Filed under: 'Lo End Theory,Announcements,BK All Day,Guest Drops,In The Trenches,Internets,Not Your Average
Written by: Dallas Penn
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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