In Conversation with Crimefaces: The Definitive Interview
Today, we chat with AC, the founder, and the voice of Crimefaces. You may recognize him from Instagram or his feature in Maxim magazine. He also co-sponsored our last Golden Gauntlet Graffiti Battle, and today is here to discuss the past, present, and future of Crimefaces.
I visited AC at Crimefaces HQ – an undisclosed location in the heart of the city – and was greeted at the door by Vin Major. He put a gun to my head. Fortunately, it was just to take my temperature. Vin gave me a Crimefaces face mask and then led me to meet AC, who was eating red grapes, then gave me an air hug.
BOWERY BOOGIE: Welcome, AC. Tell us how Crimefaces got started.
AC: Thank you! Well I saw what the internet was doing [and how] the creative world shifted to online content and I wanted to get involved. I started an Instagram page and started to do true crime. I am an avid reader of true crime books and watching true crime docs. I started to post for a month or two.
BB: What were you posting?
AC: I was posting daily crime…daily news and things that were on this news, and this and that. Hence, Crimefaces..
BB: But what were you posting about it?
AC: I documented the crime while analyzing the human behavior. One was this robbery and the guy ran in to rob a cell phone store and when he came out he was shooting at the cops and the cops shot him. I was reporting and assessing. Definitely not embracing it, but breaking it down as a deterrent to show some of this shit. I did that a month or two to learn the algorithm and the hashtags and it got extremely boring, but I was learning. I thought, let me learn everything first before I l blast it off. It got monotonous and then many of my peers were saying “yo, the page is cool but you’re the funniest dude I know, switch it up!”
BB: Your friends already viewed you as the funny one in the group?
AC: Yeah, I get them out of character. I always had the toughest guys laughing and giggling. It’s been like that since I was kid.
BB: Your friends were saying you could be a personality, an Instagram personality and here you are.
AC: Yeah, I said OK, but I want to be original, I don’t want to do what everyone is else is doing. Originality is king in any field.
BB: What was the first video you did? Take us back.
AC: I found a video of central booking in Brooklyn from 2019. It was of a kid in the holding cell. They were bringing another prisoner in and when he got in the cell he told the kid to get up off the bench. They started to fight and the kid was slammed on his head.
BB: Oh, geez.
AC: Yeah, it’s not a good thing what happened, but it’s what happened. When I was putting together the content I strategically thought of comedy, but I wanted to do my own stance.
BB: What would you call your own stance?
AC: What I saw was WorldStar blowing up with fight videos. They’ve been doing the same thing since 2008, the formula works, but I asked myself, what else excites people? Fighting, sports, comedy. I know people are going to watch fight videos anyway so I jumped into the ring with my take.
BB: I never watched fight videos until Crimefaces.
AC: Oh, yeah? Thank you! What I thought of, which was kinda nuts, I turned the volume off on the video and I was focusing on human behaviors. I broke down what this guy was thinking, what that guy was thinking. I break the scenario down and spice it up with jokes. When I pick the video, the characters talk to me. Most of the time in fights, people are acting aggressive and belligerent. Chances are before, during and after the fight someone is acting wackadoo crazy.
BB: (laughter) How do you spell wackadoo?
AC: (laughter) w- a -c -k-a-d-o-o-
BB: Did you ever enter any spelling bees?
AC: I won!
BB: What? When?
AC: I think 2nd or 3rd grade? I have that title.
BB: Your parents must have been so proud.
AC: Yeah, it stopped there! Nah, I’m joking.
BB: Speaking of family, where did you grow up?
AC: I grew up in Staten Island, and when I was about 15, I completely moved out on my own.
BB: At 15?
AC: Yeah, it was time to get moving, I had things to do! Laughter
BB: How did you afford that at 15!
AC: You see, it’s not like being 15 today when they can’t even wipe their own ass. 15 in the ‘90s is like a 25-year-old today. I worked jobs, we did what boys do which was stupid decisions, but I actually had a job working at Shop-Rite. I did the carts, packing bags, I did the whole SHA-BANG! And the recycling, you know the bottles and the cans?
BB: Um, yes I know what recycling is. (laughter)
AC: (laughter) When I moved out, I’m on my own, paying rent and working. I’m exposed to things. I moved around.
AC: Um. Different businesses, different girls. You know, you’re a young man exploring. Hopefully, you don’t completely fuck up because you have your values and don’t go off the deep end.
BB: Did you go off the deep end?
AC: I was taking risks and, in hindsight, it was crazy. I made stupid decisions.
BB: Did you finish school?
AC: Yes, I did.
BB: Well, so not completely off the deep end!
AC: I went to multiple high schools. Night school here, day school there. I would get suspended – nah, better than that – kicked out. But I kept trying. A lot of my friends in high school were graffiti writers, I just wasn’t one.
BB: Oh? That’s dope.
AC: My cousin is Logek. Shout out to 4Burnerz Crew in the BX! After High School, I majored in creative writing while briefly in New York City Technical College on Jay Street in Brooklyn.
BB: I have a BA in creative writing; is that cool?
AC: Actually, it is very cool. I should have stayed in college.
BB: It is never too late. So what was the next life marker for you? After college…
AC: In my 20s, people around me started getting into trouble.
BB: Yet, in all the bad, you always maintained your sense of humor?
AC: Yeah, along the way was full of laughter and jokes. We snap on everybody! That’s what we call it. Everyone gets made fun of. If you had funky shoes…If your girl was ugly…We would get on you. Reb, I forget something important in high school: I always played sports.
BB: Okay, why is that important?
AC: Because I feel someone that participates in competition-level activities makes you more of well rounded person. Winning, losing, and camaraderie. I played baseball, basketball, martial arts and football.
BB: Gotcha. Flash forward to your mid-20s.
AC: I got a real job…it gives you stability and insurance, but it traps you in a way. Repetition kills creativity.
BB: How did you get unstuck?
AC: I always wanted to be a creator, so with the internet it gave me a chance to create a brand. That is the American dream, you don’t want to be an employee. You want to be a boss. The internet gave an opportunity to build and be creative.
BB: Word. Was the Instagram page always called Crimefaces?
BB: Okay, so obviously I have to talk about social media because that is your main platform right now. Was there one day that you just blew up?
AC: Yeah, Joe Budden and Bill Burr mentioned me in their podcasts in the same week. The first one was Bill Burr, my phone was sitting on the coffee table, and it started buzzing so much it fell off the coffee table. I had thousands of followers and I didn’t know from where so I asked one of the new followers. They said Bill Burr mentioned your page.