By Troy L. Smith
I been there from day one.
The only Kool Herc parties I didn’t go to was the first one
he gave at a house, that mostly graffiti artists came to because they
thought he was one because the way he wrote his name on the flyer.
The other one was at the Hevalo, I was too young to get, in but
I stayed out front and listened to the beats.
The first one I heard on the Mike was Herc, Coke LA Rock and
And then I was
at every Herc party from then on (Abalon, Twlight Zone, Executive
Playhouse, Pal, etc. etc.). Who
inspired me was the Three M.Cs that will rock you to your knees, Mele
Mel, Kid-Creole and Keith Keith (Cowboy R.I.P.).
Cause I remember seeing them b-boying at Herc’s joints so
when they turned M.Cs I had to do that because unfortunately I was
born wit the gift of gab. I
can honestly say that I was one of the first Ten M.Cs that
rhymed not just shout people out in the World!!!! (And I can
prove it too.)
The very first time you started Mcing where was your home base?
Did it start from beating on cars, school desks, house parties,
and block parties?
I used to come home from all them parties and the next day me
and my man Butch Kid would beat on the car and I would piece together
rhymes. My first rhyme
was “Jerry Dee Jointski over cups of coffee cause I don’t drink
tea.” Then I had a dip
dip dive socialize rhyme, everybody had one of those.
When I had ten rhymes I’d go to the Black Door and stand by
the speaker and try them out. If
Flash would have let me get on the Mic right then and there I probably
would have been down wit them. My
homebase was on the Westside (Burnside and University) three blocks
from Cedar Park up the block from the Hevalo and the other direction
is the famous JHS 82 schoolyard.
Keith Ceasar from Funky Four lived down the block but I
didn’t know that till later. 82
school yard and Cedar Park is where I got my rep from that and the
karate school on Burnside and Davidson, where Cisco and Buko DJed at
was where me and my little band of gypsy MCs stalked.
How old were you when you first met Caz?
I think I was 16 or 17, I’m not sure, even though I had seen
and heard Caz, watched him come up from day one.
The day I met Caz was one of the best days of my entire life!
I can remember it like yesterday.
I was on the mike at a jam, Butch Kid was standing next to me
keeping them wack emcees at bay and I’m killing the mic.
I mean throwing haymakers and Butch Kid whispered in my ear
“yo, Casanova Fly just came in they coming by the ropes” I looked
and Caz, DJ Mighty Mike and about five girls wearing sweatshirts
saying DJ MC Grand Master Casanova Fly and Whipper Whip was wit them.
So they was checkin me out so I kept on rockin for about four
more records then Mighty Mike came behind the ropes and said
“Casanova Fly want to talk to you” so we walked to the back of the
jam and Caz said “yo, you was rocking them” and I said “yeah, I
try” and Mike said “we playing at the Audubon on October 6th
wanna rock wit us?” and I said “yeah, on one condition, let me
start off first” see I said that because I had this new crowd
participation rhyme and the Audubon would have been perfect to try it
out on. So Mike was like
“come to Caz house tomorrow and if you can beat Whip out you got
it.” I went to Caz
house the next day, Whip and Dota Rock was there with their rhyme
books and shit I brought Butch Kid for back up just in case and Caz
put on “Groove To Get Down” and man I took off like crazy.
I must of rhymed for about 10 or 12 records.
I mean rocking ‘em, making shit up wit Caz name in it on the
spot, not missing a beat. Caz
cut the music off and I started at the Audubon.
However, that night our system couldn’t start, so we got on
the L Brothers system and did our thang!
From then on me and Caz was joined at the hip.
Was the T-Connection the most popular club and why was the
Ecstasy the 2nd most popular?
Yes and no. The
T-Connection was popular and better to rock at because it was a real
live club with a real stage, dressing rooms, balcony, a DJ booth that
looks down to the stage, a upstairs lounge and a kitchen.
And to top it off the owner Richard T. (R.I.P.) was not only a
owner but a hip-hop legend himself.
He also owned a small night club called The Fair Tree and
Rhythm Den Record Shop, where he would sell the tapes of all shows
from the T-Connection the next day.
He used to bring out the equipment in Arthur Park (across the
street from the record store) in the summertime and let all the DJays
get on and we would be rocking to about 2 or 3 in the morning.
Yeah, Richard T had love for the music, love for us and
he kept the shit mad fair! The
Ecstasy Garage wasn’t that glamorous but was big, sold quarts of Old
English at the bar, had more up and coming DJs that played there and
the cat who owned it was also promoting shows in the Tri-states, N.J.
Conn. Spring Valley, etc. etc. And
to top it off he produced our first single “Weekend” it was on his
Elite Records label. But
the most popular Hip-Hop spot in the Bronx was the P.A.L.
Everybody that was somebody played and rocked
Did the C.C. 4 ever travel out of N.Y. like out West or down
South during 1980-84?
Hell yeah, our tapes was circulating all over the different
states that were Hip-Hop oriented.
We rocked Conn., N.J., Cali, Massachusetts, Philly, with no
record out. Crushing shit
like crazy. Receiving the
same type of stardom as if we had hit records, but we didn’t.
We had hit routines that people were mesmerized by and
our showmanship was five levels above the rest and equivalent to the
Furious 5. We did shows
wit them out of N.Y. Just us and them and after we got off Mel and
them used to say “Damn ya’ll motherfuckers ripped it” and we’d
be like “we try.” It
got to the point where we couldn’t open up for them no more cause
motherfuckers was opening up for us! And plus being that we practice
every single day of the week, making new dance steps and a new routine
each week, other groups had to step their shit up too!
So if you was a group that had the show and didn’t make up
new shit all the time, you really didn’t want to play with
just us and us alone cause if you headlined we stole that, if you got
on before us you had to rep to the fullest cause if you didn’t you
got dissed and booed like hella!
And if you tried to take a pot shot at the Crush…may God have
mercy on your soul cause we didn’t.
Cause at one time everybody thought that to be on top
you had to knock off the Cold Crushing Motherfuckin Tough-ass Four
Emcees. When in reality
all you had to do was 1) practice every single day,
2) don’t make no commercial routines, 3) brainstorm and pool
all your thoughts together and take big risks, 4) don’t say rhymes
or routines Rock Them!!, 5) your mindset has to be one of a
entertainer, showman, highly trained crowd motivator, a commandeer and
most of all a M.C (Microphone Controller).
That’s what we did to get on top, we was never
self-proclaimed but always critically acclaimed.
What were your thoughts on the Force M.Cs, did ya’ll have
beef before and after this so called battle, cause I asked Caz was it
a battle, he said “no”, when ya’ll were leaving they were just
coming in. When you
listen close, I never hear ya’ll make mention to them, so how was
the relationship afterwards?
The Force M.Cs were real good, they had tight, good, cute
novelty routines (like a nice breath of fresh air).
Their DJ was on point and they had wanted to be the top M.C
crew (secretly), but the crowds gave them love, M.C crews gave them
their props, we did too! However
like I explained to you before that all them groups wanted to
get at us except The Alliance (Treach 3, Fearless 4, Dougie Fresh and
Cold Crush 4). Why?
Because every single M.C contest we got in we won and all them
groups that were in them couldn’t do nothing about it!
And I mean we never dissed no group that didn’t draw
first blood. Always
humble and confident, polite and never no snake shit!
So back then a lot of promoters use to hook up fake battles to
draw the crowd and make a lot of money.
The groups that would have supposedly battled were told in
advance it was rigged, just come do you regular show, get paid, all is
good. We had no beef with
the Force M.Cs at the time, so I don’t know what was on their mind.
We did mad shows wit them, even in Shaolin (their turf) and got
along alright. Anyway we
had three shows that night and wanted to knock out that show first
cause it was in Jersey. So
we got there, got on and bounced.
Did a regular show kept it moving.
We didn’t even get dressed.
So the next day we at Caz’s house practicing and this kid
that was there as a roadie let us listen to the tape and we was like
“oh shit, that’s fucked up” So we called our manager and asked
him when was the next time we was playing with the Force M.Cs and it
just so happen that next week we was playing with them at Printing H.S.
So we rolled up in there strong like the untouchables on some
gangbusters shit. Went
dead up in their dressing room, surrounded them and asked them why
they did that foul shit. They
broke down and gave some lame excuse.
So we took what they was getting paid that night (without guns)
and told them that at the next Harlem World party they are to
apologize to us in front of capacity crowd and let the crowd know what
they did. I don’t know
if it’s a tape of that night but the next emcee contest after that
we stood in front of the stage when the Force got on, wished them luck
and A.D. threw a rabbit’s foot in Mercury’s (R.I.P.) face, and
when we got on last at that particular M.C contest we broke out with
two new dance steps. Two
smoking new routines and before we got off we showed them the money
the contest was paying cause the promoter knew we was gonna win and
paid right before we got on stage.
Then Caz threw $100 in singles in the crowd, which caused
pandemonium, and we left! And
our relationship with them after that was “you fuck wit us again and
we will end your career!”
What tipped off the almost battle between ya’ll and the
Furious 5? And why did it not happen? (Did ya’ll ever see each other
face to face?)
Well with the Furious 5 they were the only M.C group
that we looked up to. They
had set the standard and we set the pace.
I am personal friends with them all, especially Mel.
We have the highest admiration for one another, hung out
together and all! We came
behind them, took what they established and mastered it to perfection.
And they know it! And
they also knew that if anybody can oust them, smash them, straight
crush them it was us!!! However,
it wasn’t about that, at least not to us.
We didn’t need to go through them to be on top.
You see the Furious 5 show was tight and I mean tight like a
motherfucker. But when
they started making records and went around the world, had the Benzes,
the fame and fortune they stopped making them fly ass routines and
dance steps. They was
making records instead. I
couldn’t hate on that shit, I got crazy love and respect for the
Furious and mysterious ever so serious 5 emcees.
The Cold Crush 4 have a little Furious 5 in us, but that street
Furious 5 and we just kept adding, perfecting, escalating and
elevating to new heights with no records, no hits just the raw
hardcore routines, showmanship and M.C crew excellence.
When they came back home we had N.Y., N.J., Conn, LI, SI, PA,
Philly on lock and N.Y. o my God it was Cold Crush mania to the point
that where every box, every car, every O.J (car service) in every
borough was rocking a Cold Crush tape.
The street rap game was ours and we set the standards,
the trends and the motherfucking pace!
They called us out along with everybody else in Skate Palace
one time. It was Treach
3, Fantastic 5, Fearless 4, Cold Crush 4 and Busy Bee.
It was crowded that night and they boasted like hella about how
they’d take us crew by crew or all together.
I told Caz “fuck that shit, let’s end this right now!”
Caz and Tone said chill El, they just trying to get their
“juice back.” What
they didn’t or nobody didn’t know that we had a stash routine with
their name on it. Deep in
my heart we should have brought it to them, cause at that time we was
the sharpest tools in the shed. Later
on that night at Disco Fever in the V.I.P. room Mel came back there
and told me and Caz that they did that to save face ‘cause they been
away so long and if we would of battled them we could of easily have
took them out!
What tipped off the Fantastic Battle and what was the buzz
(feeling) in the Bx days leading up to the battle?
Busy Bee amped that shit up.
We all was in the Ecstasy Garage, us, them and Busy waiting to
get paid after the show, taking flicks and shit.
Busy all high, talking mad shit.
I don’t know maybe Busy knew we kind of had an edge on
Fantastic. Anyway Busy
said to us, yeah, Cold Crush rocked it tonight but I know who ya’ll
can’t fuck with. So we
said who? And he said my man Theodore and his Fantastic 5 emcees.
So shit got mad quiet, couple of spectators going “ohh,
ooh.” So Caz said fuck that can’t nobody fuck wit us.
So we started beefing right then and there, word!
Mean Gene was like “Ya’ll
want me to cut the music back on?” We
was like whatever. So we
bounced, but it was bound to have happened anyway.
So for a couple weeks we would go to their shows, post up in
their spot, be right up front when they get on.
Intimidate them and shit.
They would come to ours and do the same thing.
Then they would come to Caz crib while we was practicing and we
would come outside and be beefing with them.
A promoter, named Ray Chandler, found out about this and
capitalized on it. That
battle changed our lives even though we got robbed that night and got
handkerchiefs thrown in our faces by them.
That battle took us to a level of showmanship that after that
show WE NEVER LOSS NOTHING AGAIN!!!
I mean our professionalism had rocketed.
Every M.C contest they gave we won (about 10 of them).
We got crazy awards for our stage shows, best M.C group and
everything. Fantastic on
the other end went down and made them feel it every time we played
with them, we busted their ass dissing them in rhymes and all.
With each group give a description of your relationship:
Funky 4, Fantastic, Furious 5,
Fearless 4, Treacherous 3, Master Don and The Death Committee.
Well Treach and Fearless are our family (The Alliance).
Funky was cool with us they kind of
stayed cool with everybody.
We was definitly feeling Death Committee cause they reminded us
of us when we was coming up in the ranks, creative, full of energy and
instilling showmanship in their show.
Fantastic before that battle we was real cool with them.
We even did shows together, combined it was the Fan Crush 9 and
plus most of us go way back, way before Hip-Hop came out. you know
pee-wee basketball and shit like that.
Same with the Furious 5.
How long did the Mighty Force last and who were all the
About two years and then Whipper Whip and DotaRock went with
Theodore. The players was
DJ M.C Grandmaster Casanova Fly, DJ Mighty Mike, Force Four, MC Jerry
Dee Lewis, Prince Whipper Whip, Dota Rock & R.C. R.C. left and
then it was Just me, Whip
How long did the Notorious 2 last and who were all the players?
When Whip and Dot went with Theodore we started another group
Was there ever a time when another M.C from another crew was
coming to the Crush?
After Caz, Moe and Mel, who do you think is the next 5 best
M.Cs during ya’lls dynasty, including you?
Tito, DLB, JDL, LA Sunshine, Spoonie Gee (not necessarily in
What do you remember from the battles you and Caz used to go
through with others such as Johnny WA and Rayvon and others?
To tell you the truth it was fun battling duo M.Cs and me and
Caz knew each other so well that we just flowed like water.
The back and forth
rhymes we had, each tie we did them we would freak it, studder on it
and ping pong it real sweet. As
far as the other M.Cs we were battling the only ones we respected was
Ray and WA, the rest of them was target practice, like Jeckyl and
Hyde, Bond and Elmo. Shit,
one time me and Caz took out the Imperial Bros. by our self and that
was a four man M.C crew. WORD!!
Right at your spot, in the Bronx.
How did Tape Master get affiliated with the group?
Do you know what became of him?
Can you recall how many tapes he had?
Was he a Spanish kid?
Tape Master was Spanish and him, A.D. and Toney Tone went to
South Bronx High School. He
was our tape man, he has every single Cold Crush party we ever done.
I don’t know his whereabouts but I’m sure A.D. knows.
Who was the group’s security during parties?
Our security was two of Toney Tone’s brothers, King and K.K.
and we had Money Ray and Henry C.
What do you remember about the gangs and violence before and
after the party?
Well it was the same as everywhere, you know stick-ups in the
bathroom, chasing dudes from other boroughs to the train stations.
Nobody ever got shot or killed at one of our parties.
What were some of the outrageous ways the group was treated by
the fans of C.C. 4? (not just talking about sex)
When we first experienced the “ghetto stardom” we
couldn’t inhale it all at once.
We loved our fans and would be out in the party with them
before and after the show, snap with them, laugh wit ‘em, all that.
We never really looked at them as fans, we looked at them as
people wanting to see the Cold Crush 4 tear shit up and make them feel
good at the same time, and we did just that!!
you JayQuan for allowing me to put it where it’s supposed to be at.
And I want to give a special
out to two godsends, my mans Waverly and Troy Smith.