The project is called, “The Gang.” This is a project about taking one person from three of LA’s infamous gangs (The Bloods, The Crips, and the Surenos) and putting them together to start a rap group. The amazing part about my friend Te Money’s project is everything. Let me explain. There has never been a group that has had different gang members in it. It is unheard of to the best of my knowledge. I can see how amazing this idea is using music to bring people together that otherwise would be enemies, and making something positive out of the two very raw elements of rap and gangs. My part in all this is, I have a friend named Ania in the building where I live, who approached me about shooting something for this project. When I heard about it, I was down to do it.
The day of the shoot, I showed up to an alley off of La Brea Ave. My assistant and I were basically the only two white people there. I knew that I would be shooting three different gangs in the same location at the same time, but in the back of my mind, I didn’t know if I was going to get shot. Haha whatever. As everyone started to show up, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I could sense a mellow vibe. Usually, bringing just any two of these gangs together, let alone three, would cause serious problems, but this time, due to the project, everyone came together to do something positive for the sake of music.
So, I just started shooting photos. I had the feeling that these guys had never really been on a photo shoot before. So I started shooting photos to make everyone feel comfortable and have fun with it. About an hour went by and we got into the actual shot that they wanted for this project. We were out on the street and maybe I got too relaxed. I went into “whiteboy mode” and said something like, “Can you show my your gang signs?” or something like that in a whiteboy voice. Ania called me out so fast in front of everyone, saying, “What the fuck did you just say? You better say it right!” She then said, “You better tell them to motherfucking represent their hood!” It’s funny, but that’s how it went down and that shit was a tight ass shoot.