Well, I started at an early age, man, with a brother named Darryl D, bless his soul, and another brother named Eldorado Mike. Bless his soul also; they both passed on. And they took me to my very first hip-hop party; it was Kool Herc. And it just so happened that we all were from the same neighborhood in the South Bronx. I grew up on 168th St and Fulton Ave. And I don't know if you're familiar with Kool Herc's B-boys, Clark Kent and the Nigger Twins, Keith and Kevin. We were all raised up together, I mean before any hip-hop music and all that. I got into it, watching them dancing and all.
What year would that have been?
Whoa. I'm talking, like, '74, man, or '73. Eleven or twelve years old; I was a baby. And I had family that lived in Bronx Water Projects. And at that time, a lot of street gangs stayed in the Bronx. And I came from a street gang called The Black Pearls and The Saigons over on Watson Avenue. And the Black Spades had beat them up. And the guys that beat them up were from Bronx River Projects where I had family; I wound up going over there. And linking up with them guys, they were very unified. I liked the way they were operating. And then Bambaataa started DJing, and we started a B-boy group called The Zulu Kings. And basically, from there it just went from B-boying to MCing to music.
Was there a clear point where you switched from B-boying to MCing?
Oh yeah, well you know what? A lot of cats don't know this, man, but they weren't calling it B-boying. They were called Boi-oing kids. And Boi-oing kids went to B-boying, and B-boys went to break dancers; and MCing went from MCing to rapping. And we were boi-oing kids, man; that's what we were.
When it started, there were about seven of us. The Zulu Kings. And that became then the Zulu Nation, and then the mighty Zulu Nation and then the Universal Zulu Nation! But when it started, it was the gang the Black Spades. We started a group called The Organization and that became the Zulu Nation.
- Pow Wow Zulu kings