Blood In, Blood Out…


Remember when everyone in rap music was down with the ‘Bloods’ streetgang except Snoop. That shit drove me fucking bananas. I know all these dudes aren’t banging on other dudes [ll]. I mean, sure some of these rap dudes are banging other dudes but… I digress.

There was this little vignette in time when Lil’ Wayne, Juelz Santana, Game, Fat Joe and a few other rap stars were claiming the Blood set. Since I’m on this whole SlaughterHouse x rap vampire shit this week I thought I could keep shit popping with the ‘blood’ theme. Where has all the love in mainstream rap music gone for gang culture?

Someone in the recording industrial complex decided that rappers with a jail stint on their resume were more marketable than say, someone who managed to accomplish nothing while in his parent’s basement for the past 10 years. Even if the dude in jail ended up spending his time as a MayTag. This turned out to be a very poor marketing strategy as opposed to say, simply producing great music.

No one has more street cred than Detroit’s Trick Trick. No one will also have more unpurchased albums in the Auburn Hills BestBuy. The days of gimmicky artist programs has hopefully wound itself down in the label offices. Lyrics have returned to the top of the heap. KanYe is murdering every single feature he touches. Raekwon is going to punch everyone in the mouth and SlaughterHouse is, well, SlaughterHouse.


Just because rappers have stopped espousing the rotating prison door lifestyle doesn’t mean that we don’t have a generation of Black and Brown youth dealing with those realities on the daily because they thought that this would be the way they would a) become adults, b) develop courage and c) achieve their dream of being in the music business. Most of these kids will never know the doors that have been shut to them because they have been to jail.

Gang culture going out of style in rap music makes sense to me because rap is so much a part of American pop culture that all trends are recucled and re-sold constantly. There hasn’t been a decline in young people going to jail though. Poverty in America is still the first and foremost creator for crime and decay. The idea that kids will be joining the ranks of the Bloods and Crips less isn’t the answer.

Kids will just create a group that mirrors their values and matches whatever cartoon they are watching. Trust me on that one. The damage that was needed to be completed has been set up. See how many of your friends will come under the control of the government (state property) if they aren’t already. In the meanwhile, the youngest listeners and viewers are being visually programmed to wear their kid sister’s dungarees (no Kid Sister).

Wu-Tang NEVER told me to go to jail.

Wu-Tang is for the kids.


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  • Pierzy

    Nice work, Dallas.

    I think there are two additional points:

    1. There was a time when the media was obsessed with the Bloods & Crips [HBO even did a special on it in Little Rock] and, as we all know, hip-hop imitates life or, in this case, what is portrayed as life.

    2. There was a time when the West Coast was at the top of the game, so those Death Row artists [Snoop, Suge, 'Pac, Kurupt] repped it and, since imitation is everywhere, other artists did likewise.

    Things have changed.

    And good call on Wu-Tang.

  • vhingrhamesonyo’momma

    niggas jus’ be tryna rep outta fear but i always told if a nigga can’t speak no lit’ whup his ass.Then I grew up.anyway peace be upon all the Vl soldiers, black and gold baby!

  • General

    Good post.

    I do think that a lot of the change from Gang culture has to do with the West Coast not being at the top of the game right now, but also with rap music being so driven by the radio and clubs right now.

    It seems every artist is expected to make somethin for the clubs if they want their shit to see the light of day, so that is what the music has centered around

  • Dallas Penn

    I agree that the west coast dominance gave a push to the lifestyle the media said was “theirs”

    Thank god the southern dominance in rap doesn’t have me dancing dumber than I already do.


    Damn i been AWOL for a minute but whats good P, OG, Dallas

    Good drop my dude, and i feel like bangin in music is just whatever its promoting sometimes but at other times its a reality check too. Not all peolpe who bang are idiots and murder people. i come from the Junlges in LA where its just if you live there your apart of it whether you like it or not. i had to fight other niggas just cuz i lived there so eventually i was just like fuck it and got put on, but i love hip hop and if i was ever to become a rapper i would rep my hood in my music too but just not be bangin on songs. i feel like being a blood is only commercial in music cuz in LA bloods are out numbered like 10 to 1 or some crazy shit like that so on the blood or piru side you gotta have alot of heart to live in my city cuz you stick out like a sore thumb nigga. As far as the music side tho dudes in other places i cant really comment on but in LA everybody listen to your shit no matter what hood you from blood listen to snoop and nipsey, and crips listen to Game and Jay Rock.

    Floss Daily

  • VEe

    Less gang love in rap music is a good thing. Hopefully people realize that although rappers are rarely claiming organized street fraternities, there are still neighborhoods that are still engulfed in some form of street warfare.

    There are still gang documentaries coming out though. Baron Davis’ film was tight.

    Loved Blood In-Blood Out!

    KanYe is murdering every single feature he touches . . . nah, I don’t hear it. He’s gotten better but I wouldn’t go as far to say he’s killin it.

  • El Tico Loco

    Rap’s funny it has its stages from NGE to sets, traps to gates, dances etc. I’m guessing frats and sororities are gonna hit next, not a bad thing but it sadly is gonna be a fad instead of a way of life, ask around, how many 80′s kids outside of NY still knowledge 120 and kept their attributes? Or still throw sets? All while keeping their 9 to 5 and a clean arrest record.

  • hate

    kids is bangin in upstate ny. i think the shit is funny because nobody give a fuck about that gang shit no more. so they be gettin clowned on. still tho, these youngn’s today is madd ignorant. shootin over nothin. no respect. makes me sick

  • capcobra

    wu tang didn’t promote gang bangin’..but they sure did promote drugs and robbery…along with that godbody shit…lol.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      So I can say “Yet no one wants to hear any fanatical Christian bullsh*t” LOL.

      Killer drop DP.

      Even slid “MayTag” in there!

    • BIGNAT

      capcobra you are right it was promoted in the music but not in all of there music. for every wu record you got about hurting somebody. you got the one about how hard it was in the hood. the love for mother and child. the feeling of being powerless to stop violence that is happening in the streets. “the streets are rough out here the crack game done came and had it’s years. what is a man to do. brother man stay true stay true.”

      • capcobra

        i definitely agree’s just that the post was so on point that i tried to find a debatable point…{salutes dp}…it was either wu promoted drug use or the fact he spelled “recucled”…the recucled point would’ve been corny and dp so tuff wit it i wasn’t sure if recucled was a misspell or a real

        • El Tico Loco

          Damn if wasn’t just playin that on the way to work. @Nat

  • Worley

    It’s the mindset of the gang that is wack. I have no problem with young black and brown people getting together but if it’s to sell dope and kill off your own people then that sh*t is extra wack.

    Trust me, White is scared sh*t of the power that organized black and brown have. So he dropped the dope bag in their hands and let them fight over what he considers scraps.

    Wisen up. Use the gang for a positive purpose. Look at all the sh*t we buy from someone else. Go about producing it yourselves and you will see money that even the dopeman can’t imagine and white can’t touch (unless you forget to pay your taxes).

  • giantstepp

    The gang culture never fully intergrated in the DC area. There are always some wannabees etc., but for the most part that culture mimicking bloods and crips never materialized here. Dudes always been down and rep the hood that raised them. But nothing to the level of bloods and crips. And I wanna say New York ya’ll disapointed me adopting that shit from Cali. I thought ya’ll was some leaders…I can see it happening in the midwest and maybe down south, but in NY??

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      There have been gangs in NY since the early days(including the movie).

      The Mutts
      The Dirty Ones
      Hell’s Angels
      The Decepticons
      The Italian Mob
      The Russian Mob

      Albeit, yes the new wave of gangs is heavily attributed to kids watching too much TV.

      And dudes relocating from the west.

      • capcobra

        don’t forget spades.savage skulls and all the ny gangs of the 70′s.

        • Moving Sideways

          …and definitely don’t forget The Warriors or the Baseball Furies.

          Can you dig it?

  • blacker cracker

    if i was a vampire, i would just eat out sluts while they were on the rag

  • these posts are racist

    Gangs in Chicago have been broken apart…the central leadership is behind bars and the once powerful GD’s and LK’s are not made up of little clicks and crews selling drugs on corners. The murder rate in Chi however is higher than ever. CNN was just in my hood!

    The issue therefore is not gangs…but poverty and racism. Period. All this other stuff is just symptoms and the glorification of it by rappers is just that…With poverty and racism comes such social ills.

    • Around and Around

      Hmmm an Attorney and CNN was just in your “hood”…….interesting, as they say….

      the gang as an outwardly aggressive orginization is pretty much dead…just look at everyone walking around banging hats, that would not happen in 1991.

  • reef

    gangs is wack, but i do want people to remember where it started at not LA, but chicago gang banging is just the culture.

  • latino heat

    those two pictures are just sad.

  • fastflipper

    thr second pic is just to whites kids with a bandana

    its not gang related

  • Brooklyn

    gangbanging was always wack, that’s why i never joined one, although the opportunity did present itself. i’m a man, and i handle my shit myself. i don’t need a bunch of niggas running around with scarves tied around their heads fighting my battles for me, that ain’t manly behavior, that’s bitchy behavior. the fucked up thing about gangs is that you got niggas (and i’m including my hispanic niggas in that) fighting over territory that ain’t theirs anyway. these niggas kill each other over land that they don’t even own, setting up boundaries where they don’t have the jurisdiction to do so, and killing people that look like them instead of killing the people that don’t look like them and oppress them.
    now with that said, there are bloods and crips in nyc, but them niggas is wack. they get bitched by the latin kings and the trinitarios.

  • EmCDL

    Good drop DP! I think its a ‘been there, done that’ thing with gang culture within the rap game. Now everybody nowadays just want to go to the club and have fun, turning on their swag and supermannin’.

  • cazomsw

    I totall agree with my man giantstep. Being born an raised in Harlem i was very dissapointed in seeing the gang culture infiltrate my hood. I was raised in the 80′s where you just repped for you block no colors none of that bs. very dissapointed in these young dudes. This new generation is misguided. Any grown man from Ny over 30 claiming this gang mess is real wack for that.

  • anutha_level

    well stated.

  • nicholasdelorejo

    Your right in terms of the decline of gang culture in hip hop. But don’t think that it’s due to some resurrection to lyricism. I think that it’s because the music is tired of the bullshit that is often accompanied with gang banging music to support it. Today gang banging or violet rap is often harder to promote in commercial mainstream music. Issues such as censorship, controversy, and criticism make a song from Trick Trick harder for the labels to push to a broader audience. Kanye West and rappers like him are successful now because they manage to make music that more relatable and safer to be promoted to a wider consumer base. Why do you think the labels were amped to promote rappers like Drake and Asher Roth. It’s because they won’t have to worry about some backlash from folks that find the messages in their songs so indulgent in negativity. Their music is most likely to be played in almost any club, commercial, concert, and even T.V. (no Degrassi).

    But I also think the decline in gangsta music is also due to the lack of appeal people once had for it. Before dudes like Snoop and 50 were idolized for image of being hard bodied mutha fuckas that no one would fuck with. Now those same dudes are seen as a bunch of no achieving, mentally disturbed fucks that does not give a shit about the people the fans that support them. Not to say rappers like Kanye are considerate to their fans feelings. But compared to the music they make to that of rappers like Trick Trick, it’s hard for those fans to feel otherwise.

    In the end, I will say that part of me feels that the absence of gang rap would not create an impact on the misfortunate youth that experience that lifestyle as a reality. This is mainly because gang music typically does not do anything to inform the youth of those traps that hold those children back or inspire them to become something more so they can fix these problems. Except for Ice Cube and maybe a few others, gang music instead did nothing but told youngsters to not only accept the fucked up hand they were dealt but also glorify it. While emo rap in no way inspires those kids to improve the conditions in their communities, it does inspire them to look beyond their realities into images that won’t reinforce an aggressive manliness of gang culture. But I can’t say that logic is accurate because I’ve never been as exposed to the serious gang culture as those who live places like LA or Compton. Only thing I can say is that if anyone is inspired to be a rapper at this point in time, your best bet is to make a song that is avoid any hood references otherwise it will fall in the category of gangster rap whether the music was meant to be perceived that way or not.

  • NotTheOne002


  • Freddy 2pc

    Blood and crips is whack if you not from Southern Cali and you banging B’s and C’s your whack. Don’t get me wrong whack nigga can be hard too. But your city is whack if niggas is banging b’s and c’s we don’t play that shit in the bay. I say blood all day because thats what we do in the bay. the bay is the only place in the nation where nigga don’t gang bang. Why. because nigga already had the connect and niggas aint followers out here. Its all around the bay and up and down Cali. Frenso, Bakerfield, Stockton, Sac, San Diego, But not in the Bay. we don’t play that shit. very few cities that can say that. Can your’s?

  • Tony Grands

    If the gang culture renaissance/resurgence has a true forefather, not a Wayne or a Game, it’s most definitely going to be Nipsey Hussle. I’m not saying thats good or bad. I’m just saying.

    Mutuda & Floss & whoever else is out here can agree, I’m sure. This dude Nips is GANGBANGING. He’s not joking & he’s not using some psuedo-affiliated gimmick as a lame marketing scheme. For any cats who heard his music & have no idea what that “RSC” is that he keeps screaming, it’s Rollin Sixties Crip (Gang).

    I don’t agree thats a good look for Hip Hop, because gang violence (in L.A. @ least) right now is taking young dudes off of the street, really though. I’d much rather “we” give the kids something to look forward to than prison yards, hospital rooms & funerals.
    But, we all know the elements surrounding us. & with so many prevailant negative influences running rampant, all we can do is teach our seeds the right things & pray that we don’t become the prey.

  • Silly Willy

    I don’t really think that gang culture in hiphop had more to do with glorification than description at first. We were just so lost in that bullshit keep it real nonsense, where conveniently someone dubbed as real had to be crime-related just because that’s what you see in the hood. And many arti….erm, entertainers felt compelled to make us believe they’re gang or crime-related. Which, if you ask me is dry snitching. We, as fans, created that trend. We made that shit cool when someone who didn’t rap about violence is not real enough for us………

    In that sea of violence in the hood, if some people strive to upgrade their life, go to school, work, and even love other people, shouldn’t it be just as real to speak about them ?

    “But hardcore is far more than bats and gats, it stems back from the roots of being true. It’s gonna get me Me, you just get you You. What I look like talking about some shit I ain’t do ???”

  • GO-Getta’

    Fighting over territories/colours is’nt gangsta.

    Education is the new gangsta……..fill in….

  • Quan

    .. as far as people wanting to go to the club and “turn their swag on” .. i would rather listen to a “bangin on wax” album over that ANY DAY .. hell. .over 92.3% of the music coming out nowadays at that. .

    (I know my people from Cali will laugh at 92.3 and start thinking back to the days where the west coast played west coast artist)

  • Pana

    Being born and raised in BK I have to co-sign giantstep.

  • Magic

    Cript for life homboy its all about the VL for ever holmes