YLO Cobras
YLO Cobras

YLO Cobras

Founded Founded in 1980 by Flaco C in or near Logan Square
Formerly known as

YLO 1978-1979; YLO Cobra Disciples 1979-1980; YLO Cobras 1980-1992

Affiliations Folk Nation — c. 1980 – 2000 or later;
Insane (North Side) — 1992 – 2000 or later;
Colors Black and Green
Primary ethnicities Latino (Puerto Rican)
Symbols Cobra, Diamond, and 3 Dots
Symbol usage

Diamond with 3 dots

Status Active

The concept of “YLO” came about in 1971 invented by the Young Lords as they used “YLO” to represent “Young Lords Organization.”  By the mid-1970s the Young Lords started to decline in numbers and this led members to looks elsewhere for membership.  YLOs decided to click up with Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples by 1976 even though Spanish Cobras generally did not like Young Lords and considered them sellouts.  These YLOs instead were embraced by Cobras and Disciples and this how this particular group of YLOs became the “Young Latino Organization.”  The concepts of YLO were heavily adopted by Spanish Cobra Ray Rolon or Colon.

In 1976, King Cobra situated young Spanish Cobras at the intersection of Springfield and Hirsch in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood in 1976 who were completely all about friendship with the YLO. You could say these were the first YLO Cobras even though they were just a part of the Spanish Cobras organization at that time, however, this was in a way a merger between a group of Young Lords and Spanish Cobras.  These YLOs were divided up for governing between Spanish Cobras and Maniac Latin Disciples creating “Young Latino Organization Spanish Cobras” and “Young Latino Organization Latin Disciples,” or “YLOSC” and “YLOLD.”  This was also the first sections of West Humboldt Park Spanish Cobras as well.  King Cobra then put more YLO Spanish Cobras at the intersection of Mozart and Cortland in Logan Square.  YLO Spanish Cobras at these two territories were very Disciple friendly, that was the difference between a YLO Spanish Cobra and a typical Spanish Cobra.  The Maniac Latin Disciples on board with this where situated at Francisco and Wabansia as YLO Latin Disciples.

In the year 1978, a new alliance with the Imperial Gangsters and Latin Eagles now developed called  “United Latino Organization” or “ULO” and the “YLO” term was then used for the young members or “futures” that wanted to join the Cobras and Disciples.  These kids were in grammar school and junior high age.  Being YLO would give these young kids an opportunity to prove themselves before being taken into ULO and being a Spanish Cobra or Latin Disciple.

The kids that wanted to be Cobras still had their territory at Mozart and Cortland Disciples were posted at Richmond and Cortland.  YLO was still one group with both future Cobras and Disciples; however, they had their own territory from regular Cobras and Disciples and each YLO group (YLO Spanish Cobra and YLO Latin Disciple).  YLO was governed by both Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples in 1978.

The YLOs began to prove themselves worthy of becoming a part of ULO and being Cobras and Disciples as they gang banged heavily on enemies and protected their turf ferociously.  The YLO Cobras took over their first City Park and new piece of territory on their own at Shubert and Avers, Kosciusko Park in Logan Square, known as Koz Park in 1978. This boosted their reputation.  The YLOSCs battled Latin Kings, Vice Lords and the Ghetto Brothers Organization ferociously.

By 1979, the Cobras and Disciples were so impressed with the young YLOs that they wanted them to take the full membership right away, but were surprised when the young YLOs told them they were no longer interested and wanted their own nation that they wanted to call “Young Latino Organization Cobra Disciples.”  These kids developed a nifty handshake that consisted of throwing up the Cobra and the pitchfork.  The YLO training camps of the late 1970s proved to be too much of a success because these kids got too independent and even stole the name of the training camp and old alliances away from the Cobras and Disciples.  Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples sometimes acted like the YLOs were still low ranking Cobras and Disciples in an attempt to get them to flip by saying things like “Y be LO when you can be a D (or C)?”  Even though Cobras and Disciples had some jealousy, they remained allies and watched their backs.  Now just for understanding: the YLOCD was an agreement between YLO Cobras and YLO Disciples.  YLOCD applied to both groups, who were two separate gangs but also like one larger entity at the same time; mainly when they got together, but when they were posted on their own turf they used their own names.

In the year 1980, the YLOCD became even more independent as they felt they did not need each other anymore.  Some of these kids wanted to follow Spanish Cobra concepts more closely while others wanted to follow Latin Disciple concepts.  This disagreement led to the gang being split in half.  The kids that wanted to follow Disciple concepts became known as the “Young Latino Organization Disciples” or “YLOD” and were led by “Chicky D,” “Kiki D,” and “Karate Freak.”  The Spanish Cobra supporters became known as the “Young Latino Organization Cobras” or “YLOC” and were led by Flaco C, Negro C, Javier C and Papo C, with Flaco C being the head of the Nation all throughout the 1980s. By default, YLO Cobras were taken into the Folk Nation alliance as soon as they gained independence since they were born out of the Spanish Cobras.

Latin KingsLatin Pachucos and Insane Unknowns became the YLOC’s arch enemies and tried to wipe them out since they were a new nation, but YLOCs fought ferociously, proving they were a force to be reckoned with. YLO Cobras aggressively pushed their way into Springfield and Lemoyne in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood making this territory their third overall piece of turf in the year 1981.   The Springfield and Hirsch YLOCs were in a heavy war with Latin Kings from nearby Hirsch and Central Park Ave and Beach and Spaulding and the Insane Unknowns from Grand Ave and Cortez. Spanish Cobras of Springfield and Hirsch either flipped to YLOCs or cleared out to allow YLOCs to run that intersection. Mozart and Cortland YLOC’s battled against Latin Kings, Gaylords and Spanish Lords in Logan Square.  The wars did not slow down the momentum of the YLOCs as they were able to expand further into Logan Square in 1983 opening Monticello and Cortland and Shakespeare and Central Park Ave.

In the year 1986, Crazy C guided YLOCs to take over the intersection of Lemoyne and Harding in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood and by 1988 the YLOCs took over a Duk’s hotdog stand located at North Avenue and Pulaski.  At Duk’s, YLOCs were posted up all over this intersection and selling crack cocaine inside and outside the hotdog stand.  You could come to Duk’s for a hot dog and some crack when Crazy C was running things.  The hot dog stand was highly profitable and so was Springfield and Lemoyne back in these days.

YLO Cobras had gained police attention by 1990 because of their bold drug distribution, which led to a raid on Duk’s Hot Dog stand in early 1991, causing Lemoyne and Harding to close down and Crazy C was put in prison. This didn’t slow the gang down. The Lawndale/Cortland section opened next to Monticello and Cortland as a result of the 1991 YLOC expansion.  Mozart and Cortland in Logan Square also increased in power as Avers and Hirsch “Assassin’s Hood” opened in West Humboldt Park, starting another new section. Big Joker C became Chief of the neighboring section in Springfield and Hirsch.  Python C took over as the head of Avers and Hirsch.  A few months past after the Duk’s raid and YLOCs returned to Duk’s in the fall of 1991 to begin crack distribution again.

The Spanish Cobras created the “Insane Familia” while the Latin Disciples created the “Maniac Familia.”  The YLO Cobras would naturally follow the Insane Familia, while the YLO Disciples followed the Maniac Familia.  The YLO gangs tried to stay united despite friction between ISC’s and MLD’s, but in the summer of 1992 that relationship would end when YLO Cobras were hanging out with some Imperial Gangsters on Mozart and Cortland “Sin City,” when the YLOCs permitted the Imperial Gangsters to spray paint their gangster crown with pitchforks upside down.  This infuriated YLODs and Maniac Latin Disciples.  The MLDs and YLODs responded by painting the Spanish Cobra diamond upside down and starting fights with YLOCs at Cortland and Mozart.  This eventually erupted into full scale war between both YLO gangs.  The war did not last very long as Maniacs, Almighties and Insanes often froze their wars in the early 90’s, putting both YLO gangs back at peace. However during the time of war the YLOCs would flash disrespecting gang symbols to MLDs and IGs that included the flashing of the upside down pitchfork which caught the attention of the Gangster Disciples who also used the pitchfork as their gang sign.  This caused a stir with the Gangster Disciples, but YLOCs and ISC’s both assured the GDs that it was only directed at MLDs.

In 1992, Python C went to prison for the murder of a Latin King gang member from Beach and Spaulding

By 1993, Avers/Hirsch was becoming one of the most notorious sections of YLOCs. No one was ever charged, but word on the street is it was a Cobra from Avers and Hirsch who murdered an Insane Unknown in front of a liquor store on Grand and Pulaski.

In 1994, YLOC’s made another bold move as they took over a bar at North Avenue and Harding in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.  They also took over the intersection of Central Park Ave and Dickens “Wild Side” which expanded their turf of Shakespeare and Central Park in Logan Square.  YLO Cobras continued their aggressive moves as they gunned down King Freddy and Baby, two Latin Kings from Central Park Ave and Hirsch.

In the year 1995, some misfortune came to the YLOCs when gang member Soul C was killed by Insane Unknowns. YLO Cobras also got dragged into a war with the Imperial Gangsters once again, after a drunken IG killed a member of the allied gang Insane Orquestra Albany at a party, which forced all the gangs in the Insane alliance into a war with IGs. YLOCs especially would end up knee deep in this war with the Imperial Gangsters which led them to shoot at IG’s on Fullerton and Kimball. The YLOCs were also engaging in a war with Gaylords on the border of the city near the suburb of Elmwood Park, and were accredited with removing Gaylords from the Grand and Harlem Area after YLOCs pulled a hit in the north Austin neighborhood and opened fire on the Sayre Park Gaylords, killing members of the gang.  YLOCs also shot up Milwaukee Kings at Riis Park, killing one and wounding two others. The Insane Latin Dragons were trying to establish a foothold in the area and kept getting attacked by the People gang the Latin Brothers and the Maniac MK’s, who were backed up by the Maniac Latin Disciples. The YLOC’s shot up Riis Park to remind the Maniac Milwaukee King’s who was backing up the Dragons. By the end of 1995 things were really heating up for YLOCs as they went out for blood gunning down several enemies.

In 1996, the Spanish Cobras and Maniac Latin Disciples were in a full state of war after the mock Valentine’s Day massacre and the events that followed.  YLOCs went deep into this war and went after MLDs by gunning down members in Humboldt Park and at the Brickyard Mall in the Belmont – Cragin neighborhood.  The bloody YLOC rampage continued as they gunned down an Imperial Gangster at North Ave and Avers in West Humboldt Park and Latin Kings from Beach and Spaulding.  All this bloodshed against rivals made YLOCs wanted for dead by many enemies, especially Menace C, who was known to be a legend from Avers and Hirsch having shot up MLDs, IGs and killed 3 Latin Kings, 2 of which were from Central Park Ave and Hirsch and another from Armitage and Kedzie.  Menace C was gunned down by Latin Kings in revenge for killing Latin Kings.  YLOCs were angered by the loss of Menace C and in retaliation they vowed to kill 10 Latin Kings.  The YLOCs ended up killing 7 Latin Kings over the course of two years which is still a major accomplishment considering that Chicago Police were hot on their trail.  The police even raided Duk’s Hot Dog stand again, this time closing it down for good in 1996. The YLOCs then took all those operations to the bar on North Ave and Harding.

In the year 1997, the Maniacs and Spanish Cobras escalated the war permanently when a YLOC from Central Park and Dickens killed an MLD named Omski D from the Keystone and Dickens MLD branch.  Shortly after, Springfield and Hirsch closed down since too many high ranking members there ended up in prison and with so many wars with IGs, Latin Kings, Insane Unknowns and MLDs, the section had a tough time without their experienced leadership. Another reason this section closed is because a Vice Lord gang member came walking through this territory with his hat tilted to the left, which led YLOCs to shoot him dead on the spot.  When police came to investigate the murder, YLOCs became aggravated and started shooting at the investigating officers.  This was not the first time YLOCs from Springfield and Hirsch and Avers and Hirsch had shot at the police, but this time the police had enough and shut down Springfield and Hirsch, especially since this section was constantly shooting at MLDs and Insane Unknowns near their border.

In the same year of 1997, GD’s were ready to go to war, but Spanish Cobras and Gangster Disciples had a junta to re-establish the rocky peace between the cousin Nations.

In the year 1998, Avers and Hirsch YLOC’s killed a MLD from Grand and Harding, which led to increased police sweeps in the area, the closing of Springfield and Lemoyne, and members going to prison.

By 1999 Avers and Hirsch was the last West Humboldt Park YLOC section standing, and being heavily watched by the Chicago Police because this section was completely crazy and quick with the gun.  This became apparent in the Fall of 1999 when Avers and Hirsch shooters stormed a Latin King wedding and shot up 5 people, killing 2 of them and wounding 3 others.  The shooting was caught on camera and broadcast on WGN News and other news channels, now law enforcement swarmed all over Avers and Hirsch but it was too late as the shooters had already fled to Mexico and were never seen again.

In the year 2000, Avers and Hirsch shut down, closing the last West Humboldt Park chapter, but as a result increased the Logan Square ranks. Most members transferred to other YLOC or Insane Spanish Cobra sections, while some adopted a “renegade” philosophy where they did not follow the Insane Familia and only went by their own organization’s bylaws. Also, there’s a rumor that some of the higher ups from West Humboldt Park went to Florida and are responsible for setting up the YLOC sections in Orlando and Ft. Myers.

In Chicago, YLOC’s in Koz Park were still holding it down, Shakespeare/Central Park “Young and Crazy” and Monticello/Cortland kept the YLO Cobra’s hardcore going into the 21st century.

Known Sections of the YLO Cobras past and present

Avondale neighborhood

Sections of Avondale

George & Avers

East Humboldt Park neighborhood

Sections of East Humboldt Park

Rockwell from Potomac to Division

Artesian & Potomac

Hermosa neighborhood 90s, 2000s

Sections of Hermosa

Belden to Dickens, Tripp to Keeler (Terror Dome) 90s, 2000s

Armitage & Tripp 90s, 2000s

Logan Square neighborhood Established 1976-present years

Sections of Logan Square

Cortland to Bloomingdale, Francisco to California Established 1976 (Sin City)

Cortland to Bloomingdale, Lawndale to Central Park

Central Park Ave from Dickens to Shakespeare Established 1994 (Wild Side, Young and Crazy)

Francis & Stave (shared with Spanish Cobras)

Schubert & Avers Established 1978 (Kosciuszko Park, shared with Orquestra Albany and Spanish Cobras)

Shakespeare & Central Park Ave Established 1983

West Humboldt Park neighborhood Established 1976-2000

Sections of West Humboldt Park

North Ave to Hirsch, Pulaski to Avers (Duk’s Hot Dogs, Assassin’s Hood) Established 1976-2000