Guns Down, Gloves Up: Detroit’s Car Wash Fight Club

Guns Down, Gloves Up: Detroit’s Car Wash Fight Club


-The Wash is just
a Detroit thing. There was so much beef
going on in the car scene — a lot of people was
talking about pulling guns, killing each other. We came up with an alternative.
-Three! -Which was Fight Night Fridays
at The Wash. [ Onlookers cheering ] ♪♪ -This the neighborhood.
This where we be at, man. You gonna go on any Detroit
street, these are the houses. Everything pretty much
fucked up. We really not out here
trying to do no negative shit. You know what I mean?
But it can get to that. -Detroit — murder capital. People dying every day,
people getting killed every day. It’s not worth it.
-Too many people got their motherfucking melon popped
off this shit, man. For real, we just tryin’
to have some fun, dawg. -Everybody always see
the poverty, the killing, but we just trying to put out a
whole different side to Detroit that you might not
even know about. -I got beef.
Come up to The Wash. -Come up to The Wash,
box it out. -We’ll get crackin’. ♪♪ -Welcome to Detroit. We’re at the famous Wash
everybody come to in the city. [ Engine revving,
tires screeching ] ♪♪ Whatever you done did, you done
crossed The Wash in the city. Detroit West Side. We know the most-known
car wash in Detroit, period. We’re from the car world.
That’s how we all came together. Everybody sitting in here
was in a car club. We started then.
We started sliding. And I acquired the car wash
four years ago. [ Engine revving,
tires screeching ] ♪♪ The events started
getting bigger, and they started
knowing our names. We started throwing
bikini washes every year — “Keep it Wet” — and it just took over,
like, the whole city. -Let’s go!
-It was about a mile down where you would see cars parked
to come to the bikini wash. Then, when they was ready
to shut us down, they’d bring out 12 cop cars,
about two helicopters, news reporter —
all that to the car wash. You could tell,
as the years went by, how many more people
that we touched, you know, or reached out to
because the crowds started getting
bigger and bigger. So, this is Fight Night
right here. -This is the fight?
Uh, this is the second one. -This Friday,
it’s gonna be wall-to-wall. It’s gonna be way more packed
than this. Way more. ♪♪ [ Clippers buzzing ] -We offer car washes,
and we do haircuts, too. So it’s like a one-stop shop. We decided to do anything
we can give back. You know what I’m saying?
We been doing things. Like, we got the toy drive
coming up for the kids. We delivered water
to Flint before. Fight Club —
why it’s positive for us is because
instead of people out here killing each other over nonsense
and senseless shit, you can bring it to the ring
and man up your problems and shake hands
and be done with it. All these crimes and stuff
going on around the city is over petty shit, man. People killing each other.
You know what I’m saying? Funerals every day. The cops will fuck with us. I don’t even get why the cops
fuck with us, for real. The city’s so fucked up. They’ll send
a motherfucking one cop car to a person that done died
or got killed, but you gonna send
a whole task force to some motherfuckers
doing donuts. That shit backwards as hell. Out of all this shit
that we’re going through, out of all the problems
people are going through, you got the one night to handle
and put that shit on the floor. Yeah, I’m gonna
introduce you guys to some of the fighters
we got lined up for tomorrow. -What’s up?
-What’s up, my man? [ Laughter ] You all right, man?
-Yeah, I’m good. -All right, man.
This the Car Doctor right here. -What’s going on?
What’s going on? -Man, he lined up to fight.
Main event, actually. -We gonna see what my man Slow
talkin’ about, see if he can get
stretched out or not. Get him on the phone
right quick, you know? -Ah, shit! What’s going on? -You guys want
to bet some money? -Oh, it’s money on the floor.
-Man, your big ass — Where he at?
That ain’t even you. He’s sleeping?
-Yeah, he’s sleeping. -Oh, you the manager, huh? It’s always the manager
talkin’ shit! -Your man scared to get on
camera, though. Where he at? -He’s not scared.
He just works nights. -Come on.
We need a face-off, man. We just try to come together,
do positive events in the city, ’cause, you know, they
shutting down all the parks. They won’t let us
hang out nowhere. So we had to figure out ways
for us to have fun. You know, we find somebody
that got a beef in the street to where, you know, it might
come to somebody getting killed, one of us can go out, say,
“Hey, man, come on. Come to The Wash,
fight it out, duke it out.” ♪♪ -This is a hidden spot.
You see how you got to go through the tunnel
to get to this motherfucker? Hey, if you don’t know Detroit,
you wouldn’t know. [ Laughs ] -This is where everybody goes
after you get out that club, you drunk as fuck. You got to get you
some chili-cheese fries. -Hey, we got to set
these fights up, though. -I got three fighters right
here. I got one right here. This motherfucker’s name
is “ThotBreaker”… [Laughs] …on Instagram. He 5’8” and weigh 150. You can match him up against — You think Dodd has 180?
Too big for him? -Man. Hell yeah, man.
-What? 30 pounds? It’s still street fighting. …chili-cheese fries, man. Good Coney dog. Take you to talk to a few
people, couple of my boys. Even if you get knocked down,
you can get back up. If you get shot and killed, there’s no getting up
from that, you know? So that’s what we trying
to stop at the car wash. ♪♪ -We live for family shit
like that. -Honor. -We on a different type
of time, for real. -Loyalty.
-We really not out here trying to do no negative shit.
But it can get to that. -Your man’s killin’, you might
think it’s cool to kill. If you see one person
getting money, you might think
it’s cool to get money. -My niggas learn to kill
’cause they think it’s sweet. -And some people just crazy.
They just don’t give a damn. -They don’t give a fuck.
-They just kill. -And there’s a lot of people —
We really don’t have resources. You know,
Dee opened up the car wash. That’s for — That’s how
we take our anger out. We go smoke up the tires.
-Friday Night Boxing — it’s a place where you can come
and let our your anger. You can put the guns down,
and you can really just let it all out,
settle out your differences, and not be so quick
to take someone else’s life. -Pull one of these.
-If you can fight it out, it’s better than losing somebody
’cause at the end of the day, when somebody’s child
walk out that door, you don’t even know
if they’re coming back. -You know,
you got beef in the streets, you go settle that shit
in the boxing ring. You know, that’s something
positive to bring to the city. -Just got to find something
to do to stop the killing. -Right now, we downtown Detroit.
We headed to my man Tee’s shop. You know, Tee got a garage
on the East Side. I’m on the West Side
with the car wash. I’ve been knowing Tee
for years now. We started together
in a car club. Welcome to the East Side. -7 Mile.
-7 Mile. My baby, Tee. What’s the deal, boy?
-Good. With this new generation
that’s, like, right up under us, that’s all they know,
is to pull out a strap. -You can be beefing
with a person over personal issues
or personal matters. You never know what it could be. -And that’s not the way,
and that’s another reason why we did
“Guns Down, Gloves Up.” We got to teach these young
people you can fight this out instead of just pullin’ up
on somebody and shootin’ them. ‘Cause me and him —
we both lost people to violence. I lost my father at 14
to gun violence. His killer’s still on the run. I lost cousins.
I lost best friends. It’s just — We’re at a point
to where we’re just — Enough is enough. -Hey, man.
Hey, y’all ready, man? -Yeah, I want to see the money
he tryin’ to cover. -My man’s Adam right here,
and we got J.R. — “Bigs.” You know what I’m saying? Big’s going against
the Car Doctor. -Just be ready.
That’s all I got to say. -We just want to put on
a nice, little, good fight, settle your beef. -We expect the crowd to be…
-Wall-to-wall. -…bigger.
-Biggest. -The biggest tomorrow. Tee known around the city for
the best hands in the city, man. The best driver. [ Engine revving,
tires screeching ] -Damn! Check that shit! That’s real…shit, man! All right, all right, all right! [ Indistinct shouting ] ♪♪ -It’s Fight Night
at the motherfucking Wash. It’s goin’ the fuck down. The ring is about 10 feet wide,
10 feet long, so your ass can’t run around
and hide from nobody. [ Indistinct conversations ] -We got the strongest edibles
in the city. 500 milligrams or nothin’. -Then we got the masseuse
right here. She gonna be giving out
massages, all that good shit. -Stand up for the camera
and do a little twirl. Just show ’em.
-No. [ Laughter ] -It’s all ready for Fight Night!
Yeah, yeah, yeah! [ Cheers and applause ] -Guns Down, Gloves Up!
What’s up?! ♪♪ -All right, man. Y’all go chill.
-Yeah, yeah. Just chill. -Have a good time.
-But y’all the main event. -We’ll see y’all boys later.
-Good luck, dawg. -What’s up? -I’m gonna need some help with
that fight for sure. It’s gonna be fun,
but as soon as they feel that real punch one good time,
they gonna be like, “Oh, shit. Whoo! Let me straighten up.”
Watch. -Who want to step in the ring
right now with Joe? Joe. Oh, okay! -Oh, shit!
-Oh, shit! [ Man on P.A.
speaking indistinctly ] [ Indistinct conversations ] ♪♪ -Touch gloves.
First round. Start. Fight! -There it goes! There it goes! -Stay in the middle!
Stay in the middle! [ Onlookers cheering ] -There it go! There it go! Yeah! ♪♪ Yeah! -Three, two, one!
All right, all right, all right. -Easy money! Easy money! -We gonna do this last round
30 seconds. 30 seconds. Yeah.
-This round? He woozy over there. We got to keep it safe
out here, man! 30 seconds. Get in the middle. [ Indistinct shouting ] ♪♪ -There he go! -Ohh! [ Onlookers cheering ] [ Indistinct shouting ] [ Cheers and applause ] [ Onlookers cheering ] ♪♪ -Three, two, one! All right, all right, all right! [ Onlookers cheering ] [ Onlookers cheering ] -You grow up thinking
that you got to do things this certain way to get
recognition from your peers. -And with all that status quo
comes violence. -Ten…nine…eight… six…four…three… Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
You can’t do that, all right? 45 seconds! Touch gloves! Take your time, take your time. Take your time!
Keep it in the middle! [ Onlookers cheering ] We tired of all the guns
and the violence. W-We don’t want to do that.
You know what I’m saying? So we got to find other avenues
to keep ourselves busy, to keep us positive,
to keep us together. [ Indistinct conversations ] -Hey! Hey! Definitely
got $40 on a knockout! ♪♪ -Keep it in the middle! All right. Heavyweights. [ Onlookers cheering ] All right! Let’s go! Fight!
Take your time! [ Onlookers cheering ] ♪♪ Take your time. [ Onlookers cheering ] ♪♪ ♪♪ Touch gloves! Let’s go! Fight! [ Onlookers cheering ] ♪♪ Winner! ♪♪ -We all come to The Wash, we hang out, we chill. Cops kick us out of everywhere else,
you know what I’m saying? That’s the only spot
they can’t kick us out of. [Laughs] [ Indistinct conversations ] -All in all,
today’s a good day, bro. Me and the old boy shook hands.
It was a good fight. [ Engine revs, tires screech ] -He got me, man.
He got me. See, that’s what it’s
all about, though, man. You got a beef with something,
man, step in the ring. And you know what I’m saying?
Get it over with that way. [ Engine revs, tires screech ] [ Police siren wails ] [ Siren wailing ] -Let’s go! Get off the corner.
Get in your car. Let’s go. -That’s how they do us. They try to kick us
out of every spot. [ Engine revs, tires screech ] -Are you conducting business
right now? -Yes.
-Is your fucking shop open? -No, my shop is not open. -Then how the fuck
are you conducting business? You got five minutes
to clear this the fuck up or I’m taking this goddamn car. Five minutes starting right now.
What does that say right there? -All right. -Get this fucking shit
out of here. -Ain’t got to be all like that,
man. Damn. -Tell me what we doing illegal. -Okay, the smell of
burning rubber out here — -No, no, no. Smell don’t
consist of us being illegal. -That’s not what I’m saying.
-We’re on the inside. -That’s not what I’m saying. -I’m listening, ’cause you keep
coming up here, harassing us. We don’t have to have a permit
inside the building. Sure, y’all done seen it. The cops just circle
and pass my car wash, look, see what’s going on, and all we doing
is washing cars. Just work with us. Officers here, like,
just come talk to us, give us a chance
to tell our story, you know, and tell the truth
about what’s really going on. You know, they got the badge on,
so they want to — “We can do what we want,
say what we want. We can stop who we want.” But at the end of the day,
we gonna keep doing it. Even if you get knocked down,
knocked on your ass, you gonna get respect,
you gonna get love. -We want everybody to come forth
to settle their beef this way. -You know what I’m sayin’?
We all brothers. And we all go to The Wash.
-Yeah. ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Engine revs, tires screech ] [ Onlookers cheering ] -Keep it in the middle! ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Engine revs, tires screech ] ♪♪ [ Onlookers cheering ]
-Keep it in the middle! ♪♪