Disclaimer: In no way, shape, form, or fashion do I advocate gangs or gang violence. However, I do tip my hat to Uncle Snoop and 40 Glocc for sending reminders to the uninformed that Bloods and Crips ain’t really nothing to fuck with.

I spent Thanksgiving back home in the West working from my laptop. While there, I came a cross a radio interview Snoop did [Watch Below] where he went in on people who are flagging but aren’t even from California and, more importantly, don’t know anything about LA’s gang culture. He sent out the following warning, “Me, personally, I feel like if you bangin' outside of California, stay there 'cause if you come back to California where it originated at, we have different sets of rules and regulations that don’t apply to you niggas and you will become victim of a circumstance.”

Maybe it was the El Unico tacos in my stomach or the trip to the Fox Hills mall (the redesign blew me away BTW) that had me on an LA-high, but as a California native I was damn proud of that interview.

As I mentioned above, I’m not affiliated with any gangs but growing up in LA it’s impossible not to be both affected by gangs (whether negatively or positively) and also instilled with a sense of fundamental respect for them no matter what—especially if you’re fortunate enough to get a history lesson. (Here’s my lesson to you courtesy of Killer Mike). So naturally it’s jarring for me to witness the culture being Xeroxed sans the context.

A couple of months ago while in a Harlem Starbucks trying to figure out why I couldn’t find my skinny vanilla latte on the menu, I ran into a “Blood” throwing the term Piru around so incorrectly and recklessly that my poor little LA ears were offended. Never mind that we were in a Starbucks of all places or that there’s never a need to wear that much red all at once—Blood or not—but I’m pretty sure this dude couldn’t find his way to Piru Street if I dropped him off on the corner of Wilmington and Rosecrans, let alone tell me anything about real Piru’s or LA gang culture beside what he might’ve interpreted from something he saw in an old LA gangsta flick.

Please note: Gangs aren’t like sports teams. You don’t just choose your favorite and wear their colors in support.

So forgive me if I laughed… hard when I first saw the video of 40 Glocc hemming up Wayne’s entourage at a video shoot back in 2008 or when he later called Wayne a “Blood mascot” in a World Star Hip Hop video. As much love as I have for Wayne, that shit was hella funny.

“I got a lot of dead homies that die from wearing the wrong color on the Crip and the Blood side and this nigga making records and he sending subliminal disses,” said 40 Glocc about Wayne back then. “Nigga, you doing some shit from back then that took us a long time to get rid of. That’s disrespectful, cuz, I don’t feel that.”

And I don’t either.

Now before anyone takes any offense to this, or starts staking out all the Starbucks in Harlem waiting to come across a Black girl ordering the defunct skinny vanilla lattes, just know that this isn’t abut dissing you or where you're from—it’s about respect. —Brooklyne (who now feels she needs an alias) Gipson