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Quite simply, before the Bloods and Crips made their journey from the West Coast to New York, there were the Decepticons.


If you were older than eight years old and living in New York City in the late 1980s, chances are you know about the Decepticons gang, a smash-and-grab band of thugs who ruled Brooklyn, instilling fear from subway trains to street corners to project hallways.

From 1986 to the early-1990s, they were notorious for vicious attacks and thievery on innocent, everyday people. They were almost mythical in the paranoia they created.

In a New York Times article from 1989, Sgt. John Galea, an NYPD gang unit commander, said, “There is a reality to the Decepticons, but there’s also a myth. The reality is that they exist. The myth is that they’re all over the place in large numbers, and that’s simply not true.”

Moreover, the lines between fact and fiction have been blurred over time, which is a true testiment to the powerful lure of The Decepticons. Their story has told in numerous rap songs, hood movies and in the dark recesses of online message boards. Many people who were asked to interview for this story either declined or were reluctant to go on record. Still, there are those that weave this tale, revealing aspects of the crew that are certain

“We were doing bad things….long before I came along,” says Rock during a recent interview with “In the cartoon, the Decepticons were the bad guys, and that’s who we were. I can’t deny it – I’d either be lying to the world now, or I was lying back then.”



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