Have you been thinking about forming a gang? Let me guess what's stopping you. The name, right? Names are hard! Also, probably figuring out your gang colors. That's gotta be hard too. Although maybe naming gangs will follow the recent trend of baby-naming and you can style your gang after "Fifty Shades of Grey"?
It's just a thought, but one worth considering. Because then you'd have your gang colors figured out too.
The New York Post, though, is way ahead of all of us on current gang-naming trends and spoke with several of the current gangs of New York on naming trends. Apparently, some of the names that kids are using these days include "Cheese Block" and the "Oww Oww Gang" and Brooklyn's own "Very Crispy Gangsters."
Of that group, I'm partial to "Cheese Block," but that's a personal bias due to the fact that I always wanted to start a band and play the tambourine and name the band "Government Cheese."
Anyway, one of the gangs that the Post talks to is called the "Get Touched Boyz," who hail from Queens. One of their members, Piff Montana (unfortunately, the Post did not question him about his own personal, AMAZING name), said, "It took us about a month to come up with our name. We wanted to touch people, so we just came up with Get Touched Boyz because our music is going to touch people in all kinds of ways."
Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I feel a little bit touched, or violated, or whatever, when I think too hard about the connotations of that name. So, nicely done, Piff Montana. Well played.
Other gangs like "Young Fly Bridge" say that the genesis of their names came from wordplay and neighborhood pride. This gang hails from the Highbridge section of the Bronx and one member, Malik, told the Post that, "We just took the ‘High’ from in front of the ‘Bridge’ and put a ‘fly’ in front of it . . . and we are young."
They are young. They kind of sound young, I'd say.
Well, it seems pretty clear that these gangs are destined for success. They've rather quickly grasped the concept of branding and are clearly working on building their platforms, such as they are. That's not unimpressive. Hopefully, though, these gangs will have bright futures and won't go the way of Brooklyn's Very Crispy Gangsters whose name came "from their love of fashion." Apparently, according to one of the Post's sources, "‘Crispy’ is just another way of saying fly clothes, very well dressed, like new-clothes clean. They dressed nice. They wore Guccis and Louis [Vuitton].”
The fate of these well-dressed men was not a happy one though. When the Post probed their source further, "the gang associate just laughed, and claimed the gang no longer exists."
“'They used to walk up and down the block. They had all the bitches,' he said wistfully. 'They’re all dead or in jail now.'”
Well, that's not how I wanted the story of the Very Crispy Gangsters to end. But so it goes.
I hope better things are in store for the Get Touched Boyz and the Young Fly Bridge, both of which assured the Post that they are not about violence, but just like music and dressing well. As all good gangs do.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen