The Unkut Guide To Hip-Hop’s Most Notorious Projects – Part 2
Tuesday March 03rd 2009,
Filed under: Features,In The Trenches,Not Your Average,Print Work,The Unkut Guide
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The second and final part of Unkut‘s round-up of New York’s most hardbody housing projects. Thanks again to DP for the assist. In case you missed it….Part 1.

NAME: Marcy Projects.

LOCATION: Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn.

ACTUAL FACTS: Marcy Houses has twenty-seven, 6-story buildings with 1,714 apartments. Completed January 19, 1949, the development is home to 4,385 residents.

TOUGH GUY RATING: Medium rare. In December 2007, nine members of ‘G’s Up’, a Marcy-based crime crew were arrested on drug and weapons charges as part of a joint sting between the FBI and the NYPD. It’s claimed that the crew were raking in around $5,000 a week in cocaine sales, and are suspected to have been involved in a double homicide in the area.

RAP ALUMNI RATING: Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Sauce Money and The Jaz (aka Jaz-O).

LYRIC QUOTE: “You crazy, think your little bit of rhymes can play me? I’m from Marcy, I’m varsity, chump, you’re JV” Jay-Z [Jay-Z feat. Notorious B.I.G. – ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’]

NAME: Queensbridge Houses

LOCATION: 12th Street, Queens.

ACTUAL FACTS: Queensbridge Houses is the largest housing development in New York City. Completed March 15, 1940, Queensbridge North Houses has thirteen, 6-story buildings with 1,540 apartments which are home to 3,457 residents. Queensbridge South Houses has thirteen, 6-story buildings with 1,602 apartments that house 3,530 residents.

TOUGH GUY RATING: Medium. Last major drug bust was in 2005, when around 40 members of ‘The Dream Team’ were arrested following an eleven-month undercover operation. Known to operate around ‘The Hill’ (where a strip of stores and a community youth center are located), ‘Super Ed’ and his crew were known to bring in as much as $10,000 a week during their three-year reign. Super Ed also had close ties with Lake and Cormega, having been credited as co-Executive Producer of the Lake Entertainment Presents: The 41st Side album.

SMART DUMB CATS: An unlicensed drunken motorist was busted after police caught him snoozing in his car at an Elmhurst intersection in August 2008. The 50 year-old man was asleep behind the wheel at a green light around 2 a.m. Friday. According to The New York Post: “An officer knocked on the driver’s side window, waking him up.” He then “stumbled out of his car, which rolled forward and almost plowed into the cops’ vehicle. He was charged with DWI and operating a vehicle without a license.”

RAP ALUMNI RATING: 5/5. Marley Marl, MC Shan, Tragedy, Mobb Deep, Nas, Cormega, Screwball, Capone, Killah Sha, Craig G and many, many more.

LYRIC QUOTE: “I got you stuck off the realness, we be the infamous/you heard of us, official Queensbridge murderers” Prodigy [Mobb Deep – ‘Shook Ones Pt. 2’]

NAME: Red Hook Houses

LOCATION: (East) Clinton Street, Brooklyn (West) Dwight Street, Brooklyn.

ACTUAL FACTS: Red Hook Houses is the largest housing project in Brooklyn. It consists of Red Hook East and Red Hook West. Red Hook East has sixteen buildings, 2 and 6-stories tall with 1,407 apartments. Completed November 20, 1939, it is home to 3,053 residents. Red Hook West has fourteen buildings, 3 and 14-stories tall with 1,470 apartments. Completed May 27, 1955 and houses 3,356 residents.

TOUGH GUY RATING: Low. With a giant new IKEA store and plans for the next season of MTV’s ‘The Real World Brooklyn’ to be filmed in Red Hook, it’s fair to say that the surrounding area is continuing to become more and more gentrified. Red Hook Houses still experiences it’s fair share of gunplay, however.

NAME CHECK: The group T.H.U.G. Angelz (consisting of Hell Razah and Shabazz) recently released an album dedicated to the area, titled Welcome To Red Hook Houses.

RAP ALUMNI RATING: 2/5. Hell Razah and Shabazz The Disciple.

LYRIC QUOTE: “Or fatal robberies in Red Hook where feds look/For fugitives to shoot cops, niggaz layin on roof tops/ for his CREAM he stashed in a shoebox” GZA – ‘Cold World’

NAME: Walt Whitman Houses/Raymond Ingersoll Houses

LOCATION: Cumberland Walk, Brooklyn

ACTUAL FACTS: Completed February 24, 1944, Walt Whitman Houses has fifteen buildings, 6 and 13-stories tall with 1,652 apartments that are home to 2,485 residents. Ingersoll Houses has twenty buildings, 6 and 11-stories tall with 1,823 apartments that are home to 2,640 residents. Usually referenced with the rest of Fort Greene since ‘Walt Whitman’ doesn’t rhyme with much.

TOUGH GUY RATING: Not what it once was. The Ingersoll Houses were the home of the original legendary NYC gunman Kelvin ’50 Cent’ Martin. In October, 2006 an off-duty cop shot and killed a 17 year-old Walt Whitman resident after “he encountered an individual on his knees, begging for his life as an assailant stood over him, firing a .40-caliber pistol.” When he identified himself as a policeman, the gunman allegedly turned and opened fire on the officer, hitting him in the buttocks and ankle, before he was able to return eleven rounds with his Smith & Wesson automatic. The gunshot victim – who was from rival Ingersoll Houses across the street – and the policeman both survived their injuries.

SMART DUMB CATS: A group of at least six men attacked and robbed a bicycle-riding pizza delivery guy in January, 2006, in full view of diners at nearby restaurants. After a chase involving at least seven police cars, the group was apprehended at a temporary parking lot back at the Whitman Houses. The only stolen property, according to the police report, was delicious pizza pie.

RAP ALUMNI RATING: 4/5. Just-Ice and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. ‘Nuff said.

LYRIC QUOTE: “Albee Square you couldn’t shop too much cause/Fort Greene would hem ya wreck the fuck on up” O.C. [Crooklyn Dodgers – ‘Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers’]

NAME: Edgemere (aka Ocean Bay Apartments-Bayside)

LOCATION: Almeda Avenue, Queens.

ACTUAL FACTS: Ocean Bay Apartments (Bayside) consists of twenty-four buildings, 7 and 9-stories tall with 1,378 apartments. Completed September 25, 1961, they are home to 3,664 residents.

TOUGH GUY RATING: High. A huge police sting in 2007 saw 34 suspected Bloods arrested on charges ranging from narcotics and weapons possession to robbery, attempted murder and murder. Police seized cocaine, heroin, marijuana, revolvers, rifles and shotguns, and it’s claimed that the organization grossed more than $15,000 per week. Among those charged were Robert “Dead Eye” Baley, the alleged Bloods leader at the Edgemere Houses and an aspiring rapper who calls himself the “Crown King of FR” and “The Boss of Far Rock” in his lyrics. His lieutenant is also a member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit.

RIVALRIES: Locals have long-running feuds with nearby projects, the Beach 41st Street Houses. Apparently the feud goes back for decades, coming to a head in 2003 when a huge brawl erupted at a Times Square club between the residents of both projects, leaving eight people shot and two stabbed.

RAP ALUMNI RATING: 2/5. AK Skills. Neighbouring Far Rockway gave us Rammellzee, MC Serch and…Father MC?

LYRIC QUOTE: “I’m from a place if ya front – brothers will blast if ya diss ’em/Edgemere PJ’s – ya probebly seen us on the system’ – AK Skills ‘Nights of Fear’

NAME: Frederick Douglass

LOCATION: Columbus Avenue, Manhattan (Fredrick Douglass Addition is on Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan).

ACTUAL FACTS: Completed September 25, 1958, Frederick Douglass I Houses has eleven buildings with 1,303 apartments and is home to 2,753 residents. Frederick Douglass II Houses has six buildings with 753 apartments which house 1,653 residents. Frederick Douglass Addition was built in June 30, 1965, and provides home to another 347 residents.

TOUGH GUY RATING: High. 2005 saw the arrest of the eighteen members of a Douglass Houses’ drug crew, who had been under investigation since a 2003 murder in one of the buildings. Their main enforcer, known as ‘EZ’, was charged with both first degree murder of a rival in 2001 and the attempted murder of another on Christmas Day 2003, which left the victim permanently paralyzed as a result of bullet wounds.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT: With the development of Columbus Village across the way, residents fear that it’s only a matter of time before the Douglass Houses are demolished to make way for “big chain stores and banks.”

RAP ALUMNI RATING: 0/5. Clearly too dangerous to for anyone to bother with making music.

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63 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Good Stuff!…

Comment by RowanB 03.03.09 @

w/o 40 projects or Baisley? this list is a fail

Comment by Sam 03.03.09 @

no 40,no baisley?what about castle hill?albany p’s?

this was a great article but it mos def needs a part 3.

Comment by ty from linden blvd 03.03.09 @

What’s the rating on Marcy?

Comment by TC 03.03.09 @

Nice piece…wasn’t this in HHC a few months back?
Anyways nice to see your consistent attention to detail Robbie… even fixed that Pistol Pete reference HHC ballsed up.

Comment by Gabriel 03.03.09 @

Even ya bylines were better mate.

Comment by Gabriel 03.03.09 @

Yeah, where is 40 and (especially) Baisley? Plus, I heard Bronxdale (Drag-On’s home) used to catch wreck.

Anyway, I thought Just-Ice was from the BX.

Comment by P-Matik 03.03.09 @

and Marcus Garvey Village, where the Lo-Lifes originated.

Comment by P-Matik 03.03.09 @

what about lefrak and smith houses in the LES?

Comment by Smith 03.03.09 @

the whitman profile was spot on! …

Comment by Yooj‽ 03.03.09 @

U definitely lost if U didn’t put Baisley Projects and 40P (South Jamaica Houses). 40P just had a double homicide and Baisley is the reason 50 Cent got shot, Mazaradi Fox did 8 years and why Ja and Irv have that tough guy image. Any rapper from Queens shouted Baisely and 40P in they rhymes. In some way all Queens rappers connect back 2 these projects. Peeps from every boro know bout them pj’s….yall slipping hard…Baisley is hip hop, They had the park jams, Basketball games where all the stars would come out…Do ya history b4 u try 2 put the ish that rappers represent, Yall niggas never heard of Marcy until Jigga started rapping….There is way harder projects in Brooklyn than Marcy

Comment by BrooklynzFinezt 03.03.09 @

Once again Robbie – you’re that dood.

Comment by Memetic 03.03.09 @

Niggas shitted on Soundview Houses in the BX, they get it in

Comment by BrooklynzFinezt 03.03.09 @

I read this shit through and through.

I think this deserves a series. West Coast edition and all that. L.A. projects and Las Vegas hoods.

Comment by Scotty Rock 03.03.09 @

yea And Lefrak City?

Comment by FRAZE 03.03.09 @

def gotta do new orleans. i love articles like these

Comment by phenomphenom 03.03.09 @

dope couple of posts, but no Lafayette Gardens? Part 3 please.

Comment by bkbs 03.03.09 @

Didn’t Queensbridge just have a massive bust?

Comment by eric 03.03.09 @

Lefrak isn’t projects, they are a co-op complex

Comment by BrooklynzFinezt 03.03.09 @

C.I. whadup…..

Comment by MacKT0wn 03.03.09 @

This joint holds up still. Fuck these herb ass keyboard fags talking about Baisley Pond Park and 40.

Did y’all niggas see that sonn had Pink Houses and Walt fuckin’ Whitman a/k/a Fort Greene? Y’all niggas never even been off your lawn.

And LeFrak City is a Mitchell-Lama subsidized development and no where near as hardbody as a NYC housing project.

Really real poor people live in the housing projects, the new poor lives in LeFrak. It wasn’t until recently that the people living in LeFrak became the underclass.

That shit originally had people thinking that colored people had class and distinction. Now all niggas want to be considered underclass so the owners of LeFrak stopped maintaining the buildings.

Comment by dp 03.03.09 @

Brooklynz Finest is right. I’m born and raised in East New York< Brooklyn and dudes was NEVER shook of Marcy. The ONLY reason I even knew where they were was b/c a dude in my high school (Transit Tech)was from there. You forgot ‘Bamas, Garvey, Linden, Bronx River, Baisley, 40 etc…and a lot of other hoods that get it in!! FYI Lefrak City is not a project. (it doesnt have the official “welcome to…n.y.c.h.a stamp”

Comment by Slap 03.03.09 @

Lol at dude calling people herbs when its clear he never been there…This punk said Baisley Pond Park, yea it exist but its full of bodies dumb ass. It’s evident u never been to Baisley Projects saying some dumb ish like this. For the same matter, ts clear u never been to Queens saying this herbatry. I get around and know people from all boro’s and areas in NYC.

Comment by BrooklynzFinezt 03.03.09 @

stop the borough beef please….we all got projects in our hoods…ours was Prince St.

poverty is not cool.

I love all yall

Comment by Mercilesz 03.03.09 @

very good article…u cant forget Albany PJs…home of Half-a-mil, DJ Scratch… The Original 50 Cent’s hideout. long time fued with Kingsborough projects. “Don’t confuse me with Marbury out this bitch, run up on me at the light, you could lose your life”. Maino-O childhood friend named MINUTE is infamous for his robbery of Stephon Marbury. Albany PJs- home of “Minute”

Comment by Raisean 03.03.09 @

Lefrak is not public housing

Comment by keatso 03.04.09 @

Bronx River should certainly get a mention for its history.

Comment by keatso 03.04.09 @

yea bronx river for sure . what about Edenwald pjs??

Comment by dolo 03.04.09 @

dont sleep on marlboro pj’s neitha..

Comment by dj blendz 03.04.09 @

Baisley would need a whole article just to itself.

Comment by Robbie 03.04.09 @

Isn’t the lyric supposed to read “Albee Square, you couldn’t shop too much…”?

Comment by Thun 03.04.09 @

In a top 10 NYC housing projects comparison for crime and overall hardbody status 40 projects and Baisley do not make the cut.

It’s like putting Tupac in the top 10 rapper list because he makes people all emo and shit. 40 projects and Baisley makes people emo because they stan off some shit Fisty Scent said.

Queensbridge projects >>>>> Baisley and 40 for rap music alumni
Edgemere projects >>>>> overall hardbody status. Word to Stack Bundles

Comment by dp 03.04.09 @

no redfurn? RIP Stack.

Comment by trizzle 03.04.09 @

I am trying to find a good reason to argue “Rochedale Houses should be on the list” but that’s just because I got my ass beat there when I was 13. FAIL.

Comment by ebogjonson 03.04.09 @

Baisley and 40; their reputation wasn’t earned on no rap record, it was earned in the streets. These are the most infamous projects in all of Queens.

And still, the Bailsy Park jams were the seeds of Queens Hip Hop.

While we’re on that note, Robbie, you should consider doing a piece on Grandmaster Vic.

Comment by Ausar 03.04.09 @

Nice Post. Get at us if you want to do the coffee table book version.

Comment by Tahero 03.04.09 @

40 baisley suphtin merrick queens wack step back i dont wanna hear it im from __________

ha ha couldn’t help myself
i love organized konfusion

Comment by Mercilesz 03.04.09 @

Don’t let these keyboard fags have you shook homey. Baisley don’t rank top 10 in NYC and that is why they ain’t on this drop.

Baisley has 5 bldgs with 929 residents
QB has a total of 26 bldgs and 6907 residents
The Rockaways(Edgemere) have 31 bldgs and 4459 residents.

Do you herb ass faggots know how to do the math? more poor people living on top of each other is equal to more wild for the night bullshit.

South Jamaica houses(40 projects) is more brawlick than Baisley and even they didn’t make the cut either.

Too many people get there impressions from rap music and not the real world. I’m not talking about MTV either you fruit cups.

Comment by DP 03.04.09 @

Rochdale is not a project, Its a co-op….@ Robbie, the title and the main subject matter alone is misleading. “Hip-Hop’s Most Notorious Projects”, when u saying notorious, notorious as in what? Music? or crime? If u meant music then ya list is credible, but if u meant notorious as being gangsta then ya list is way off….Even still I don’t think the Pink Houses deserve a shot on there from their music just off of Uncle Murder, U would of been better off putting Brevoort Projects where Fabolous is from or Redfern Projects where Stack Bundles is from.

Comment by BrooklynzFinezt 03.04.09 @

I think Ego Trip Magazine once referred to Lefrak as the “Judd Hirsch Projects” b/c they are in Rego Park, QNS (and NOT pjs)

Comment by keatso 03.04.09 @

Wow most of yall never been to these places. So this is Hip Hop now. A bunch of comfortable elitist dudes living vicariously through other’s misery. Oh maybe that’s what it’s always been. For someone to say the tough guy level is medium or low when they wouldnt last two minutes there is laughable. I been to most if not all of these and never would think all the bullshit people go through in there would be for some herbs to rate in terms of hardbody. Fuck outta here

Comment by alumni 03.04.09 @

Dope Article but i think LG Lafayette GARDENS should of been mentioned..and 40 PJ’s as well coming from Queens…as a youngbuck dat shit had stupid crime but than York College was built and shit simmered night that hood is lonely and still don’t want to be caught up in there..

Comment by L Gato 03.05.09 @

@ DP

quotable of the year: I’m not talking about MTV either you fruit cups.

now everytime i diss someone i will be visualizing mushy pears, and marachino cherries in a small plastic cup

Comment by gstatty 03.05.09 @

IIGHT!! niggas got edgemere up here…what about redfern? shout to all my mott ave niggas..seagirt niggas…

Comment by QUNYC 03.10.09 @

Well to Rep Baisley and forty, If you consider Preme team Corly and Kilo, Pappy, and a host of others who I personanly know were about their paper, It’s very obvious that you are either a young kat, or an internet record nerd. Those names speak for themselves. And I’m repping the original Baisley early 80’s baisley. Black Jus baby wise green eyed Born Baisley. Before there was a fifty cents!

Comment by Tone 06.28.09 @




“all ’em ova hawdis nigkas, dey cum frum Yawnkaz”

Comment by Ty-Nikka 07.15.09 @

^^could tell this nigga a herb

Comment by tek-nik 07.15.09 @

Just One Correction For Now – This Article States:

“ACTUAL FACTS: Queensbridge Houses is the largest housing development in New York City. Completed March 15, 1940, Queensbridge North Houses has thirteen, 6-story buildings with 1,540 apartments which are home to 3,457 residents. Queensbridge South Houses has thirteen, 6-story buildings with 1,602 apartments that house 3,530 residents.”

When In Reality QUEENSBRIDGE Has 96 Buildings Total Spread Out Between 6 Blocks (12th Street / 10th Street / Vernon Blvd)

Comment by JAE SUPREME (40th Side 12th St) 09.04.09 @

Baisley and 40 dont deserve at all to be here, plus qns and statend island has the fewest crimes in nyc south wns looks like it belongs to longisland wit all those small wood houses..In the other hand brooklyn and the bronx holds the capital for crimes in nyc, brooklyn has the biggest population in nyc and it also has the biggest african american neighbor hoods in the whole country and portoricans.

Comment by Nycbedstuy 11.20.09 @

what abt Uptown…Webster,Bronx River, Forest,Soundview….Zulu,Ooh Ooh Crew,The Nine…Edenwald,Valley…get it right!!!

Comment by rayboogie 11.24.09 @

hold up a sec. Why all I see is Queens and Bk, and lil Harlem. I am from the Bronx. Born in Gun Hill PJS (THORO), raised in Castle Hill (Thoro), chilled in Soundview(thoro). Soundview is where the SMM is big. Also cant forget my peeps in MOTT HAVEN. Bronx River and Edenwald. Webster ave.

Comment by JR 11.28.09 @

wtf. where are all the bronx pj’s. the bronx has always been and still is the most dangerous boro.

in the 80s when it was created. bronx is burning etc. south bronx was a dead ass warzone.

and now the pj’s in the bronx that deserve a mention:

Comment by aa 12.31.09 @

humm what about ocean village in far rockaway queens

Comment by redd 03.26.10 @

dont forget marcus garvey and tilden pjs we get it in

Comment by big fonzo 06.23.10 @

What happened to VanDyke..Sumner..Pink Houses..LG..Soundview..Edenwald..Tilden..Roosevelt (bk) and yes 40 p’s st..sclobaum..and levister towers..mtvernon..niggas get it in…can’t forget grant..taft..and wagner..

Comment by cole 07.20.10 @

well done! this calls for a european follow up. Maybe starting with stockholm

Comment by Hannes Jordan 08.02.10 @

Many projects in NYC will be torn down ,as were the projects in CHICAGO to make way for gentrification ,which means upper class people that do not want to be near a housing project,some of the areas on the list that the city wants to do away with projects ,include ,upper west side of manhattan ,Williamsburg Brooklyn & Far Rockaway including Arverne in Queens.

Comment by Ronnie G 09.19.10 @

Pink Houses is the worst housing project in all of NYC:

Comment by DJ Spanksta 10.10.10 @

no redfern or hammel in far rock?

Comment by kahlil 10.19.11 @

What about lefrak? ur forgettin major projects in nyc.

Comment by Cyndicate 04.05.12 @

You left out my hood…. 40 pj’s!!!!! smfh

Comment by JeffVenom 02.17.13 @

How they ain’t even got 40 projects or Baisley. 40 projects ain’t get known for one rapper from 40 projects I’m from two blocks away.Baisley Supreme Team nuff said

Comment by Jared 03.27.13 @

You forgot about Linden Homes in that East New York, and that Brevort project in Bed-Study.

Comment by Kenneth Williams 11.08.14 @

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