Hey Ron!

Hey Ron! - My Knuckle Sandwich Recipes

By Ron Hemphill

It's no secret that Ron has one hell of a knuckle game. When you grow up in New York City being able to throw down is just as important as knowing how to ride the subway or find a clean shitter in midtown. Ron has been in lots of fights throughout the years, and this week he tells us about his three most memorable.

One time right after I finished college my brother and I were on the train. Some Spanish kids got on and started speaking Spanish, and we could tell from the way they were talking that they were thinking about robbing us, because back then black people wore about 20 gold chains like Mr. T. So they were talking and I looked at my brother and he looked at me. I looked at my brother. He looked at me. We looked at them. And then all of a sudden we just turned around and started wailing on these cats. It was so funny. We beat them down to the point that I got off at 42nd street with extra gold. We ended up robbing them. My brother worked at Wall Street, so I got off and he stayed on the train and continued to beat the guys down until 14th street. It was crazy because this started at 96th street and Broadway, which we called the "Mighty Whitey Block." From 96th street to 42nd, 90 percent of the people riding that train were white. They were all bugging out and wondering what was going on. I told the guy, "I will take this Georgio Armani tie and choke the living hell out you with it if you think that you're going to rob me." And that's how it all got started.

Another time we were playing ball and I was talking junk on the basketball court at Jefferson Projects in Harlem. I was a light-skinned kid about 130 to 140 pounds with blond hair, and I was talking smack like nobody's business. We didn't even belong there, we just went around playing basketball in different neighborhoods back then. After a while we started to realize that the park was getting kind of crowded, so I looked at my brother and he looked at me, and we were thinking, "Damn, it looks like we're going to have to run."

Then one of our friends was like, "Listen, let's lose the game and then maybe they'll let us leave." But I wasn't going to lose on purpose. I was like, "I'm not losing." My brother said, "Ron, come on man, please." So I said, "Alright, let's lose." Of course they gave me the ball and I shot the point and it went in. We won the game. All of a sudden the guy was like, "You got anything else you want to say?" And I was like "Nah dude, it was just a game. We were just talking, what's the problem?" "Now you think you're better than us." I was like, "Dude, I just wanted to play ball. I seen you playing, I wanted to play, now I can't leave?" The guy was like, "nah."

So I looked at my brother and we just hit the first two cats and dashed! My friends and all of us ran. Me and my brother were in pretty good shape. We ran in high school and junior high track, so we knew the smart move is to run at a normal pace. Let them chase you. As we saw them getting tired we ran back and beat the hell out of them. It took the third or fourth guy to realize that we were playing them. We ran and then we saw those guys getting tired so we ran back and cracked them. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And then we kinda kicked them under a car. Then the next guy started running and I ran just fast enough to make him tired. Then I stopped, ran back so I could do him, and then the third or fourth guy came at me. He came to the realization that, "Yo, it's just me now." So he just stopped, turned around and kept running. And that's when I tried to chase him and catch him and give him a beat down.

Another time we were on the subway coming from a place called Skate Key with my friend Cedric and a friend of his. We were wearing Cazals. Black people know about those. They were those glasses, they're starting to come back now, but they had a thick frame--like a gold piece frame. Mine were prescription because I'm blind as a bat, but they had a tint so you couldn't really tell. It was about two in the morning, and these cats who knew one of the guys with us started trying to talk to him, and then one guy came up to me by the pole. He was like, "Yo, you look like a guy that tried to talk to my sister." Now inside I wanted to laugh, "Do you really believe I go for this crap? Why don't you just smack me in the face? Be a man. At least treat me like a man." And he was like, "Yo, it was you, you tried to talk to my sister." I was looking at Cedric like, "Is he for real? That's your man, talk to him." And he looked shook. Cedric's friend looked shook too.

What happened was I stood against the pole, and one guy was in front of me and one guy was in front of Cedric. The guy in front of me, I think he had a gun, or at least he pretend like he did. I'm not going to say I know for sure. But he was acting like he was going to reach for something. He tried to snatch my glasses with one hand as he was reaching for a gun with the other. I snatched my glasses back with one hand and tried to leave his jaw on the seat next to him. I swung with everything I had. All I know was his eyes were rolling back when I ran off the train. As soon as I got off I realized Cedric was still there, so I jumped back on the train and grabbed Cedric by his bomber and pulled him off the train. That was when everyone was wearing leather bombers, but you could tell it was cheap because the guy grabbed his sleeve and the whole sleeve came off. 

It was hilarious. Later we laughed about it, but he had to go home with one sleeve missing and some of his collar, his fur, whatever that thing was, was flying all over the place. For some reason the train didn't go. The doors stayed open. So Cedric was saying to his man, whatever his name was, "come, come." But he was staying on the train. I was feeling like I just got set up. He was standing by the door looking kind of shook. I grabbed him and took him off the train. There was a pole that said "East Tremont," and I banged him against the pole and kicked him in his ass, literally. Then he went back on the train and the doors closed. Now I was pissed. I was banging on the door saying, "I'm going to see you again! I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you!"

A month later we found out where one of the guys lived. Me and Cedric went over there, and this was when Zulu Nation was big. These guys were down with some chapter, and I was trying to make them eat those damn beads. Those Zulu nation beads. We went to his house and he kind of remembered us, but he didn't know. I was like, "Come on, come talk to us," and he said, "Yo, I had nothing to do with it. I didn't even want to do it." So I was like, "Well, dude, either you come out or I'm about to let loose in your house. I don't care." He started crying and then his mom came out. I told his mom what happened and she said, "I'm so sorry, my son's been getting into trouble, he's been hanging out with the wrong people." And I was like, "Your son is the wrong people. Stop blaming everyone else for your son being stupid. Your son's out there trying to rob people for no reason. Now he has two choices. He can close this door and I'm going to let go, or he can come out here and take this ass-whooping." The mother gladly slid him out. She said, "You always wanted to be a man, be a man." She just said not to hurt him too bad, then she closed the door. He got into the fetal position, but it didn't work because I was stomping. Thank God I didn't have Tims back then because I left some Nike prints. I was wearing Stan Smith's. I left Stan Smith's prints all over that guy's face.

And those are a few of my many fights.

RON HEMPHILL

Previously on Hey Ron!

DRUGS?

WHAT'S UP WITH "THE MEDIA"?

THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER

No problem is too big for our man Ron. If you’ve got something on your chest, send an email to vice@viceland.com.

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