée, Kristi Evans.

Vanchiro had been in the intensive care unit Sunday on a ventilator at New York Hospital Queens.

Evans, in an interview earlier Sunday at the hospital, said she believed the Dec. 2 incident during a Nets-Knicks game at MSG changed Vanchiro for the worse.

"After that, he was a completely different person," an emotional Evans said. "He was paranoid. He was erratic. He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. And he was having a lot of trouble sleeping. He couldn't sleep at all. When he would sleep or try to sleep, it would only take about 10 to 15 minutes before he would wake up screaming, covered in sweat."

Evans took to Twitter to express her sadness over his death.

Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 1.55.59 PM.png


Said Madison Square Garden in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Three days after the incident at MSG, Vanchiro remained distraught and said he wasn't feeling like himself. He thought he'd need until the All-Star break to return to normal.

But Friday night in Brooklyn, Vanchiro was shown on the arena video boards dancing and enjoying himself. He later went to his fiancée's nightclub, but something wasn't right, Evans said. Still, Vanchiro danced a lot, and Evans figured it would relieve a lot of his stress.

"If you try to stay the same after a life-changing event, then you're lying to yourself because when your life has changed you are now a different person," Vanchiro said Friday in an interview with OurBKSocial.com that was published to YouTube. "I mean, I even got alter-egos going and stuff, but I'm not going to get into detail because the world's not ready for that."

"I had the worst week of my life," he continued. "You guys don't understand, but I'm putting myself through the same training that I did when I lost my leg. When my leg got chopped off, I was [feeling] horror and trauma, and I had to focus on getting back to what I had to do."

The next day, Vanchiro went to a friend's house, then told Evans he was going to stay with his father, Sylvester, that night. Evans told him she thought it would be a good idea, so Vanchiro could get some peace of mind. But an hour and a half after Vanchiro arrived, Evans got a call from Sylvester saying Vanchiro had jumped out of a window.

"He's never, ever exhibited any suicidal tendencies," Evans said. "He jumped out of the bed, ran down the hallway ... and then threw himself out of a window headfirst and landed on his head."

Vanchiro underwent brain surgery at the hospital and was breathing on his own initially, but his condition worsened significantly Sunday morning, and his brain stopped functioning, Evans said.

Several family members were at the hospital with Vanchiro, and Evans estimated 50 people came to visit him. At one point, security was limiting his visitors to two at a time because so many people were there.

Vanchiro grew up in Queens and Brooklyn. A fan of both the Knicks and the Nets, he idolized Nets point guard Kenny Anderson growing up. He wanted to be a professional basketball player but had to settle for being a superfan instead. Despite losing a leg in an accident, he loved playing sports.

Evans described in detail the events that unfolded at MSG, video of which quickly went viral. Vanchiro was asked by security to quiet down, but Evans said he wasn't cursing or offending anyone. Vanchiro politely refused, and security told him he had to leave, so Vanchiro took off his prosthetic leg as a form of peaceful protest.

Evans said Vanchiro also refused security's request to leave and told them that he had paid a lot of money for the tickets, he was a fan and he didn't deserve to be kicked out.

Security then picked up Vanchiro and removed him from the arena. Video shows him being dropped, which, according to Evans, caused his back to twist and his head to bump against the stairs several times. Vanchiro was then taken into the back of MSG, where he "was so traumatized and bawling hysterically," according to Evans.

After the incident, Madison Square Garden released a statement through a Knicks spokesperson: "An unruly fan was ejected after MSG security received multiple complaints from fans sitting in that area. The fan was warned multiple times before being removed. He will not be permitted back into Madison Square Garden."

Vanchiro found success playing professional poker and creating graffiti art in the city.

"He was a huge part of [the atmosphere at Barclays]. He definitely brought unique energy to the environment, and [his death] ... was tough for me to hear," Nets center Brook Lopez said at practice Monday. "He always brought positive energy. He always had our back. He was there for us. We were just proud to have him be a part of our organization and a part of our team."

ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley contributed to this report.

Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 2.01.21 PM.png


jux_jeffrey_gamalero.jpg


7584.jpg


jux-korn-3.jpg


The incident that may have caused the turn of events that lead to his death:
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Oban Kamz

goth cholos
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
documentation and dedication

a large part of graffiti is documenting what others before you have written. either through word of mouth or taking pictures.

markal_tucker instagram
if you wanna see some good photos of graffiti on trains i would suggest checking out the account markal_tucker on instagram. includes general photos of monikers and freight train graffiti.

legends thursday podcast
the legendsthursday podcast was run by a writer called coupe. he has interviews and podcasts with well known writers (Ichabod, the kodak kid, 2buck, pre, ether) from the east coast and all over the USA. the audio quality is abysmal in some of the podcasts because he records over the phone. theres about 150 podcasts and theyre all pretty good. worth a listen if youre bored.
 

Syaoran Li

All Punks Are Bastards
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Got some more Chicago gang street art...

Gangster Disciples, Mid 1980's

GD Tag.jpg


Insane C-Notes, 1970's

C-Notes Tag.png


Insane C-Notes are a Folk Nation gang that was founded in the 1950's as a primarily white gang (although now it's a mix of whites and Latinos) and the bulk of their ranks were Italian-American as the Chicago Outfit used them as a recruitment farm. This was in the mid-1970's, when The Godfather was really big, hence the puppeteer hands in this tag.

C-Notes, Late 1980's

C-Notes Mural.png


This was taken later, when the C-Notes were more in bed with the Folk Nation and were no longer exclusively Italian (they were still exclusively white until 1995, when they opened their ranks to Latinos)

Taylor Street Jousters, Late 1970's

Jousters Tag.jpg


Hanson Park Jousters, Early 1990's
jouster-mural2.jpg


The Jousters are a primarily white gang founded in 1959, mostly comprised of Italians, Irish, and Poles and they are closely allied with the Almighty Gaylords and the Stoned Freaks. The gang initially went defunct in the late 90's due to a mix of police crackdowns and dwindling recruitment.

Rumor has it that they've reactivated around the mid-2010's, and their ranks are mostly made up of younger suburban whites, poor Latinos, and older guys from the original gang that have since been released from prison.
 
Last edited:

Return of the Freaker

The ass was THIS fat
kiwifarms.net
MAP is a member of BTS crew.

An article about BTS from the 90s in Details magazine.

View attachment 957935View attachment 957936

By Frank Owen

"Up until the moment the gang leader broke off our conversation in midsentence and dashed across the club to pull a knife on a bouncer, the interview was going swimmingly.

For weeks, I'd been on the trail of the notorious gang known as B.T.S.-a.k.a. Born to Scheme, a.k.a. Brooklyn Terror Squad, a.k.a. Beat the System-the one-hundred strong crew that has wreaked mayhem at raves up and down the East Coast. "Violence has become a major problem on the scene because of B.T. S.," reports one raver, a small-time Ecstasy dealer who says she has been robbed by the gang so many times that she knows some members by name. A lot of older ravers won't go to parties anymore because B.T.S. has taken over. They've ruined it for everyone."

I first saw B.T. S. in action at Back to the 'Future, a midsize rave held in July at the Manhattan club Down Time. The event's promoter had left a plea on the recording ravers had to call for the location of the party: "Please, everyone bring a positive vibe. Come to dance, come to listen to phat beats, come to meet some people. Don't come to rob people and feud n' fight and all that bullshit."

Naturally, B.T.S. ignored it. They hid in the shadows, but the gang members were easy to spot. Unlike the dopey-looking ravers stumbling about in a daze, the B.T.S. crew were sharp-eyed, dressed like label-conscious street kids. A couple of hours past midnight, just outside the jungle room, they staged a fake brawl. As the larger members pretended to take swings at each other, the smaller ones crept up behind distracted partygoers and picked their pockets or snatched their gold chains and beepers before crouching low and disappearing down the back stairs. In one corner, a messed-up raver waved a hundred-dollar bill in the air trying to attract the attention of a drug dealer and make a buy. Two B.T.S. toughs jumped him from behind. Moments later, on the first floor, another callow night crawler clutched his head and cried out to his friends, "I got beat! I got beat! They robbed me!"

When the club finally emptied out in the wee hours of the morning, the signs of B.T.S.'s handiwork were obvious: The dance floor was littered with items from purses and backpacks the gang had stolen and dumped -driver's licenses, photos, lipstick, and mascara.

A week later, I managed to hook up with a duo of fresh-faced B.T. S. foot soldiers from Gerritsen Beach- Skil One, Dope Star, and Seat- who promised to introduce me to the top dogs who run the gang. The one I wanted to meet most was a shadow figure called Chameleon, reputed to be the mastermind behind the entire operation. Skil One and company told me he'd probably be at a party B.T.S. was throwing that weekend at Planet 28, a cramped, low-key hole in-the-wall on the edge of Manhattan's garment district.

As I walk into the gloomy club, its walls covered with panels of the gang's graffiti, my stomach is gripped with a mix of anticipation and fear. Everybody who is anybody in the B.T.S. ranks-at least those who aren't in jail-is here, slapping each other on the back, showing off tattoos and knife wounds, and dancing furiously to thundering techno.

The unexpectedly upbeat vibe is greatly enhanced by the copious amounts of Ecstasy and strong green acid the gang members are popping, as well as the ketamine and crystal methamphetamine they're snorting off the backs of their hands. The closest thing to a disturbance is a small, ferocious looking "dust bunny" from New Jersey stumbling around, offering blow jobs in exchange for bumps of K.

In the corner, next to the bar, Era, a stocky B.T. S. old-timer with blond hair and blue eyes, tells me that at least a few of the stories I've heard about B.T.S. have been blown out of proportion. Yes, they sell hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of fake drugs. Yes, they beat up and rob "candy ravers," naive, colorfully dressed partiers tripping on Ecstasy. But no, they don't sell the bogus E that killed twenty-year-old college student Jason Williamson at a rave in April. "You'd think we were murderers," another B.T.S. member scoffs, "but all we do is rob people."

Around four in the morning, a compact, hard-muscled twenty-seven-year-old in a white fishing hat, an expensive-looking crewneck, and jeans with a hairbrush sticking out of the back pocket enters with his girlfriend, an exotic dancer who looks like a young Ellen Barkin. He's immediately surrounded by fellow gang members rushing to greet him. A few moments later, he struts up to me with his entourage. "You're the guy from Details, aren't you?" he says. "I hear you want to talk to me."

Chameleon doesn't deny his gang's exploits-he's in a mood to brag. He tells me he earned his nickname by changing outfits as many as six times a night. "I'll go to a club or a rave wearing something nice and flashy-like a loose-fitting Sergio Tacchini warm-up suit and a matching hat. I'll sell a couple pills of E and K, until I spot some- 'z body else selling, and I'll jack them for their money and their drugs, y'know what I'm sayin. Then I'll go into one of the back 'o rooms and I'll change.

"Underneath the sweat suit, I might be wearing a pair of jeans and a Polo shirt. I'll take my hat off and let my hair down or tie it up in a ponytail. I'll go back out on the dance floor and sell the drugs I just stole. After an hour or two, I'll rob somebody else and go to the bathroom and change again. Under the jeans, I'll be wearing a nice pair of shorts or something. Under the shirt, I'll have a tank top. I'll also put on a different hat. I store the spare clothes in a tote bag, then hand it to a member of my crew, who gives me my other tote bag with a new outfit in it." Afterward, Chameleon and his boys rent a suite at a fancy hotel and party away some of the loot.

Lately, though, he says, he's been trying to stay in the background. "I send out my younger kids with some money, and they buy drugs to find out who's selling what," he says. "Then they come back and my second string goes out-twenty, thirty, forty deep. The younger kids go around the room pointing out the drug dealers and we just go in-wham! wham! wham!- through the whole party. We'll grab somebody, five guys hold him, one guy goes into his pockets and takes everything, and we disperse back into the crowd. It takes about two seconds. We occasionally get resistance-then twelve B.T.S. members dive in. Some kids try to run, but there's really no escape."

In the middle of our interview, out of the corner of his eye, Chameleon spots a Planet 28 bouncer trying to shake down Era. Chameleon's face goes cold. And in a second he's across the room, with his butterfly knife pressed against the bouncer's throat. The bouncer backs off, reluctantly removing his hands from around Era's neck.

Moments later the bouncer is back, with a half dozen other security guards. The insults fly back and forth--'punk...... motherfucker,"'pussy boy'!-- and the confrontation escalates into death threats. Just when it seems an all-out brawl is about to break out, a shout goes up among B.T.S.: "Everybody out. We're gone." The standoff continues outside on the sidewalk, where the club's manager holds back his bouncers and begs B.T.S. to leave.

Later that night, at a nearby after-hours party, Chameleon looks sick-not surprising, given his 24/7 hedonism. (In fact, a few hours from now, he'll check himself into a hospital and be diagnosed with walking pneumonia.) "We're not as bad as we used to be," he says between hacking coughs, trying to downplay the incident at Planet 28. "We're not grabbing everybody like we used to. We're tired of the bad vibes."

UNTIL RECENTLY, gang violence has been more closely associated with the braggadocio and street litanies of hip-hop than the smiles and utopian mood of the rave scene. But just as the Hell's Angels went to love-ins to prey on '60s hippies, just as Woodstock gave way to Altamont, today's blissed-out teenagers make attractive targets for a pack of predators like B.T.S. Ecstasy's empathy-inducing effects are great in theory-but only if the person you're sharing your soul with isn't looking to knock you upside the head and jack your backpack.

"The rave scene today is largely made up of young, middle-class kids from good families with money," explains Chameleon, who told me he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. "These kids are spending a hundred dollars a night on drugs. A pill costs twenty-five, bags of crystal twenty. You get a rave with six thousand people and there's a lot of money to be made-a fucking ton of money

"And it's my money," he adds with an evil grin.

Though ravers like to portray B.T.S. as a group of parasitic latecomers, the New York rave scene first took root not among downtown trendies or suburban hedonists, but shirtless street kids from New York's outer boroughs. Frankie Bones, the DJ who originally brought rave culture from the U.K to America with his early-'90s Brooklyn Storm Raves, traces the roots of B.T.S. back to rowdy Brooklyn street gangs like the Kings Highway Boys, the Avenue U Boys, and the Bay Boys. "The older neighborhood gangs used to come to my early parties looking for trouble," he remembers. "B.T.S. comes from that same Brooklyn mold."

"The New York rave scene has always been about hardcore Brooklyn," concurs Fly, another B.T.S. member. "That's how shit goes down in this city. These people come from New Jersey and Connecticut and think it's all about peace and love. They don't know what they're stepping into in New York."

In many ways, B.T.S. has less in common with traditional street gangs like the Bloods and the Crips than with British "love thugs," the soccer hooligans who took over Ecstasy dealing at raves in the'U.K. in the early '90s. B.T.S. has no rites of initiation- new members don't get beaten in and can leave without fear of retaliation. They're not tied to a specific ethnic group or neighborhood-the gang is a veritable Benetton ad of Asians, blacks, Latinos, Italians, and Irish, with members in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. And there's no formal set of rules, other than one that forbids screwing over fellow members. At the end of the night, the crew don't pool their loot; everyone keeps what he's scammed for himself, though they all chip in to bail out members who get arrested.

View attachment 957949

Seemingly, the only requirement for joining B.T. S. is a talent for crime. "You have to have a skill to join," explains Chameleon. "Like a good head for scheming. Or be a good runner-someone who doesn't get nailed by security Or a good con artist like a young kid who buys the drugs and says to the dealer 'Yo, can you hook me up? Can I get your phone number?' Then when he gets the number, he calls him and goes to his apartment and kicks the fucking door in and takes everything."

Recently, the gang has begun exporting its mayhem all over the East Coast-- they've hit raves in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and all the way down to Florida. In September, fifty B.T.S. members flew down to the 16,000 person Zen Festival rave near Tampa, where they sold enough bogus drugs to walk away with about $4,000 each.

In April of 1997, they invaded a rave at the Washington, D.C., Armory. "Will you Brooklyn kids please stop fighting?" the promoter pleaded on the microphone. "Will B.T. S. please stop robbing people?" The answer was no. "We wrecked shop," boasts the aptly named Kaos, a beefy B.T.S. enforcer with close-cropped dark hair. "I even had cops robbing kids for me! I swore I was a promoter and pointed out all the drug dealers [and said they'd stolen my money]. The cops were taking their money and giving it to me."

In June, they turned the Funky Monkey party at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom into "B.T.S. central," as one raver put it. The scene was more like a British soccer match than a rave. Sporadic fights finally culminated in a massive free-for-all on the dance floor. The B.T.S. dealers were so brazen, they peddled their wares in full view of security guards, who were apparently too scared to intervene. "B.T.S. basically acted as house dealers," recalls one of the featured DJs, Odi of Digital Konfusion. "They totally controlled the party." Their greed was so boundless that they sold drugs to the same people they later robbed. Even little, barrette-wearing raver girls were battered mercilessly

But assaulting and robbing ravers may not be the worst crime B.T.S. has committed: Friends of Virginia Tech student Jason Williamson think the crew is also guilty of murder. Williamson attended the April Foolz II rave at Mount Airy Lodge, a holiday resort in the Poconos, earlier this year. It was a suffocating crush of nearly nine thousand bodies packed together like psychedelic sardines-a perfect setting for B.T.S. to conduct business.

In the hardcore room, Williamson befriended a group of kids from Brooklyn. One of them gave him a free Ecstasy pill, according to Sean Choudry and his girlfriend Caxla Ringquist, Virginia Tech friends of Williamson's who were with him that night. After swallowing the bogus E ecstasy- which a nurse later told Ringquist was actually a mix of drugs that included a horse tranquilizer- Williamson ran outside, where he collapsed on the ground and had a seizure. At four in the morning, after medics tried to stabilize his condition, he was rushed to the Pocono Medical Center, where he lapsed into a coma. "All of his organs exploded in-side of his body," says Ringquist, who described the doctors' bandaging her friend from head to toe like a mummy Early Monday, Williamson's parents, who had rushed to their son's bedside from Virginia Beach, gave doctors permission to pull the plug on his life-support system.

Choudry and Ringquist say they saw half a dozen other ravers in the medical center's intensive care unit. "There was some indication that at least a couple of those ravers took the same drug," says Sgt. Donald Fernbach of the Pennsylvania State Police. "But I did not find any evidence of an individual specifically intending to poison another person to death. If we had, we would have conducted a homicide investigation."

"Jason was a newcomer to the scene who thought everybody could be trusted," Choudry says. "B.T.S. are murderers. They knew the pill was bad."

"That's an absolute lie," replies Chameleon. "We're not looking to kill anybody we're just after the money and the drugs."

As of now, the New York City Police Department isn't even keeping tabs on B.T. S. "At this point," says a public information officer," we don't have anything on them." [As a result of this article most of the leaders were jailed]

"USING THE TERM 'GANG' about B.T.S. is a bit misleading," says Frankie Bones. "It's much more loose-knit." The group started out in the early '90s as a neighborhood graffiti crew, a bunch of friends who hung around a homemade recording studio in the basement of a travel agency in Brighton Beach, a shabby seaside resort that's the Russian mob's home-away-from-home. The original members were a Vietnamese immigrant named Soak; his right-hand boy, E.S.; the owner of the studio, Kaos; E.S.'s little brother Era; and Miss Melody, the only female founder. Originally, B.T.S. stood for Bomb the Subway, and initiates are still expected to tag walls and compile black books of their illustrations. Later, B.T.S. stood for Born to Survive, when several of the members were homeless.

The godfather of the gang was Soak. B.T.S. members told me he's now finishing up a two-year jail term for robbing $20,000 from the safe of a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn; when he completes his sentence, the government will try to deport him back to his homeland. "Soak always held everything together," remembers Mr. Lover, a B.T.S. veteran who looks tougher than his small stature might suggest, thanks to a broken nose. "Things are falling apart a little bit, now that he's not around. It was easier two or three years ago, when the younger kids were younger. Now they're getting older and they have their own minds."

In 1992, Miss Melody, an exotic-looking Italian-Irish-black-Cherokee woman from Sheepshead Bay, took the crew to check out one of Frankie Bones Storm Raves. "There were no kids robbing each other back then," recalls E.S. without a trace of irony. "It was all about dancing and having a good time." Miss Melody agrees: "There were no ulterior motives. Now every raver wants to be a drug dealer."

As the rave scene grew, the crew hit on the idea of selling fake drugs to gullible suburban kids. One weekend, Mr. Lover remembers, he and Soak hit a rave in Connecticut with hundreds of packs of breath mints that looked exactly like some green-speckled Ecstasy that was going around at the time. They sold out-at twenty dollars a mint.

"Before I found the mints," says Mr. Lover, "me and Soak used to sit in his basement and spray-paint hundreds of white tablets."

Another time, he recalls fondly, he and Soak went to Boston with eighty bags of Epsom salt which they sold as crystal meth, and two hundred niacin tablets which they passed off as Ecstasy Not one of the customers complained. Instead, says Mr. Lover, they kept coming back for more, pestering him for his beeper number. At the end of the night, he found himself in the bathroom surrounded by a bunch of pretty girls as he cut up huge rails of Epsom salt. "I was telling girls 'Bring your friends over.' I was sniffing with them - I didn't give a fuck."

Another favorite scam is selling incense as "Red Rock opium" -a con that has worked so well that kids come in from out of state to buy a "drug" that B.T S. made up. Mr. Lover sometimes travels to parties in Connecticut, where he charges $1,200 for a pound, $400 for a quarter, and $150 for an ounce. "When they find out I have 'Red Rock, 'the stupid motherfuckers fight with each other over whose house I should go back to. 'Come to my house, "No, come back to my place.' Even the people who figure out it's fake still buy from me because they know they can double their money by selling it to some other stupid raver."

"I USED TO BE CRAZY," Chameleon tells me. We're in the basement of a downtown club, where the gang leader is dealing hits of genuine Ecstasy to baggy-trousered beat fanatics. "I got shot twice and stabbed twice. I had my index finger sliced off by a big black guy with a machete who was trying to rob me buying pot." But the charismatic gang leader wasn't always a criminal.

At the age of eleven, he ran away from his comfortable home in Queens to Florida, where he learned to ride horses from his grandfather, a professional jockey, but his racing career came to an abrupt end at the age of nineteen when a horse fell on his upper back during a race at Belmont Racetrack. Temporarily paralyzed from the neck down, he had to wear a steel cage on his head for six months, Nvith four bolts screwed into his skull.

A few years later he befriended Lord Michael Caruso (no relation to the editor of this magazine). At the time, the scene at the Limelight was controlled by techno promoter Lord Michael. In order to ensure that Chameleon and his boys didn't disrupt business, Caruso struck a deal to buy up Chameleon's complete supply of Ecstasy-usually the popular brand known as ""moons' -at fifteen dollars per hit. He then gave the pills to his runners, who broke them in two and sold "half moons" for thirty dollars apiece.

Chameleon observed Lord Michael's operation closely and soon began to imitate his most lucrative crimes. Just as Caruso ripped off drug dealers he became friendly with, Chameleon would screw over rave kids who trusted him. "I'd befriend them to get into their apartments," he recalls, " and I'd tie them up with their phone cord, take all their shit, and leave them sitting there." Dealers also made perfect targets because they have large amounts of cash on hand and are afraid of the police: "I'm one of the ones that climbs through their windows at six in the morning, ties them up, and takes their safes. The most I earned for one job was $125,000, when I climbed up a drug dealer's fire escape.

His new line of work was so profitable that soon he was able to move into real drugs.

Chameleon was an avid club-crawler both before and after his accident, and one night at the Limelight, revved up on cocaine, he came up with a novel idea for a new career. "I realized the amount of money I could make selling drugs at raves. So I got a group of kids together and I showed them how to create fake drugs. Why should I spend money on E's when I can go to Duane Reade, stick fifty Chlor-Trimeton tablets in my pocket, and go sell them?"

Chameleon first met members of B.T.S. through mutual friends two years ago at a dance club called Vinyl. He sweet-talked himself into the gang's good graces, throwing sex-and-drug parties for the members at fancy Manhattan hotels. "Chameleon spent a lot of money on those parties," says Miss Melody "We were all ordering filet mignon and champagne on room service."

CHAMELEON IS SOMETHING of a controversial figure within B.T.S. He didn't grow up in the gang like most of the other key members, and he's from middle-class Queens rather than blue-collar Brooklyn. He claims he is the leader of B.T S. now that Soak is in prison, but other members say Era six-two Irish-Italian member whom I see wearing khakis and a white shirt after coming from his day job on Wall Street- is the acting don and that Chameleon is only the boss of the Long Island branch. "Chameleon is a crazy cowboy who thinks he controls everything," says Miss Melody "Sure, he represents B.T.S., and he's always there to help us up when there's trouble. But he's only been down with us for two years. He's older than the rest of us."

Melody's roommate Griz, who calls Chameleon "B.T Wannabe Prez," says that the usurper "wants to dominate us. But B.T.S. is like a tight friendship or a family. Everyone is equal."

"Chameleon is dogging my shadow," complains E.S., angry to hear that Chameleon told me he's in charge. "Chameleon is like a brother-but B.T.S. is my crew."

The gang face another problem that's even larger than their leadership struggle: They may have cooked the golden goose. "The rave scene has diminished alarmingly in the last two years because of us," admits Chameleon. "Kids are afraid to come out. That's why we're trying to boost the scene back up again by selling real drugs."

Other B.T.S. members are even trying to go legit. By day, E.S. and Geo sell stocks, cold-calling potential customers from a Wall Street office. They may be switching careers just in time: The DEA is currently widening its investigation into New York nightlife, and agents have already picked up Chameleon for questioning. But he says he isn't scared. "What happened to Lord Michael is not going to happen to me, because I'm mobile while he was in one club controlling dealers who kick back to me," he says. "Every night of the week I'm in a different place. That's the trick-to stay mobile and never carry large amounts of drugs personally."

Digital Konfusion's DJ Odi, who frequently plays B.TS. parties, says he can't believe it but he's nostalgic for the reign of Lord Michael-who conned and later ratted on both his enemies and his friends. (He became the star witness in the government's unsuccessful attempt to jail the owner of the Limelight, Peter Gatien, on racketeering and conspiracy charges.) At least then, Odi says, blood wasn't all over the dance floor. "Back in the days of the Limelight, dealers didn't step on each other's toes," he remembers. "There was a hierarchy and a structure. With the disintegration of the club scene and the disintegration of the rave scene, there hasn't been anyone with the authority to police the situation.

"That's how a group of wild-ass kids like B.T. S. can take over." "

View attachment 957939
ECST BAN ASY DITS
 

TANK JESUS

getgetgetgetgotgotgotgot
kiwifarms.net
I remember SDK used to be pretty awesome to watch on youtube, they specialized in mosty painting full train cars, and big pieces.
WUFC and SDK did some great shit together, including this wholetrain in Stockholm I think. Wrong SDK, there's Selling Drugs to Kids and Stompdown Killaz. I see
Best graff movie is either Stockholm Subway Stories (the last scene before extras with NER-KC-FY-DIA NG-TD and WUFC-SDK is one of the greatest scenes in itself), Area 08 or Dirty Handz 3.
wufcsdk wholetrain..jpg
 
Last edited:

Oban Kamz

goth cholos
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Larping as a writer never ends well.
View attachment 1231896
According to the comments that's Jase handing out the beating, with the rest of Indecline jumping in.
they just wanted to ruin someones day. i dont think that it had anything to do with the guy tagging an inch from jases piece. these are the same guys that kidnapped homeless people because it made them laugh.
 
  • Feels
Reactions: Recoil

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
they just wanted to ruin someones day. i dont think that it had anything to do with the guy tagging an inch from jases piece. these are the same guys that kidnapped homeless people because it made them laugh.
It's kind of insane when you think about how Indecline has positioned themselves as activists since then, isn't it? Now they protest Trump & go out to hand sandwiches to the homeless.


Amazing how behavior goes in and out of style.
 

CivilianOfTheFandomWars

Wrestling Champion
kiwifarms.net
BB8A0BE7-2ECE-44B0-873C-DD0EEBDC58BB.jpeg
Seriously though, graffiti and street art really feels like one of the last “fringe” art movements and communities left. It’s a very big and widespread thing, but mostly underground due to laws.
Morally, tagging things is wrong. It’s painting over other people’s property. But artisticly, I think it’s beautiful when done well.
 
Tags
None