From Rap Dictionary
Revision as of 14:50, 5 November 2006 by Hustlaz (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The blue bandanas worn by most Crip gangs.

The Crips, originating in Los Angeles, California, are one of the oldest, largest, most violent and most notorious gangs in the United States TO this date the crips are known to be the largest and most violent street gangs in America The crips can be found in all 50 States. They have been involved in murders, robberies and drug dealing in the Los Angeles area. The Crips are mostly identified by the blue color worn by their members. What was once a single gang is now a loose network of "franchises" around the United States. The gang is largely composed of African Americans, but is multiracial in many cities (e.g. San Francisco), where "satellite" Crip gangs are present. The gang has an intense rivalry with the Bloods. They are also known to feud with Chicano gangs.

History of the Crips

The Crips were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by 15 year old Raymond Washington. Washington initially called the gang the Baby Avenues in an attempt to emulate older gangs and activities carried out by the Black Panthers which he was fascinated with. This evolved to Avenue Cribs and then Cribs as nicknames for the age of the members.<ref name="crips"></ref> The name Crips was first introduced in the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in a description by crime victims of young men with canes, as if they were crippled (though there is some discussion that it may have initially been a simple spelling mistake). The name stuck.

Stanley "Tookie" Williams, generally acknowledged as co-founder of the Crips,<ref></ref> started his own gang called the Westside Crips. The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more youth gangs joined it; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1, sparking disputes with non-Crip gangs including the L.A. Brims, Athens Park Boys, The Bishops and The Denver Lanes. The Crips eventually became the most powerful gang in California. In response, all of the other besieged gangs, including the Pirus, formed an alliance that later became the Bloods.

Along with friends, Williams and Washington created the initial intent of continuing the revolutionary ideology of the 1960s. These aspirations were unattainable because of a general lack of political leadership and guidance. Washington and Williams were never able to develop an agenda for social change within the community and instead became obsessed with protecting themselves from other gangs in the community.

By 1971 the gang's notority has spread across Los Angeles. The gang became incresingly violent as they attempted to expand their turf. By the early 80s the gang was heavily involved with drug trade.<ref name="crips"></ref>


In the 1980s, Crips moved into the sale of crack, a form of the drug cocaine. It was developed as a simpler alternative to the process of freebasing, which necessitates the use of controlled and dangerous chemicals such as ether. Inexpensive and highly-addictive crack could be marketed by the Crips to lower-income brackets.

The Crips made enormous profits from selling crack and gathered the capital to advance themselves in the illicit markets. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Crips developed intricate networks and a respected reputation with other gangs across America and neighboring countries.

To stem violence between the Crips and Bloods, a peace treaty was recently negotiated, most notably in Watts, the treaty being largely based upon the ideals laid forth by original Crip co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams in his "Tookie Protocol For Peace". Though violence levels have been reduced somewhat after the conclusion of this peace treaty, gangland killings and warfare persist in heavily gang-controlled areas.

Gang identification

For many years, Crips were characterized by their tendency to wear blue in order to easily identify each other. One suggested origin of the selected color is traced to the school colors of Washington High School in South L.A. Another theory is the co-founder, Stanley Williams, had a good and close friend called "Buddha", who wore blue shirts, khakis, shoes, and a blue bandana from his back left pocket. When Buddha died, Williams made blue the Crip color in honor of Buddha. A particular set of Crips, the Grape Street Crips, have been known to wear purple in addition to blue. The SGC's, (Shotgun Crips), are separated into three sub-sets: the Nine, 139th street; the Foe, 134th street; and the Deuce, 132nd street in the city of Gardena, California and have been known to wear dark-green, the city color of Gardena, in addition to blue to show that the Shotgun Crips are from Gardena. Crips also wear blue bandanas and British Knights sport shoes (using the company moniker BK, which the Crips use as a backronym meaning "Blood Killas"). They usually refer derisively to their rivals, the Bloods, as "slobs."

In more recent years, however, the Crips have begun to cease the use of colors as a means of identification, since it is likely to draw attention from police. Methods such as the use of college sport team jerseys and hats are sometimes used, but in general, what set a certain gang member claims can be determined solely by their tattoos.

Many Crips will also change words containing the letter B or choose another word to replace it, the best being a word with a C. This is due to their hatred of Bloods. If no word can reasonably be substituted, the letter B will be crossed out to show disrespect. Sometimes excesive use of the letter C also occurs, such as "be right baCC" to refrain from using the initials "ck" which stands for "Crip Killer". Also the letter B can be written Bk as in "Blood Killer".

Origin of the name "Crips"

There have been many different explanations for the origin of the name of the gang:

  • The most well-known theories tie the current name with "crib" or "crib street" (alluding to an actual street or the young age of the members at the time of the gang's founding).
  • "Crip" originates from the carrying of a cane or stick — Los Angeles Times 14 April 1992: "Word spread about the tough-looking young men, who some said carried canes and walked with a limp — cripples, or crips, they were called for short."
  • Mis-pronunciation of "The Crypts."
  • Community (or California) Revolution/Restoration In Progress.
  • Community Resources for an Independent People
  • California Rebels In Power
  • Crip" meaning cradle to the grave. C standing for Cradle, RIP standing Rest In Peace, a common phrase inscribed on tombstones.

Entertainers with Crip affiliations

Crips, hip-hop, and C-walk

Many popular rappers, in particular West Coast rappers, have close ties to Crips gangs in L.A. County. Snoop Dogg is a former member of the Rollin' 20 Crips in Long Beach (as are Warren G, Nate Dogg, and Goldie Loc), while WC has an affiliation with the 111 Neighborhood Crips in South Central Los Angeles. The late N.W.A member Eazy-E reportedly had ties to the Kelly Park Compton Crips. Recently signed G-Unit rapper Spider Loc is a member of the 97th Street East Coast Crips. It is said that the popular hip-hop dance, the C-walk (Crip-walk), is meant to spell out one's set as an insult to rival gangs. On WC's song "The Streets" from his Ghetto Heisman album, he and Snoop Dogg rap about the C-walk's popularity in the mainstream, telling suburban teenagers and other non-gang members that it is a dance for Crips only. Another song with a similar instance is "Not a Dance", by Spider Loc, Young Buck and C-BO. Rappers Young Jeezy and Lil Flip has claimed crip in recent songs there is no evidence staing involvment with a paticuler set.


<references />

  • Leon Bing (1991). Do or Die: America's Most Notorious Gangs Speak for Themselves. Sagebrush. ISBN 0-8335-8499-5
  • Stanley Tookie Williams (2005). Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir (PB) ISBN 0-9753584-0-5
  • Colton Simpson, Ann Pearlman, Ice T (Foreword) (2005). Inside the Crips : Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang (HB) ISBN 0-312-32929-6
  • Shakur, Sanyika (1993). Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member, Atlantic Monthly Pr, ISBN 0-87113-535-3
  • Yusuf Jah, Sister Shah'keyah, Ice T, UPRISING : Crips and Bloods Tell the Story of America's Youth In The Crossfire, ISBN 0-684-80460-3

External links

de:Bloods und Crips fr:Crips it:Crips he:קריפס hu:Crips ja:クリップス pl:Crips fi:Crips sv:Crips