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Bangin' On Wax Greatest Hits

Bloods & Crips

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Album Review

Like the People and the Folks in Chicago, the Crips and the Bloods are rival Los Angeles gangs whose bloody battles were the subject of many West Coast rap songs in the 1980s and 1990s, including Ice-T's "Colors." The Crips and the Bloods started out in L.A., but as their membership grew, they formed factions in cities ranging from Seattle and Portland to Oakland, Phoenix, and Houston. Gangsta rappers often rapped in the first person about gang violence and portrayed gang members on their recordings, but as a rule, they were careful to avoid mentioning any particular gang by name; giving the impression that they were active gang members could get them killed by members of the rival gang. Bangin' on Wax is unique in that it finds various gangsta rappers from South-Central L.A. rapping in the first person about their experiences as either Crips or Bloods. Half of the CD is devoted to Crips, the other half to Bloods, and the end result is a jolting audio-documentary on the horrors of gang life. Crip rappers angrily voice their hatred of Bloods (whom they call "Slobs") on tunes like "Another Slob Bites the Dust" and "Mackin' to Slob Bitches," while Blood rappers are equally vehement in their denunciation of Crips (whom they call "Crabs") on such numbers as "Rip a Crab in Half" and "I Killed Ya Dead Homies." If listeners don't already know how passionately the two groups hate one another, they will after hearing this CD. To be sure, this project was controversial, and Dangerous/Pump was criticized for giving gang members a platform. The label could hardly be accused of taking sides, however; its goal was to be informative, and Bangin' on Wax is definitely informative — not to mention disturbing.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Given the infamous violent reputation of rival Los Angeles gangs the Bloods and the Crips, it seems impossible that the two could collaborate on a music project, but that's exactly what the Bloods & Crips did on Bangin on Wax in 1993, organized by Los Angeles area producer Ron "Ronnie Ron" Phillips and rapper Tweedy Bird Loc. The success of N.W.A. had frustrated many in the gang community, who saw the group capitalizing on the gang lifestyle. Actual gang members and local rappers auditioned in...
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