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THE * MILLION * MAN * RUSH
Money, Hoes & Clothes
Imagine the unimaginable, hundreds of inner city youth coming together for a specific cause,
"To get dipped"!* (fly, fresh, etc) which in Brooklyn it meant your clothes were new and
usually from the most flashy designers with the illest colors. Tommy Hilfiger was still an
amateur in the streets. Izod was past tense and Versace wasn't even heard of in the Hip Hop
fashion dictionary, niggers couldn't even pronounce the word until Biggie Smalls came on the
scene. The head honcho in labels and brands was Ralph Lauren's "Polo". In our eyes he was
worshipped like God. It was even to the point where some of us would carry a picture of Ralph
Lauren in our wallets.
"MONEY, HOES, AND CLOTHES was our motto and "LO" was our life
The name Lo-Lifes came about in '88 when Big Vic Lo (Thirstin Howl III) got caught talking to
a girl after he just got another girl's phone number. The girl said "you are a low-life" in a
disrespectful manner. His reply, "you are right!" "I wear Lo everyday and "Lo" is my life.
Then everybody replied, "that's right", We are Lo-Lifes!". It was never officially voted on, or
anything it was just the name we lived by.
The Lo-Lifes were originally composed of two boostin posse's from different sections in
Brooklyn. There was the Crown Heights half who were originally known as "Ralphies Kids"
(Ralph Lauren's Kids). That name being made by G-George whom lived on St. John's and Utica
Avenue, which was also where Ralphies Kids could be found. Then there was the
Brownsville half who were originally called POLO U.S.A. (United Shoplifters Association).
That name being made up by Ski-Lo and Pumpkin (RIP). The Brownsville half were all mostly
from the Marcus Garvey Village, with others from Van Dyke Houses.
I remember before we became the Lo-Lifes, we would see each other on the trains. We use to
plot on robbing one another for the Lo items we were wearing, it never came to that though. I
was on the Deuce (42nd Street and Broadway) when we first clicked together. There were alot
of movie theatres and game rooms there. There was photographers with all the different
backgrounds to take your pictures in. We were stepping up to take pictures one Saturday
night when Ralphies Kids were already on the Polo background, their wears were crisp. And
that was the one thing we all had in common. So, niggers was like "yo let's take this flick
together". So both mobs got in one flick together. Little did we know it would make history
according to Brooklyn's streets. "Lo-Lifes" was mainly known for; boostin, running up in
stores and just snatching everything. We made this common in our everyday activities. We
turned it into a lifestyle and to this day it is still the way some original Lo-Lifes put food on
When we travel we would roll at least 50 or 60 deep and could be recognized by the rainbow
of Ralph Lauren labels. By 1989, we grew and had members in the "90's" (East Flatbush) and
East New York. We would get all dressed up just to go out to do dirt. Sometimes we would go
to clubs wearing like 5 different Polo shirts each. We would wear one on top of the other and
switch shirts. All night while walking around the nightclub, your prop status was rated on
how much "Lo" you had and how big your heart was.
When Lo-Lifes first united it was a mutual respect from Brownsville to Crown Heights. We did
everything together, boost, fight, party and look for girls. So basically, we shared the same
problem inner city youth face. Everyday was a fashion show and a shoplifting spree through
upstate malls, Manhattan stores and even fast food joints like McDonalds were hit. We
jacked everything from our deoderant to our milk and cereal for breakfast. Sometimes we got
confused for the Decepticons, they did their thing to. The only difference between us was the
attire. Lo-Lifes stayed extremely dipped. My man Shills-Lo, was telling me the other day that
he is who he is because of his Lo-Life experience. The "Lo-Life" experiences gave him his
whole thinking pattern, showed him means for survival and ways to help mom's pay the rent.
Boostin became a culture, we don't claim to be the first to ever do it. All we are saying is that
we made it go mainstream out on the N.Y. streets and even out in Philly where Boostin Bill, an
original member established a whole other episode of Lo-Lifes. There was the uptown LoLifes
who were Chris, Ibit, Rob and a whole bunch of Bronx heads who did crime so fast we use to
have to race them to the victims, word! When we first established the Lo-Lifes a lot of us were
mad young. Ten years ago and counting have gone by and Lo-Lifes have spreaded so much
that many people none of the Originals know have claimed to be Lo-Lifes. On the streets, in
the rap industry, even Abc's 20/20 was planning to do a episode on Lo-Lifes. They held a
meeting over at ABC, somehow we found out about it and got there an hour late. We walked
into a room full of different Rappers and boosters who claimed affiliation to Lo-Lifes. There
were even Lo-Life hats made which was featured in a Source Magazine advertisement, none of
us had anything to do with it or whomever designed it. Lo-Lifes is a title each original
member has lived by and some died by. So the name is rightfully ours.
The Lo-Lifes list is endless, there's so many members from both sides that never even met
eachother. Whether you were apart of Ralphies Kids or Polo USA, once it was established
everyone instantly became Lo-Life, even if you never met the other side.
We would terrorize 42nd Street on Friday and Saturday nights. We were always so deep we
would never pay to go into the movies. There was so many of us you would be stupid to try
and stop one. Even at the stores in the same area we would steal every 40oz of Old English
800 by just picking them up and walking out. We would be responsible for 75% of the dirt
committed up there. As for the department stores we hit; Macy's, B'Altman's, Bloomingdales,
Saks Fifth Avenue, Trump Towers, Century 21, BFO, and like I mentioned before even Mc
Donalds. Our main target was Polo, either putting it in back packs or stuffing it down girdles.
Most of the time there was so many of us, we would just rush the store and take all you can
carry. Leathers and shearlings stores were wrecked also along with women gear stores. This
would always be the quickest shit selling and that was how a lot of heads made their money.
One thing we still all had in common was the love for true "hip-hop" . We would go to a lot of
the most popular hip-hop clubs. We never paid for drinks, we would steal the bottles from
behind the bar and stay drunk all night for free. We usually left the club after getting into
some shit or taking somebody's shit. A lot of the things we did resulted in consequences.
Many Lo-Lifes were in and out of jail for long periods of time. Regardless, of whatever
situation the Lo-Life Ralph Lauren lifestyle remained the same. In prison, official heads wore
so much Polo in jail as in the streets. You had to be a real nigga to be able to keep your Polo in
the prison system where inmates would rob eachother for expensive clothing.
Empire Skating Rink in Brooklyn was were we met every Sunday. The Rink would close about
5p.m. Lo-Lifes would unite out front and walk toward the subway headed to Manhattan to get
paid. The "ill" shit was the entire skating rink on Sundays was composed of boosters. It was
a big fashion show. After awhile when we would leave on Sunday other boosters in the rink
knew where we were headed and what we were up to. So, alot of others would follow us and
add on to the chaos. Everybody wanted to be down and every Sunday was a repeat of the
week before. Except for one week we said we would hit the stores in Manhattan before the
skating rink open on Sunday morning. So we went to Manhattan, had a quick rush at Lord
and Taylor's for all kinds of flavor Polo bathrobes. Then we went to Empire, there was at least
40 of us in the middle of the day at the skating rink wearing bathrobes. Of course we always
got the girls. They even got with the program so we had Lo-Wives.
Boostin was a sport and source of income and from the way some turned out 10 years later it
is all they may ever know. In the streets we weren't always the culprits. We were preyed upon
as well by jealous people who wanted what we had (our Lo) and didn't know how to get it the
way we did. In conclusion, some of us were killed and some of them killed and so on.
Ten years later traces of Lo-Lifes spread to California and even Japan. Rappers are getting
free "Tommy Hilfiger" to advertise and were still wondering whatever gave D-Lo the idea for
their clothing line? Hmmm, it was original Lo-Lifes who started using the word Lo after their
names. "The Million Man Rush" is what we call our story just like the "Million Man March", a
movement many claimed to be apart of. Only a chosen few can say "I was there".