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ďLet The History Be No Mystery" -    STAFF-161-



We had allot of female writers writing for the Dukes, from Brooklyn to the Bronx and Manhattan. One of the rules in being a duke was occasionally give a complimentary tag to a brother or sister duke. With the addition of VAMM, DEATH, CRACHEE they included few white girls in the group one being KIVU 1


who I think was BLADE's girl friend. The white folks kind of  came in bunches all of sudden. I cant recall the name of KIVU's home girl who was some what heavy set and I think she use to date SIR / DICE 198? She use to be doing her thing on the IRT's, but I cant remember her tag, must be getting old. Most of the white folks that wrote for the Dukes stay uptown and bombed the lay up's in there hoods. They had there own little writers corner at 180th street station where the 2 and 5 trains separated which was right next to the train yard. There were white writers putting up The Ebony Dukes in Brooklyn and Queens which I can not recall there names at this time. There were guys like Tracy 168 that were from the hood so nobody really made any distinction on his color, he was just down! But he had his own crew, It's funny... I thought Tracy168 was a Latin dude for years. In the early 70's if you were getting up I must've come in contact with you either in your hood at a Lay up or bombing  the interiors of the cars or at one of the writers corners. Specifically who, when, and where, I have to say I'm not sure. The Broadway line is absolutely the same thing most of the cats from that line who were doing their thing would eventually find themselves at one of the writers corners. I always looked at Stay High 149 as a Broadway based writer of sorts as well as SNAKE 131,  SNAKE 1 and  MOSES 147.  who were doing their thing

 would eventually find themselves at one of the writers corners.  I believe the first time I met FUTURA 2000 was on 126th street and Broadway, I was tagging the streets and bumped in to him. Very artistic type dude. But most of the Broadway guys I met at one time or another.




I can remember some of the bombings we use to make on the lay-ups. Most of the time I was alone or just A. J. and myself, sometimes two or three other writers would be on the mission with me. The Woodlawn line (#4) was the second point of our attack, for the original Dukes the IRT (#s 2 & 5) was the first point of attack and the IND (C & D) was our third. But the Dukes dominated wherever we went as a rule! The number 6 train was ours as well, the Hunts Point Station on that line was where we use to meet up with each other and getting into the Six-yard was a problem so we concentrated on lay-ups at stations. We used to have these cooperative missions where both the EX Vandals and Ebony Dukes would bomb a lay-up one such mission was at the Moshula Parkway Station on the number 4 Woodlawn. There must have been at least 25 of us: Phase II, Kool Kevin 1, Love 229, Riff 170, A. J. 161, Super Slick 156, BST 90, Lava 1 & 2, Ray-B 954, Rip 1 a/k/a Lionel 168, H.S. 575, King Kool, a few lady writers S.Pat 169, Charmin 65, the whoís who of the Graffiti community. The motor men would start to park the lay-up trains in the middle express track just  
after rush hour. I think some of us came to the station on the uptown train from 149 street, Grand Concourse, and some came from down stairs off the street, anyway there was a perfectly clean lay-up train sparkling in the middle track. Every body that had paint shared it with those who didnít. I wish I couldíve taken a before and after picture of that train. From one end of the platform to the other we turned the uptown side of that lay-up into a psychedelic work of art in record time.  

I don't want to forget to mention that one of T.E.D-inc- attributes; Musicianship! Just like the Ghetto Brothers, many of the THE EBONY DUKES are musically inclined and after our Graffiti hey days some of us got with bands and other situations associated with the arts. Topaz and his older brother Erni were well known in the hood for their Boxing and Martial arts skills, but Erni was also a very good musician. I'm a guitarist and performed in various bands with Erni who played the bass. We performed covers of the popular recording artist of the period; Jimi Hedrix, Santana, Motown, Street jams were common place back then as well. Topaz was very respected by his peers in the South Bronx ghetto for his ability to speck out and express his insight on issues that affected the youth in our hood.



Due to my South Bronx environment I got into the habit of carrying guns, from zip guns to Saturday night specials to semi automatics, I packed them. I found myself seeking out THE EBONY DUKE members who had firearm connection Lava 1 & 2 a/k/a Straight Man and his brother Kool Breeze  who were also Black spades from East Harlem would have sawed off shot guns. Super Slick 156 and his brothers SKIP 1, Justice 1 and Love Factory  use to keep .380 and .25 automatics. RIP1  had access to magnums and nines.  What eventually happened is that my rap sheet went from minor turnstile and criminal mischief counts to serious weapon charges. I have had some arrests for charges that required a ballistics reports for gats like a Smith & Wesson .38 special, and a .9 mm Hi-Point auto. A. J. by 1975 was already sending me letters from the state prisons at Clinton Danemora, Sing-Sing, Atica, Auburn, Comstock, and Green haven just about every one of the old max joints. So far I was getting by, some how I was escaping the penitentiary.



I first got behind the wall as a juvenile at Spotford youth center in the Bronx Hunts Point Section, it had a big white wall around it, but I only was there a few days until I went to family court and was released to my mother. I avoided jail for years after until I started catching small sentences in the Bronx house, the Tombs in Manhattan and finally a ďbulletĒ (one year) on Rikers. For the most part I was avoiding state time on legal technicalities, Iíll et the gun count and theyíll have to drop the armed robbery or theyíll charge me with the stolen get away vehicle, but none of the store employees couldnít identify me as the masked individual who had them open the safe at gun point, from lack of evidence the more serious counts got dropped. Thereís one thing Iíve learned, if youíre going to be on the wrong side of the law you better know it, the law that is! Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Donít expect justice or fair play either, the best  you can do is catch them breaking their own laws,




lying or fabricating evidence if you canít buy your way out, but you can count on them cheating you just got to catch them. Some of the most unjust sanctimonious  hypocrites are holding down judgeships and District Attorney Positions on top of that we got one of the most corrupt oppressive police departments in the country. Thatís proven beyond a shadow of a doubt from the Knapp commission, to the Dirty Thirty, to Abner Iouima, to Amadou Diallo. The thing is those that are committing these atrocious acts are only mimicking their bosses in the higher positions of government. It boggles me to see how people continue to put their trust in these politicians that exploit them time and time again. I didnít see the state penitentiary until my late twenties, but once I did the court system appeared to be making up for lost time. I eventually did a small bid, a medium bid, and I found myself standing in a court room hearing my worst nightmare: ďIím sentencing you to a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of life.Ē If I didnít step my legal game up, and I wasnít blessed with an ability to read and write: Affidavits, Briefs, and write well, I might have been done off.



FUZZ ONE & HIS BOOK:  I do remember FUZZ ONE, but keep in mind that what heís giving is an account of things that occurred well over 3+ decades ago, so my memory may be a little dim on the details that he gave. You have  to understand there were a bunch of little kids that use to follow us around. But FUZZ  was basically how he described himself, a little white kid that would  latch on to you and follow you around until you recognized him. I would dispute his account of The Ebony Dukes requiring a beat down initiation for membership and we didnít require a regular due or fee, we would accept a small donation to cover the cost of the membership card. But over all his information is quite accurate. The fact is FUZZ  stayed on the scene long after most of the old school retired or became inactive; heís like a link between the old school and the wild style generation because thereís definitely a generation gap. Most of the kids that come after us donít know who we are, only




certain dudes who are up on their history, perfect example; SCOTCH 1 a wild style generation writer was doing time with me at Green haven but didnít know who I was until somebody told him I was STAFF 161 and I founded THE EBONY DUKES, he was floored! The thing is he knew of me and other old school originators, but then again he didnít know about some others even through he was close to our age group. The thing is if you was not active between 1970 to about 1974 you missed a lot, basically the birth and foundation of subway Graffiti, but FUZZ ONE definitely has great insight because heís a bridge between the two major generations, most of the wild style writers I donít know and I canít tell you what was happening on the Graffiti scene after 1975, but FUZZ ONE could give a good account of the Graffiti movement, he definitely was there. I remember there being another Fuzz  in Brooklyn besides the one in the Bronx, I just can't say that I remember him specifically. But I certainly knew SPIN, STOP 700, BOP  and KRANE 150  from Brooklyn. Now because I don't remember him does not mean that he wasn't the man back then.



Thatís why it irks me to hear the Hip-hop generation glorifying the prison experience with gangster rap and promoting thug-ism, theyíre deceiving the people; itís just not how they portray it. Both A. J.161 and myself gave back the life on our sentences, now weíve got to use our knowledge and experience to keep our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews from getting life sentences.








We would like to thank TOPAZ 1 for making this bio possible, Photo credits go to LAVA, TOPAZ 1, STAFF 161, BLADE, FUZZ ONE and the team at  Looks for Bio's of other EBONY DUKES members, AJ 161 and DYNAMITE 161 in the near future.

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