Episode 198: Crips Versus Bloods: LA Gang Wars

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we represent the West Coast and talk about the LA gang wars between the Bloods and the Crips. LA was a unique scene during the civil rights movement; it didn’t have the built-in racism of the south, so the typical civil rights activist was less likely to be a religious man and more likely to be Black Panther. When the Panthers died down and civil rights were earned, there was a power vacuum in the streets of LA, and a handful of savvy, small gang leaders filled it.

In 1969, Stanley Tookie Williams and Raymond Washington unified their street gangs and called themselves the Cribs. This group gained power and notoriety, and eventually, there were several offshoot “sets” which called themselves the Crips and spread through LA. Eventually, in 1972, several Crips murdered a teenager after a concert at the Hollywood Palladium, and some other small gangs banded together in response.

This group was made up of Piru Street Gang members, and headed by Sylvester Scotty and Benson Owens. Eventually, this counter-group became known as the Bloods. After a number of years, the Bloods had several sets through LA as well, and the Crips and Bloods started a decades-long war that is still going to this day. Dressing in color-coded attire (typically Red for Crips and Blue for Bloods), these LA gangstas were a distinct group that tapped into the grunge-esque culture of the late 80s and 90s. Unlike east coast gangsters, the LA type dressed in casual clothing, and it was a sensibility that took popular culture by storm, spawning several movies and even groups like NWA in the rap scene.

The small gang sets through the Southland eventually became more important as crack cocaine hit the scene. A small-time gang member could make five times what a legitimate job paid (some claimed to make $3000 a day), and they had the unity and brotherhood of the gang to back them up in their social lives. However, the war waged on and got more brutal as the Bloods were outnumbered by the Crips. The Crips even started to in-fight, and now the LA gang scene is hundreds of sets that war with each other regardless of color or creed. The LA gangs are considered to be one of the most ruthless, heartless sets of organized crime in the world. If you’re into gangsta rap, LA, or claiming your set, this is the episode for you!

Scared Straight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3OiMqOHK90

Good Article on history of LA Gangs: https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/gangcolor/lacrips.htm

Our Sponsors