The ‘Lo-End Theory In Real Life

Last year Timeless Truth created a watershed moment for Hip-Hop, for ‘Lo heads and for NYC in general. Their ‘Priceless’ video shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge brought together a few dozen hardbody collectors of the lifestyle and more importantly it was the first time I had ever politicked with Thirstin’ Howl the 3rd on some brotherhood shit. Of course I knew of Thirst since he was in the streets. Everyone knew of each other, Decepticons, Lo-Lifes, A-Team, and there was an uneasy peace that existed to this day.

When I tell you how much blood, sweat and tears was shed by teenagers who were trapped like crabs in a barrel and knew nothing more than taking the things they wanted you might not believe me. It was all true though. It took Giuliani to create a war against Black youth to finally quell the fear that a group of five or more teenagers would put in the hearts of people. Can you imagine what twenty, or fifty kids all wearing colorful ski jackets and Air Jordans might look like?

Thirstin’ Howl deserves most of the credit for preserving the legacy of the Lo-Lifes, just like I try to explain to people that none of these groups of young people were gangs. We were all youth collectives, looking for brotherhood and a place to belong that was solid and strong. The only people that might could relate to growing up in NYC during that era would be kids growing up in midwest city riddled by crystal meth. The first wave if crack made the NYC a lawless landscape after dark.

I salute Thirstin’ for coming from MGV (Marcus Garvey Village) in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Pitkin and East New York are still the wastelands. All the gentrification that has come to Brooklyn hasn’t come to these communities so think about what they were like when no one cared about what happened in NYC. You had to be hardbody to come home from Manhattan with some shit you boosted from Bloomingdales. Like I told you before, in the ‘hood it was the supreme crabs in a barrel mentality.

Only the most thorough cats were allows to shine and the Lo-Lifes bonded for brotherhood. Thirst tells me how riugh it was for him to grow up with a mom who he loved very much but who he couldn’t stop from doing her own shit which was hustling and getting high. When his mom went to prison he became the caregiver to his two younger sisters. He made sure his sisters stayed dip and his brothers made sure his sisters stayed safe. From the outside you will look at all of these brothers and think they are savages but you would be wrong. As long as the love and loyalty remained they were united.

Thirstin’ Howl eventually found his way into the prison industrial complex. As you might imagine it was only a matter of time. Thirstin’ didn’t have a plan for himself until a work release program gave him the second chance to start his life over. With the support of his sisters and his recovering mom Thirstin’ used the opportunity to embrace the Hip-Hop culture with all the intensity that previously made him a menace to society. The work release program provided him an internship at the Music TeleVision network. Shit was on.

The biggest credit I give to Thirstin’ Howl is his singular creative vision for his art. He could have signed a shitty ass deal a decade ago like some of your favorite rappers and had his vision shelved by some label executive who didn’t know shit about his background or his journey in life. He choose to remain independent which means that he was also foregoing the chance to cash in crazily. But it wasn’t just about the benjamins for this dude. It was more about the principles of being true to himself. That is shit that can’t ever be bought. Or stolen.

Thirstin’ Howl the 3rd is a founder of the Lo-Life collective and he will be performing at the ‘Lo-End Theory event in NYC this September. Get your I.T.’s cleaned and pressed for this party and celebrate the victory that is being a survivor of True York City

Thristin Howl III – ‘Together 4 Ever’

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13 Comments so far
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Dope piece. Thanks for the backstory. I’m going to listen to that Thirstin’ album again tonight.

Comment by A'Peks 08.27.10 @

i’m no Lo-Life, but this blog tops off any LL reads i’ve ever come across.. i ALMOST shed a tear!

Comment by miszkriss 08.27.10 @

Respect to Big Vic Lo AKA Thirstin Howl III. Stories of the Lo Lifes & Decepts made it to Boston & when Thirstin was emceeing early on in his career he put on a Boston producer named Steve Boston AKA Smitty (W.A.T.E.R. Productions). First heard his The Source 4 track demos on a Sony MiniDisc player back in ’98. Before “Skillionaire” ever hit Sandbox Automatic. Salute.


Comment by Dart_Adams 08.27.10 @

i just laugh to myself when I watch that live on 40 deuce video. Theres quite a few people I know in real life in that video and they still doin it like back then. Most of these dudes commenting negatively about the Lo culture in hip hop on this site and other sites as well couldn’t even have survived back then. i guess the internet lets anybody talk shit without repercussion.

Comment by mercilesz 08.27.10 @

“I Sill Live With My Moms!”

Comment by PR2 08.27.10 @

i guess the internet lets anybody talk shit without repercussion.

yourself included, faggot

Comment by unkut 08.28.10 @

Big Vic Lo!
I still remember coppin the first Thirstin Howl CD from O.B’s records…before Obese…
never looked back since

Comment by AFFEX 08.30.10 @

that timeless truth shit is gully, i would never peg the rican 12 y.o. lookin thousand pushup a night emcee as an ice pick to the face suspect in a milli, book by the cover type shit

Comment by gstatty 08.31.10 @

Did that Lo-Life Documentary ever get released, ive had a sniff around the internets and can only find a trailer for it. It should be a couple of years old.

Did it get shelved?

Comment by Lumberjack 09.02.10 @


Comment by blitz 09.02.10 @

So what’s the word on this Lo End Theory thing you speak of? Dallas Penn was supposed to bring this to fruit 2 years ago but nothing ever materialized and I was supposed to have a small hand in it all. Please drop some more science on such or shoot me an email on where you got this info from…peace…

Comment by Sir Wiggz Wellington 09.18.12 @

You can delete my last comment yo…

Comment by Sir Wiggz Wellington 09.18.12 @

big vic lo aka thirsty thirstin howl the 3rd is the most underated emcee of all time and one of the most lyrical and skilled emcees that has ever touched the mic. 2 LL’S UP BROTHER LO.

Comment by MATTEO GETZ 09.20.12 @

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