Discussion in 'The Booth' started by mson, Sep 12, 2012.
Well I'm the complete opposite when it comes to interests.
The Short, Mean Life Of 'Killer Ben'
BY TOM RAFTERY AND JOHN MARZULLI Saturday, August 19, 1995
Benjamin O'Garro was gunned down late Thursday night while talking on a pay phone outside the Walt Whitman housing project in Brooklyn. Some people may have been surprised O'Garro was out of prison. It is doubtful anyone was surprised by how he met his end. O'Garro, 26, who was known on the street as "Killer Ben," died the way he lived violently. He had been paroled last March after serving 61/2 years for the 1988 attempted murder of a police officer around the same projects in Fort Greene. In those days crack dealers like O'Garro had transformed the area into a war zone. One innocent victim of those wars was O'Garro's 3-year-old brother, Ben Shulka Williams, who was killed after gunmen sprayed the family apartment door with bullets on July 26, 1990. "Killer Ben" was sitting in an upstate prison cell at the time. The intended target was O'Garro's brother Jerome, who was involved in a drug-related dispute with the gunmen. The little boy's killing came to symbolize the wave of children being caught in the crossfire between heavily armed drug gangs that summer. It galvanized city officials to embark on a historic program to hire thousands of police officers under a program called Safe City/Safe Streets. While the program enacted by former Mayor David Dinkins enabled the Police Department to make great progress in reducing street crime, when "Killer Ben" was paroled his return to Fort Greene meant business as usual. Investigators said O'Garro's slaying is tied to a turf war being waged between two factions for control of the drug trade in those projects. Two other recent slayings have been tied to the fighting. O'Garro, who once used a 4-year-old boy as a shield when shots were fired at him in 1988, was standing alone at the pay phone on Myrtle Ave. when two men approached about 11:10 p.m., police said. One pulled a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol and shot O'Garro five times in the torso and right leg. He was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital. Despite his nickname, O'Garro was never convicted of murder. His parole on the attempted murder conviction would have expired in the year 2001.
Bill Blass (R.I.P.) was a legend in Hip-Hop who worked closely with Rakim since he first came out as well as for years with Kool G Rap.
He was still grinding (after 20 years) when the same streets that gave birth to this art took him back with a bullet.
Ask Ra, ask Nas, even ask Sticky Fingaz or Fat Joe. Bill Blass was the real deal.
The walls of New York are covered with murals that evoke the citys history, celebrate its neighborhoods, pay tribute to leaders great and small. And then theres the mural at the corner of Vanderbilt and Myrtle Avenues, which commemorates Benjamin OGarro, a controversial figure who is still beloved by some in Fort Greene, even if he represents, in many ways, the neighborhoods troubled past.
His image, on the wall of a liquor store, makes no intimations of a difficult life, or of the violent end OGarro met at the age of 26. The portrait of a young African-American man with thoughtful features and a thin mustache hovers above a tranquil Brooklyn streetscape. Dramatic, fading sunlight envelops him. An inscription beneath his name reads, A cut above the rest.
But according to reports from The Times and the Daily News, Killer Ben was a notorious presence in the Walt Whitman Houses, one who allegedly dealt in drugs and whose gun play once sent a neighborhood child into a coma.
In 1988, he was convicted of attempted murder for shooting at two police officers from the 88th precinct with a Tech-9 pistol. While OGarro was serving an attempted murder sentence upstate, his 3-year-old brother Ben Williams was killed when someone possibly a rival drug gang shot up the OGarro apartment in a hail of bullets. That same week, in July of 1990, two other children would be killed by gunfire on city streets.
The older Ben returned to New York in the mid-90s, just as Fort Greene and the rest of the city had begun the long process of rehabilitation. But he would never have the same chance at redemption. On Aug. 17, 1995, he was shot dead in a telephone booth outside the Whitman Houses. As Ian Frazier wrote in the New Yorker last year, OGarro may have been murdered because he stole jewelry from an associate of the rapper Notorious B.I.G, another son of Brooklyn who would die violently before the age of 30.
We cant really judge him, cautions Bio Feliciano, who painted the first OGarro mural 10 years ago with two other members of Tats Cru, a renowned collective of graffiti artists. Feliciano says he subsequently learned the details of OGarros violent past, yet when OGarros family approached Tats Cru to restore the mural last year, he did not refuse. Like the countless other young men Tats Cru has immortalized, the image is not a statement of morality, but a sad note on the lives however imperfect this city claims daily.
Family members recall OGarro fondly, refusing to believe that he was responsible for any of the bloodshed that found its way to their very doorstep. His sister Jamilla Martin, 34, says that her older brother had a great heart and often played the part of Robin Hood, buying bikes for his younger siblings or reaching out to help struggling neighbors. Any money he earned, Martin claims, came from working as a manager for musicians like the rap duo Eric B. and Rakim.
Susan OGarro, 81, who still lives in the Whitman Houses, also defends OGarro, her grandson, without reservation, claiming that he is still loved in a neighborhood that has changed drastically in the nearly 15 years since his death. If he was such a bad guy, she wonders defiantly, whats he still doing on that wall?
Visions of Ben - The Local – Fort-Greene Blog - NYTimes.com
what exactly are we appreciating
Maybe it's not an appreciation per se. It's just a look back at a particular moment in hip hop/NYC street history using factual documents and the memory of the coli.
is it true the real 50 cent turned on rakim and robbed em?
That's unsubstantiated here say, but I don't know for sure.
unkut.com – A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix)
Are you still into collecting luxury cars?
I do and I dont. Its funny, you get to a point in your life where all that doesnt even mean anything. Everyone likes luxury items and things, but you get to the point in your life where its like Ive done it for twenty years what else could you possibly do? I just like to get from Point A to Point B. I still got a buncha cars but it really doesnt excite me like it used to in the 80s. I used to be on the cutting edge of vehicles and needed to have the newest of the newest of the newest. But now its like Im in a different place I got the centre where Im helping kids and stuff like that That means more to me than the cars and all the jewelry and all that stuff. Making a difference in peoples lives and actually saving peoples lives. We got a bunch of kids thats in gangs and stuff, and having them here and off the streets we couldve somebodys life! That to me is, when people ask me, What would you like to be remembered for? My humanitarian efforts and helping people. My music was fine and fantastic, but just to be able to say, You know what? At the eleventh hour we could always count on him to help us for our charity or help us to take the kids out of a slump and takin them into somewhere positive in their life.
Where did you guys used to hang out back then?
The only place we went to really was the Latin Quarter, 48th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
Whod you used to roll with?
The original 50 Cent, Supreme Magnetic from Fort Green, Brooklyn, his brother Rat
Was 50 already notorious at that stage?
He wasnt notorious to us. I never looked at it like
I laugh at all the stuff we see now.
I thought this was about the movie. fukk these old ass nikkas.
heard dude got killed after biggie put a hit out on his ass for robbing somebody in junior mafia.
Nah, he wanted to rob LL Cool J but Rakim was there too so he had to "rob" both of them so it didnt look suspicious.......rakim got his stuff back later
Biggie sendin hits like on sum mob shyt
its deeper than rap i see
You heard this through the grapevine?