THE VAMP SQUAD

The Vamp Squad started up in Yonkers in late 1979 or 1980, I don’t remember exactly if it was ’79 around October or if it was ’80 around October. But nonetheless it started in Yonkers and I started it. It was me, MIKE DUST, my brother CRAZY 505 and SHOCK 123. MIKE DUST was the one who came up with the word “Vamp”. He came up to us one day while we were smoking and he goes – yo! I just vamped this guy! [laughs] And I looked at him like – yo, vamp? what the hell [does that mean]? So he goes – you know, like a vampire! And he puts his arm over his nose, you know, like Dracula would do with the hood. He goes – yo, I just yoked this dude like that and I vamped him like a vampire! I was like, oh man, that’s funny. And you know, I always had that gang mentality thing in me and one crew that I was really admiring at the time was The Death Squad, TDS, I just liked that name. So I was like – yo dude! let’s start a crew and let’s call it The Vamp Squad [laughs] and lets rob everybody. And it was a joke at first but as it turns out these guys SHOCK and MIKE, they were ill dudes and I was a little ill too. So I started all that craziness and that’s how we started robbing everybody. We were just angry kids, man. We were angry at the world and that’s how The Vamp Squad [came to be].

Now let me tell you, a typical day with us would start whenever the hell we woke up; and I can tell you about one day in particular. One morning we woke up around 6 or 7 in the morning. The day started early in that morning in front of St. James Park. Some guy driving an oil truck came to buy weed and we were also looking for weed at that time. So we were in front of this little park building trying to see where the fuck the drug dealers are, and of course they’re not there. So this guy comes up to us and says – yo, you guys got weed? And we’re like – yea, come right here. So we robbed him, we took him for about three or four hundred dollars.

Then we run to the back of the park and there’s this dude walking and it happened to be one of my friend’s boys from jail, his name was Tyrone. And he was also going to cop some weed and he knew somebody that sold weed in a building by there. So right after we robbed the first guy we run into [Tyrone] and he takes us into this building and we end up robbing the weed dealer that he was copping weed from. So we had our weed for the day. So did it stop there? Of course not. We ran downstairs, went to the Grand Concourse, hopped into a cab, took it to Dykeman [Street] and ran out the cab. Then we tried to steal a car up there by Fort Tryon Park and of course somebody called the cops, and I seen the cops running so we ran into Fort Tryon Park, which is on the west side [of Manhattan] by the Hudson river. We end up getting to the train tracks and following the train tracks all the way down to like 155th Street. When we popped out, we’re on the streets and we’re by Broadway and we see a yellow cab guy pull in and [the cabbie] switches [shifts] with this other guy. One guy gets in and the other guy gets out with a box. So we robbed him, he had another hundred and something dollars in the box. Now this is all in one day dude. This is The Vamp Squad, alright.

R: [Laughing]

T: So we rob the cab driver and to make a long story short, we saw cops and the cops saw us, so we run into the number 1 train station right there on Broadway. There was a train coming into the station on the uptown side and a train coming on the downtown side but not in the station yet. So we’re on the downtown side and we jump in front of that train, cross the tracks and miss both trains by I don’t know how much and get into the uptown train. On the uptown train, the next stop is like 175th Street and in between [the two train stops] we knew there was an emergency staircase that goes up [to the street]. So we jumped off that train [laughs]…

R: So you guys jumped off the train from in between the cars?!

T: No, no, lemme show you, we had [transit system] keys, we just opened up the back door of the train and just jumped out. We used to have the keys to open up the doors. So we jumped out because we knew the cops were looking for us and they were going to be at the next station. So the train was going nice and slow and we were like – yo, we gotta get off this train. Being that we knew all the tunnels, we knew there was an emergency exit between the two stations. And sure enough we found it, we went up and we ended up on the street. We got into another cab and took it back to the Bronx and ran out of that motherfucker around 149th Street. Then we hopped on the 4 train and took it downtown by Central Park. And mind you, it’s not even freakin’ 11 o’clock in the morning yet.

So we end up in Central Park and we rob a couple of drug dealers. Then we went down to 42nd Street, this is when all the porno [theaters] was there. We ran into some theater there on 8th Avenue and 42nd Street, threw some guy off the balcony ‘cause he was jerking off next to us. Then ran down to the basement and there was a bunch of homos down there. We ended up vicin’ them, taking their money, then we ran up 8th Avenue and ended up in a restaurant, got a meal and just ran out. And that’s when we [went our separate ways] because by that point too many cops were looking for us. And that’s also how “wildin’” started, by the way. Remember that shit, wildin’? You know, when a gang of kids used to just run [and wreak havoc]…

R: You mean the actual term “wildin’”?

T: Yea, that’s how that started, by The Vamp Squad and the shit we used to do.

R: So the term “wildin’” originated from the activities of The Vamp Squad?

T: Yea, people heard of what we would do [and that’s how they described it]. The Vamp Squad was notorious, man. So that’s where the term wildin’ came from, yea. ‘Cause we used to do that, we used to run like a wolf pack and just fuck everybody up.

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