Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brooklyn Beast: Nineties Sick Degrees

copyright K. Omodele 2012   All rights reserved
Foto:MFR
Foto:MFR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wasn't much smiling in Di Nineties, East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The E. 90's was a zone of gun claps and shrieking sirens, after all, with reggae and dancehall ever thumping in the background. People on the road  called this part of Brooklyn "Vietnam." 

This night was frigid, a rigid Sunday- hard like Reagan trickle-dung policies 'gainst Black People. Four D's only used to opened its doors from Thursday through Saturday night, so this night was dead. And the boys them loved these nights when they could alms-up the sound system equipment all to themselves.
After clearing bottles and washing glasses, Nephew had attacked the floor, sweeping, de-gumming, mopping, waxing and buffing 'til the vinyl did shine like a brand new dub-plate. By then Belizean Gerald did done already restock the Bar with mostly Guinness and Dragon Stout, Red stripe, Banks, Heineken and Corona, and was shouldering unused drink  boxes into the nightclub basement.
Seemed like the minute the wuk dun*, there was a rolling then clanking on the nightclub shutter grill. The two teenagers turned down the club lights, peered out the one-way, window on the door. Nephew then popped the door and touched fists with Bredren as they traipsed in...Culchah, Irie, Roro, Moet, Dex, Jungle, Eh-Em, Blacka Shine and the whole side ah dem...in diamond sox, Travel Fox and Ballys; suede fronts and knit ganzies; Kangol, leather baseball caps, buckas and tams; leather gooses, bombers and shearlings...bouncing straight to the DJ booth. Nephew flicked the power strip and pressed the amps' power buttons and next thing yuh know, the system lights woke up. 
Speakers crackled.
Nephew twirled a plate onto turntable 1.
Sleng Teng
Sleng Teng (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Irie unsheathed his locks from his leather crown and flashed them free.Took hold of a microphone like Selassie holding the Scepter.
The youth them took crowded the booth, one by one flinging lyrics 'pon the mic, riding riddims**: The Answer, Stagalag 13, Sleng Teng, The 54-46 (Boops), The Far East - in rapid-fire ganja and Heineken- slurred Patois, Creolese, Panamanian/Belizean Spanglish. Lyrics bigging up "weh we come from": The Nineties, The Fifties, Mini-mart, Brooklyn, Jamdung, GT, Panama, Belize. Lyrics 'bout Rastafari and Africa, 'bout teenaged love and odes to Ganja.
And lyrics 'bout the Dutty Boyz, the Beast, Babylon.

Outside, the wind howled. Feather-weight paper debris tumbled down shell-shocked streets into vestibule pockets where they twirled like twisters. Sirens blared up Rockaway Parkway. Minutes later more screaming sirens are chased by a next set a cop cars down Remsen Ave. Was only ten p.m. and yet Rutland Rd. was stripped bare of people like the climax of Gun Down in the Middle of Gun Town. A night-blue DT*** car crept off ah Rockaway, stalked down Rutland Road, crossed  E. Ninety-sixth, peering, lurking...

Two, three hours soon shot pass.
Nephew re-sleeved the records and shelved them.
Gerald emptied ashtrays and got rid of empty bottles.
"Starlight ah guh swing tonight." Culchah said, yanking the belt tight on his three-quarter length goose down.
"Schuups. If ah see my baby mother in deh one more time, I gon box she dung," Dex said, matter of factually. "Every single week, Man? Is wah do she so?"
Each and every one ah the boys cocked their ears. 
Rinsing the ashtrays in the sink, Gerald responded. "Box dung who, Loco?"
Nephew grinned. "Big, mampy**** Lorna? You mussy mad."
The whole side ah them nearly drop dead with laugh.
As they gathered at the door, Blacka Shine added. "My money deh pon Mampy-Pampy Lorna. First round knock out."
More laughs exploded.
Nephew checked around. The club was in order as it should be. No traces of the boys and the session. Satisfied, he locked off the lights.
The massive***** herded through the door into the shelled-down night.

The pulling down of the iron-gate shutters rumbled. The sound barreled all the way up Rutland Rd. to the Number 3 subway station and straight down to Rutland Plaza. The boys loaded six steel pins into the cylinders and clicked six locks through the pin eye holes.
Tested the gates with two tugs.
The whole crew turned, heading down towards Remsen Ave., shoulders up, chins tucked into chests to protect them from the cold.
Irie hauled up to a dumpster to hold a piss.
Suddenly, two night-colored DT cars roared, hurling horse power down the street. Tires screeched. The cars skidded and jerked into a stop right in front the teens.
Out pounced four undercover DTs, guns drawn and pointing at the teens.
The boyz stopped and braced themselves.
"Get da fuck on the wall!" The DTs pushed the boys toward the building's brick wall.
Two sprinted over to Irie, who by now done pissed on his Clarkes.
"HANDS ON DA WALL."
But Irie still had his thing exposed, so he fidgeting to zip that back in his pants.
The two DT's cocked their guns and rushed him. Each pinning an arm back, they shoved him, banged his head 'gainst the wall.
By this time, the next two officers had the other boys 'gainst the wall.
As the police searched them frantically, Culchah asked."Wah di fuck we do, dutty bwoy?"  chest swelling up.
The cop balled up a fist and cocked back his arm. "SHUT DA FUCK UP! Where da guns at?"
Culchah smirked. "Hmmmph."
As another DT frisked his body under his jacket, Nephew turned his head around. "Yo, we ain't do nuttn. Just done cleaning up my Uncles' nightclub back deh."
The officer nodded his head the nightclub's direction. "That jungle gym back there?" Chuckled. "Yeah, we saw youse come out. You got guns in there? We coming in."
Nephew wrinkled up his face. "Mek sure you dot your I's and cross you T's."
Next to them, Culchah laughed.
"Shut up and face the wall." The detective cocked his service 'matic, hand trembling. He plunked it, shaking, 'gainst the boy's head back. "Face the FUCKING wall, nigger! DON'T MOVE!""
Nephew faced the wall and rolled his eyes toward the sky. "Sir, please, why you don't tek the gun away from my head. Better if you put it on my back." Nephew insisted. "Whoever you think we are, we are NOT them."
The officer removed the gun from the boy's head and squared the nozzle in the middle his back instead. "Just don't move. Don't need no accidents, right?"
Culchah burst out. "Guh suck yuh maddah, dutty bwoy."
The officer jumped over to Culchah. Grabbed the back of boy's coat collar, ground him into the wall.
Culchah lets his body go limp.
The officer smirked and moved back over Nephew.
"Wah now offisah? How many times yuh gon search mi?" Nephew asked.
"Mek dey go bout dey business and 'llow we, nuh man," Dex said.
The officers searched each one of the boys, then collectively, the four DT's stepped back, guns still pointing.
The DT who searched Culchah and Nephew spat on the ground.
"What? No guns?" He turned to one of his colleagues, one who did search Irie. "Rooney, you check the dumpster?"
"Yep."
Unsatisfied, the DT now trolled over to Irie. Nodded and twirled his gun. "Turn around. Take that dread-head hat off, boy!"
Irie's whole body stoned up.
Glared at the officer. Slowly removed his crown. His locks cascaded below his waist.
Still aiming his gun at the boy, the DT continued. "Run your fingers through that shit!"
Irie glowered at the man.
The man bobbed the gun up and down.
Irie roughly flipped and rummaged his locks with fingers, then threw both hands in the air and held them high.
"Wha' more, OFF-I-CER?"
The officer looked around at the boys. Lowered his gun and tucked it in his waist-clip holster.
Grinning he said. "You ladies have a nice night."
Irie followed them with his eyes as the DT's retreated to their cars, jumped in and screeched off.
The boys on the wall looked behind them, then slowly faced the street.
"DUTTY BOYS, YUH."
"Dutty Babylon."
"Fuck di beast."
They continued down Rutland Road.
"Man, fuck Starlite Ballroom. Mi a guh a mih yard."
 "Banna, dat beast is a real antiman."


copyright K. Omodele 2012   All rights reserved


*work was done, finished
**rhythms
***Detective i.e. unmarked/ plainclothes
****big, fat
*****a collective like a crew, group, team or gang

1 comment:

  1. Washington DC Nightlife and nightclub events by eden DC. Enjoy the ultimate guide to bars, happy hours, clubs, lounges & restaurants in Washington, DC.

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