By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
Especially outside Cervantes' when a couple of Crips roll up. "Juggalos are crazy," Kiki says. "One of them won't do much to you, but forty of them, they get the mob mentality. There's been many a show where there's like four Crips and forty kids just beating the fuck out of these guys. The owner of the club, he called us the Warriors. It's a 1970s movie about gangs, and there's a group in there that paint their faces and run around with baseball bats. That's how we are, I guess."
At the November show, a fight started between an SK kid who was out front smoking a cigarette and a couple of Crips. When word of the fight trickled inside, Kiki, Flava, Ken and Scum ran out to try to stop it. "We went out there to make peace," Kiki says. "We were saying, 'We understand it's your neighborhood. We don't want any drama.' They weren't having it. They pulled their pistols out, like 'Fuck, no, you guys are leaving now.'" Ken got hit with a gun so hard his teeth went through his lip, and his eye is still black. Flava had part of his ear torn off. Shots were fired, and Scum landed on Kiki. "I thought he did get shot," Kiki says. "He fell on top of me. I dragged him into the club." Inside, people started screaming that Scum was shot, that he was dead. Anybody Killa was still performing on stage when Cervantes' owner turned the sound off and the lights on and told everybody they had to clear out.
Scum had been knocked out with a pistol, and he came to amid all the girls screaming and crying. He was flattered, and also relieved that it was him and not a kid who'd gotten hurt.
Primos and Scum haven't put on a show there since. "I'd feel so bad if one of our fans was killed coming to watch our show over a color," Kiki says. "We're out of that. We're not doing the gang thing. We grew up. It sucks we have to be forced to stop doing what we love because of that. Cervantes' was like our home."
But they have a couple of other places they can still book. Late last year, a show they put on at the Gothic brought in 600 people for a bill with Scum and local hip-hop group 5280. And on April 26, the third GoreFest arrived at the Aztlan.
Aside from BVK, DCK and the out-of-staters, just about everybody who stepped onto the stage that day had been a fan of Scum's, someone he'd helped get a start. "That guy does nothing but work, work, work," says fan-turned-hype-man Kyle "McFly" Swearengen. "He stresses out to make sure everybody gets a chance."
Scum talks in a deep, exaggerated voice with a faint trace of a Russian accent. He always dresses in red and black, usually his own merchandise. At shows, he and many of his fans wear theatrical contact lenses that they pick up at costume shops and flea markets, which make their eyes look gray and pupil-less, like zombies'. But despite his appearance and his lyrics, colleagues say Scum is one of the most polite, professional figures on the scene.
At the show, Scum kept a minute-by-minute schedule, introducing each twenty-minute set himself and rapping with half of them.
Minutes before DCK's set was supposed to start, frontman Franky was sitting outside with the smokers. A small circle of fans and friends had gathered around him, waiting to hear what he was going to say next. Lanky and pale, he had a red contact in one eye and a blue one in the other, which made him look a little more bloodshot and crazy than he already does. "I missed your last show, man," one kid said. "I never miss you, but I was in jail."
"Yeah, I just got out, too," said another fan.
"Man, I haven't been in jail since," Franky paused to think. "Not since the day after GoreFest last year."
A tall security guard named Jamal asked Franky for a cigarette, and Franky made a proposition. He wanted Jamal to kick everyone who wasn't standing up by the stage or in the mosh pit out of their chairs, forcing them to the floor for his set. "I want to fucking crowd-surf," Franky explained.
Jamal said he couldn't do it.
"I'll give you forty bucks."
Jamal smiled, nodded, and headed back inside.
Next to Franky, a kid named Iggy was examining his hand and groaning. Someone had stepped on it when he fell in the mosh pit. "I know you got pills," Iggy said. "Hook me up with some Vicodin."
"Nah," Franky replied. "All I got is Oxy."
Iggy didn't have enough cash, but the guys who just got out of jail were game.
"Hey," Iggy said to Franky, like he was remembering something. "Did you steal $100 from some kid last night?"
"No, I robbed a guy for $1,200," Franky said, then told the story of how some dude he'd never met before had hit him up for two ounces of coke. Franky took his money, gave him a fake phone as collateral, and calmly walked off with the cash, never to return.