Chapter 1: THE FOUR HORSE MEN
The Ill-State Assassins was founded by the four horse men. The four horse men title was established by Kingdom Rock to give honor to the ones who created the Ill-State Assassins, Carrico “Kingdom Rock” Sanders, Bobby “Massive” Ambrose, Jevon “Riot One” Gordon and myself, Willie “Chainsaw” Wrice Sr. Before I.S.A. (Ill-State Assassins) was started, we had belong to a few crews at our beginning. Kingdom Rock was a member of Purple Mansion. This was one of the first pioneering Hip Hop crews in Chicago. Well known through the hip hop circuit, in the 1980’s. At this time in the game, Kingdom Rock was known as Cosmo C.
I met Kingdom through Massive, who happen to be his cousin. Massive also had another name at this time, that he went by which was Prodigy. Kingdom and I clicked off top once we met. Hip Hop is something we both had in common and that’s how we bond, that took us further to become brothers. All three of us started hanging real tough, damn near every day; even though Massive and I was already hanging with each other already. Around this time I begin to learn how to DJ. By the way, I was known as J-Rock, before I changed my name to Chainsaw. I came up with the name Chainsaw one day, mixing on my turntables. Putting Salt N Pepa on the wheel I blended in their song I Desire. As it was playing I heard the sentence Spinderella cut the record like a chainsaw. That caught my attention. So I took the song back to that line and caught chainsaw then begin scratching it. That’s how I came up with the name, but Kingdom has a different story. Let him tell it, he gave me my name. And when I first met D.A. Smart we were at W.H.P.K radio station, the first thing he said to me was so you’re Chainsaw. I was going to name my DJ Chainsaw. Great minds think alike. Ok, I wasn’t well known at this particular time. But my goal was to make a name for myself. My first DJ gig that I ever did, was Kingdom’s first Hip Hop party, he threw at the Blue Gargoyle. The spot is located in Hyde Park, part of the University of Chicago. I didn’t believe I was ready, to scratch on a song, let alone DJ a whole party. I didn’t know what to expect. One thing I did know, I was nervous as fuck once the date hit. But, before I go any further, I have to tell you, how I met Riot One.
All four of us are from the Ida B Wells better known as The Wells. The row houses projects located on the south side in an area known as the Low End. I was chilling on my back porch with a couple of my homies one day. Doing much of nothing, just talking shit about what ever, when Riot One approached. He looked at me then asked me, aren’t you J-Rock. After I let him know that’s me, he told me, his sister and my sister hangs together. And my sister told him that I’m a DJ. He told me he also a DJ, I said ok, so we went upstairs in my crib to my room, to see what he can do. I turned on my equipment and set him up so he can do his thing. My man gets on the turntables and couldn’t DJ a lick, even if his life depended on it. I had to stop this nigga before he scratched my records up (Pun intended). As you can see, the first day I met this dude, he lied to me. But you know what, for him having the nerves to front like he can DJ told me that he was willing to learn. Plus he’s a b boy, so how I couldn’t fuck with him. I’m glad Riot stuck around, coming through damn near every day. It got to the point, I used to play like I was my father and yell down the stairs he ain’t here. Just to chill by myself at times. It was funny but I’m really glad Riot were persistent, he became my brother for life. He became a Chi Town Icon in Hip Hop, well respected by many. That’s why I call him my little brother, to this day.
Now back to kingdom’s party. This was one of the first Chicago Hip Hop parties I ever knew of, besides the ones that K-Rock threw on the west side and Duro throwing Big Lips party at the Lower Links up north. Kingdom got on his grind and he promoted the party well. Needless to say, it was packed. For the first time, I got to see how many people were into Hip Hop in Chicago. I have seen Beat Street, Breakin’ , Krush Groove and Wild Style. When I saw those movie’s party scenes or just a lot of Hip Hoppers in one scene, I always wanted to be there. It was just so epic to me. People rapping, break dancing, DJaying and graffiti writing, just seem so right. Even though we didn’t have Run-D.M.C, Fat Boys, Lee, Fab Five Freddie, etc...I got to see, the Hip Hop icons of Chicago that I were listening to on our local rap station W.H.P.K. They used to go up to the station and play their music and talk. They were our Chi Town stars at this time. I saw Purple Mansion, M.C. Pooh, Majestic Force, Chi Rock Nation, DA Smart, Cashuis D, DJ Cooley, Dr. Groove and a whole lot of others. I didn’t even know this world even existed this big, here in my town. To be in the presence of these people and Kingdom knowing all of them, let me further know, Kingdom’s status. In their b boy gear, representing there cliques. When I got on the turntables, I was wondering what they would think of me. I didn’t want to fuck up, so I begin to start playing music. I took a glance at the crowd, I saw everyone feeling what I was playing. But the main memory I have of that night. Was when I did a Public Enemy mix from their first album Bum Rush the Show. I mixed damn near all their songs and the crowd went wild. I had officially established myself as a DJ, at least for a minute.