East NY Projects – First Impressions

Jul 29, 2021 4.9M Views 9.4K Comments

When I was invited to journey into the projects of East New York with a local I couldn’t refuse. Join me as we go deep into an intense world to listen to what the locals have to say.

Good afternoon, guys
here in New York City
a city of many different worlds
Today, we’re gonna get into a world
that most of us are unfamiliar with
That is the projects
I had some locals reach out to me
living in the projects in Brooklyn
“Hey, Peter, do you want to get inside the projects?”
“Do you want to see what it’s really like in our world?”
“Do you wanna hear our stories?”
So, I thought…
what not a better idea?
So, today, we’re off to the projects
in Brooklyn
Should be an adventure
like most of these
I have no idea what I’m getting into
Let’s go
The subway stopped one stop early
So, I gotta walk a bit
This is Doscher Street
Pitkin Ave
We have public school 159
Bars on the windows
I don’t know if that’s to keep kids out
or keep them in
in my school days
those bars would have been there to keep me in
because I didn’t like school so much
Okay, interesting neighborhood
Mix of residential
and some small businesses, mom-and-pop shops
Thinking there he is!
There’s the man
What’s going on?
Thanks for meeting up
Quite possibly the coolest name I’ve ever heard
I’m smooth so they…
The hood monikered me with that name man
We’re in East New York, man
Chilling with Peter Santenello
We’re about to get it popping, man
Cashmere, you’re better than me at this
you had a good intro
I think your intro is more solid than mine
I’m East New York, we out here
you see the T-shirt, I mean the sweater
You didn’t bring me one, what’s up?
Actually, I got one for you at the crib
That’s school milk
That’s the school milk
My boy C-Lee
This the project, this Plaza
We’re gonna take him up on Plaza
First, I’m gonna go get me a vape
We just gonna go right up there
and get a vape real quick, yeah
and then we gonna go up in the Plaza
the legendary Linden Plaza
and then I’m gonna take him over to Cypress Hills
The mother**** part of it all right there
Cypress Hills, wow.
You know what I mean, Cypress Hills projects
but you know, y’all know me
East New York’s finest
Man, East New York is um…
grittier Brooklyn, the grit, the grind
this where people don’t come
You see, everything’s getting gentrified
They ain’t touch over here yet
Yeah, I don’t see many Starbucks
going into the neighborhood, huh?
They ain’t touch over here yet
Hey, it’s nice though
You got good mom-and-pop shops, you know?
If I had some hair, I’d give them a try but…
Yeah, this is Coco
How you doing, man?
This guy’s great, from Yemen?
Yes, how are you doing?
Wait, you said you’re gonna take me to Yemen?
Yes, hopefully yes, I would love to
See, how it’s a small world, man?
This is my guy right here, the small world
Show me that, Cashmere
You have just uh…
We just got ice cups like something for the liquor
They know we need ice cups for the liquor
so, I got me a small bottle of Courvoisier
I mix it with the grapefruit
and I buy my ice cup, man
Got you, got you
That’s what we do
So, you guys got a party going on right now
or what’s going on?
Nah, we just gonna go to Linden Plaza
and you know, they a… playing dice
regular day in the hood
regular day in the hood stuff
So, what’s uh…
you guys got a lot of ice cream trucks here?
This is building 5, the legendary building 5
Why is it legendary?
This is like…
There’s a lot of legendary cats
come out of this building
What were you saying?
Yeah, this is building 5, this is um…
the 5 building… this is like the beginning…
How are you doing?
So, everyone’s mail comes to their building here
It’s pretty nicely set up
18 floors?
Yeah, 16
How many apartments here?
I’m not sure how many apartments on each floor
I should know that but I’m not sure
but it’s 18 floors
Oh, there’s a lot of people in here
Yeah, it’s a lot of people
It’s like thousands, huh?
Tons of people in here
Wow, is it like a big community?
So, a lot of you guys know each other?
42 years?
You take the stairs?
Yeah, I gonna take the stairs
So, are there different types of projects?
Like some are nicer than others?
Yes, this was considered one of the nicer ones
Is it ok if I got the camera going?
Is this guy a legend here?
How you doing?
Good, what’s your name?
My boy D
How you doing?
Alright, you guys got a good zone out here, huh?
We just chillin’ vibin’ man
Oh, this place is huge!
18 floors, she said 26 apartments on each floor
Look at this, all the way down there
Walk me through what’s going on here every day
Every day, a dice game
Young boys chilling doing what they do
out here like everybody like we just…
smoke Za
like we smoke weed.
You know it’s legal now so we smoke it outside
Gumbo, runts…
So we just chill
vibe out, get drunk some days
This is just like…
This to us like…
we grew up here our whole lives so
It’s good to see your friends
so we just stick around, we stay close to each other
Oh, here’s your dice, this is what you’re playing?
Two other buildings on the other side
Oh, it’s all part of the same complex?
Yeah, you can either cross the bridge
or go through the lot
That’s massive
You can’t know everyone
so you don’t know the guys way over there probably?
Yeah, we know some.
You talking about in all buildings?
We know everybody, everybody knows everybody
So, there’s no conflict between buildings?
No, not here
Certain projects are like that, but this complex is not
We might fight it out or whatever
but we ain’t killing each other like that
Yeah, that’s KJ Memorial
They have one each year
He had passed away through the gun violence
right there on Bradford in East New York
and they celebrate his life every year
He was a young, talented dude
that really did his thing that really repped for the hood and…
and he passed away due to gun violence so…
we celebrate his life every year, man
shout out to KJ, rest in peace
Hey, wait, that’s new news to me, guys
So, this is not the projects?
No, this is not the projects
This is little Miami right here
This is the complex
So what’s the difference of complex and projects?
Go to the projects and come back
you tell me the difference
Listen, like what I told you earlier
this is Plaza
and then I’m gonna take you to Cypress
That’s projects?
That’s the project
Okay, okay. Alright, guys
They considered this a project
but we know what it is
we know
Yeah, cus I’m like a…
I had a thought of what projects were
and I didn’t think like nice hosta plants and…
you know, beautiful trees and whatnot
Is it different at night?
It’s very different at night
You know, I mean, the cops is up here constantly
They’re up here monitoring people
they’re up here tripping
they’re up here a…
watching everything that’s going on, man
What do people think of the cops here?
Or tough to say?
I always ask that question
I’ll be honest with you
it’s like f**k the police up here
But um…
you know
the elders need the police, man
they, you know…
The elders need the police?
Yeah, they need the police
shout out to all the good police that ain’t trying to uh…
you know…
shout out to all the police that ain’t crooked
Right on that corner, I got shot
Where’d you get shot?
I got shot right on the Southern and Lincoln
No, but on your body?
I got shot in my leg
Ahh, okay
The bullet hole is right there, still there
You know what I mean?
If you wanna see it, you can see it
I mean if you want, if you’re alright
The bullet hole right here
Ohh, okay
The bullet hole right there
and I got shot
When you go to Cypress
it’s a whole different being
it’s a whole different realm
You know, Poppy probably wouldn’t even
took you to Cypress
You know what I mean, but I could take you
Papi’s is the guy that lined this up
Yeah, my boy Pop, shout out to Pop but um…
Shout out to Pop
Yeah, shout out to Pop but
I could take you to Cypress
cus I’ve been there, done that
Papi, that’s my brother, man
shout out to his father Roson
his father Roson really held me down
I was facing like 10 years in jail, I did a year
Shout out to my lawyer, he got me free
and I did a ton of programs
To get free, it was my first felony
and, you know, when I came home, it’s
pops that really held me down
and really…
Held you down, what do you mean?
Gave you guidance?
He gave me… yeah
Basically, he gave me guidance and
and put me in a situations where I could get a little money
so I could be out here doing my thing
and to prosper a little bit and come up so
you know what I mean?
That’s can do brother
Take care, man
My grandmother used to have apartment in 485
where my pops used to live
We used to hang on these buildings
I used to duck shots on these buildings
To what? Duck shots?
Duck bullets
I used to run in this building ducking bullets
I ran in this building
My mom’s looking for me
because we ducking bullets
And then ran in that building
and my mom’s like, “Where my son at?”
And I’m looking out the window
while my mom’s like calling for me and stuff like that
This is the real projects right here
this is the gutter right here
So when you say the gutter
like okay, I don’t know anything
I’ll admit it, I know nothing
It’s like…
it’s sort of nice to walk around
It’s sort of nice to walk around
Yeah, it’s nice to walk around
cus you can walk around
cus you’re walking around with somebody
that’s legit out here
I was born and raised out here
What if I came in here alone with the camera?
They gonna watch you
They’re gonna watch you and say
“Who is this guy?”
“What’s he doing, why is he doing it?”
“Is he police?,”is he this, is he that
You know
You’re vibing with me
If you vibing with me, it’s all good, man
If you look at the history
you know, the back always fought against the front
the middle was in the middle so they…
Wait, wait… back fought against the front
What do you mean?
This is the back, we in the back of Cypress
this is where I grew up at
Then, you got the middle right there
You got the middle right there
then, you got the front on the other side
and the back used to always beef against the front
They watching, my guy watching
He see some guy with a camera and walking up
he’s like, “What’s going on?” so
you know, the alarm gets set off immediately
but at the end of the day, you know
It’s all who you’re with
Yeah. Basically
Let’s check it out
He was a young young dude that passed away recently
and everybody loved him in the hood
you know
Need some help?
You got it?
You’re welcome
Yeah, I’m gonna try to go into the place where
my father was
was born and raised up on the 2nd floor
I feel where they’re coming from
They’re trying to see who’s coming up in here
they’re trying to see what’s going on
they’re trying to see what’s happening
Alright, so what just happened is
the young guys were just basically like security
They’re on alert
They’re on alert
Which they supposed to be
And that’s what’s up but you know
I was born and raised here so
it’s just another day to me
You think we can get into a place or maybe not?
You don’t know anyone here right now?
We can see
So, all you had to do…
Basically what happened
I didn’t explain it well enough
The guys were out there
wondering who the hell we were
And you had to show them
your affiliation with other people here
Got you
Yeah, that’s it
How you doing?
That’s where my family was at
my father, my grandmother, my aunt
my father in here
he got killed probably 4-5 years ago
And then when it started getting crazy out here
my father told my moms not to bring us out here
to Cypress Hills, to back
cus it was getting real violent
drugs was prevalent and guns
Nah, that’s good, that’s good
Nah, that that’s cool, that’s cool
I respect it, no…
They wanted to put a um…
like a sign in his name, like a street
Uh huh
But I was too out of it
I couldn’t meet with anybody at the time, you know
He passed in 2018
A day after his birthday
And he was only 16 years old and um…
you just don’t understand when you don’t expect it
for somebody to kill your son
you don’t understand why would they do it?
You know, he wasn’t in gangs
He wasn’t into nothing wrong
Anything he could to help people
So he was a real angel
What’s the solution to this stuff do you think?
To the violence, to the shooting, like…
I don’t know, they…
I don’t know if I really agree with police reform
I know some of the police, some of them
but all of them have to get punished for it, it seems like
All of them didn’t do what some of them did
but it seems like everybody want all of them to be punished
but I only think that it’s gonna get worse
if they’re doing police reform
trying to snatch away the guns and
it’s gonna go more crazy out here
You know
We need a check
Oh, the first time?
Yeah, I never heard of you before
No talk
So, what’s going on here is
Cashmere is getting schooled at the moment, right?
This lady’s saying he’s gotta be doing more
I want him to do movies
She trying tell me what to do
I mean, you know
I mean
Cus you’re hanging around Cashmere
Hanging around Cashmere, alright!
Tell the…
I’m hanging around Cashmere
I used to sit in the big lawn
and have picnics with my dog babies
It was nice, it was really nice
Why can’t you do that now?
We played run, catch, and kiss. And…
If you was doing that it in the 80s, you was ducking bullets
It was in the 70s I said
Cus I ducked plenty bullets out here
Yes, in the 80s
it was just trembling
So, to get this right
the 70s were really nice here?
Yeah, it was nice here
Then crack, cocaine… crack came in, right?
Then crack came in the 80s
Then it was dangerous through the 80s
And then the 90s was dangerous
the 90s was just flat out
How is it now versus the 90s?
It’s alright now
It’s alright versus the 90s?
It’s like an intercept, it’s like…
everybody’s trying to figure it out right now so
so it’s different
The 80s and 90s this was
the most terriblest place in Brooklyn
Yes it was
Where’s the worst place now?
The worst place now I say Brownsville
Yeah, I agree
So, it changes? Like
between the neighborhoods and whatever
Yeah, everybody get a turn
What is this?
This Sunday
at 10 AM at 1091 Fulton Street
We’re having the “Defeat Depression” event
You see a huge increase in depression this year?
Yes, we do. Yes, we do
We’ve at the call line, we have a help line
a prayer line
Oh, great
We have a prayer line, people calling
they want to commit suicide
they’re calling because they can’t eat
they’re calling because their family members are dying
But it’s a sadness that’s happening right now
This world is cold right now
because of what’s happening
So, let us regain
Let us find hope again
You can ask for me
My name is Wandra, I will be there
Wandra, okay, thank you
Do you have to be religious?
You don’t?
Come as you are
Come as you are
Thanks, Wandra
You’re welcome, sir
Thank you
Good luck
Thank you
Talk to him real quick, tell him where we’re at
How you doing, Mick?
I’m the mother***** landlord
I’m the only n*****
Who walk through Cypress, listen
Tell him where we are at, my n*****
We, listen…
Tell him where we’re at, cus he wanna know
We’re in our homeland, we’re in the tarradome
You know what I mean?
The mother***** murder capital East New York
but beside all that s**t
I’m the only ninja, I’m the only Shinobi
that get to march around this mother**** like this
I go everywhere, you know what I’m saying?
Shirt off, chains out
Jewellery blinging
This is original mother***** out here
With or without it, I’m on n*****
He’s the only guy that can go without his shirt off?
He telling you what it is
You’re fricking ripped
Listen, I’m the only mother*****
that get to run around here like this
You know what I’m saying? The only one
The s**t is bad, man
S**t is bad?
Cus the youth is f***d up
They in the f***d up position right now
Simple fact
You got the wrong mother****
giving off the wrong type of chakra
You know what I’m saying?
I don’t never wanna mislead the youth
Wrong type of what? Chakra?
That’s energy, yeah
The wrong energy, you know what I’m saying?
This s**t is divine, what you put out, you get back
So, you got mother**** playing that bad juju
bad juju come back to you
You know what I’m saying?
I don’t want these kids to ever get confused
Don’t think they need a mother**** bag
at the age of 15, 16, 17
A bag?
Some money
You earn it
They need to finish school
you know what I’m saying?
Find out who the f**k they is
you know what I’m saying?
And make something of their life
you know what I’m saying?
Anything else beside that
ain’t about a bag of f****g franks
So, it’s different now?
The values are different now?
Values is all f***d up, man
A lot of s**t is f***d up man
Pardon me for swearing
I’m coming from getting my workout on
I gotta beep it out, but it’s alright
It’s all good, y’all know how I do
Ripped Mick, you know what I’m saying?
But yeah, man, this s***t is about the youth
Know the kings and the queens, man
You know what I’m saying?
Know the kings and the queens on the board
and it’s not the one that’s on the board
you know what I’m saying?
And it’s them pawns that’s gonna move up
for the future to become a valuable asset
you know what I’m saying?
So we all benefit, you know what I’m saying?
We all benefit
Is this like a tight community?
It can be
It can be, and it can be f***d up
cus you can have a n**** you grew up with
mother**** blow your brains out
for some frivolous s**t
Know what I’m saying?
And then I know n***, n*** that beef with
half their whole life and they best friends now
Know what I’m saying?
Does anyone…
Is it more guns to resolve things
or more fist fights to resolve things?
You know, you know the answer to that
I don’t know, I’m serious
Well, what you think?
Let’s take your… what you think?
The last place where we were at
they were saying more…
Plaza they were saying fist fights
Yeah, fist fights on Plaza
but here…
I mean, when you’re in inner circle
you might not, you might knuckle up
but usually that’s not the case
you know what I’m saying?
People gonna shoot people
And that’s just what people respect
Nas, I said it best. Nas, I said it best
People respect violence so I become it
Know what I’m saying?
Everybody… That’s the universal language
Know what I’m saying? Everybody understand…
Nobody might not understand, “Yo, I’m sorry”
“Yo, don’t let that happen again”
“Yo, better luck next time”
You gonna understand when I say
“I’m gonna punch you in your mother**** face”
We all speak that language
When I punch you in your mother***** face
you understand exactly where I’m coming from
That’s a universal language and that’s f****d up
You know what I’m saying?
Respect is universal though
you know what I’m saying?
If you lacking that, you’re lacking common sense
and you lacking common sense, you’re lacking life
How long you gonna go moving like that?
We can’t move like that
So what do you think changed it?
Stuff like Instagram?
I mean, social media got s**t all-time high
Everybody’s stunting for social media
The violence is from social media
Listen, everything is at an all-time high
Everything’s out of control
Rap is out of control
N**** is out of control
B***s, the kids is out of control
People that I work with is out of control.
You know what I’m saying?
I’m out of control
You out of control behind that mother**** camera
Everybody out of control
Right, it’s all insane right now
It’s all insane
All we could do is just try to be
in sync with the matrix cus we in it
Know what I’m saying?
But how are we gonna get by in this mother****?
If you fall for everything
You stand for nothing
You’re gonna be a doormat, you know what I’m saying?
So how do you stay straight?
I be me, I’m genuine
I stay true to myself
Know what I’m saying, that’s the best thing
Listen, the easiest thing is me being is me
I wake up in the morning and be me
I roll how I roll
I say what I want, go where I want
do what I want
but it’s always respect
I give that out first
You respect everyone?
Everybody, equal to everybody
from the little man to the boss at the top
Everybody give respect across the board
The hood legend right here man I rep that
A hood legend right here
And shout out to Cashmere
you know what I’m saying?
Much success with his music venture
Saying shout out to everybody
One question, one last question
What’s the neighborhood need?
Well, we need um… communication
And resources
Communication and resources
Communication with who?
Yourselves or with everyone?
With with each other
We need a better understanding of each other
Each other in the neighborhood
or with each other in New York?
First thing first, it gotta start within
then it expands
We gotta do our circle, then a circle, then a circle
That’s where social media is cool though
cus I’m gonna spread this message
There’s no way someone would get into this neighborhood
without a guy like Cash
How the hell would I come around?
Yeah, nobody can’t, that’s the whole fact
He’s certified, he can come through and do it
He’s certified, he good
You know what I’m saying?
Mick, thank you, Mick
They call me Mitchell Aimss though
My rap name, I’m a rapper too
I might be the nicest mother****
that’s another… that’s something else
But Mitchell Aimss man you know what I’m saying
Everybody knows what it is
Michell Aimss
Mitchell Aimss you know what I’m saying?
And that’s what it is
We out, know what I’m saying?
Love is love, I love you my ninja
You already know, man, I’m glad you did it
Man, peace
Thank you
You know all that Compton and all that s**t
he do all that s**t
Last question, one more question
How do I get ripped like that? What do I gotta do?
Listen, man, hard and dedication
Know what I’m saying?
Every day, every day
Every other day
That’s what’s up
He’s Gucci out here
He’s charged, he’s charged
He’s charged, that’s my boy Mitchell Aimss, man
Hood legend, we grew up together, all that, man
We Gucci out here, n*****
Wherever I go, we Gucci, man
Peter, you Gucci
We don’t worry about nothing
God is protecting mother***** me
so what the f**k am I worried about?

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