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“It’s raw and we love it.”

why we love it

It’s in the music and our communities. We love for some reason the gangs in America. I once spoke about the gangster mentality and the infatuation. This topic will be geared toward how it has become so popular in the dominant society. And a lot of the music has to do with why gangs are so popular. Only problem is that gangs are not a play thing. You have to realize that people die as well as go to prison. So you can have that life but these are the consequences to being in the street. We have been seeing this play itself out during the trial of rapper Tekashi 69. Over the past few years he has stated how gangsta he is, but now it’s put to the test.

dollar dollar bills ya’ll

I remember growing up listening to hip hop music where gang culture is big in the music. But then, you start to see companies cash in on the market for this love of the streets. Meaning, you would never see a McDonalds commercial with gang signs. But you would see someone performing the Crip walk. A dance that was created and popularized by the Crips gang in the state of California. So when you have a dance created by a street gang, you have to assume there is something else attached to these moves. And the moves are almost like a tribal dance that shouldn’t be popularized by teens who don’t know what they are doing. But companies don’t care, they see hip hop artist Snoop Dogg doing it, now it’s the Snoop dance. Now Snoop would never tell you it’s his, but it becomes that because he is so famous.

rebellion is attractive

Then gang outlaws represent an aspect of daily American rebellious actions toward the status quo. There is nothing more attractive at times than the bad goys who elude the authorities in their attempts to maximize monetarily for their own personal gain. well, why is that good? Because we all have the idea that the government really isn’t out for the good of the people. So when these outlaws create a work around to making money outside the watchful eye of Uncle Sam, it’s enticing. But, all that enticing behavior comes at a cost to the person and society. So inevitably, the marketing and advertising of gang culture becomes a negative externality. As well as also becoming a stain on the communities from which they were created.

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Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson; @faheemjacksonphotography

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“The need to belong.”


Gangs have been a problem in society for hundreds of years. And questions have always arisen as to why so many young males and females join gangs. Of course we point to the need to belong, but is it deeper than that alone? Is there more to joining a gang? But let’s first start out by defining what I mean by a gang.

Because any group of young people hanging out with each other is a gang. But we define a gang in society in correlation with criminal behavior. And that is what separates the gang of friends who innocently hang out together from those who break the law. It’s the conduct within the group that ultimately determines the character of the group.

american lifestyle

In America, we have street gangs that involve themselves in criminal activity on a daily. Because being in a gang alone is not deemed a crime. So why are so many young men and women joining in alliance with gangs in America? One of the obvious reasons like I said before, a reason to belong to something, anything.

But you also have so many that need some form of guidance in their lives. The gang leaders are generally older and provide them the tools of survival they don’t get at home. But it’s not constructive guidance, but the destruction that ultimately leads to their demise. Sometimes the kid has a stable family life, but an unstable community.

And when you live in an unstable community, you seek to be the guys living around you. Their lives tend to look alluring and much more interesting than your own. But the danger that comes with it is not realized until it’s far too late.

distractions necessary

So, in order to keep your kid from falling into this lifestyle, a major way is distractions. You keep them as busy and involved in activities as possible. It’s close to impossible if your kid is constantly in a sport or some out of school activity. And when they become of age to leave your house then you send them into the world.

The distractions are not really to make sure they stay out of trouble. But the distractions are to give them enough time to fully understand the ramifications of getting into trouble. When they are 12, 13, or 14 years old, they think you’re being hard on them. But when they are 20, 21, 22, they can see the downfall so they’re less likely to get into trouble at this point in life.

My Personal Website:

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Tumblr Me: @fjackson44


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“Street Kings.”

streetz is out

I have been on a loop, listening to all the stories of the guys who used to be into the streets heavy. I am talking about the men you hear about in well-known rap lyrics. But what is it, what is it about the gangsters in the street that make them so appealing. Why are they so attractive and the everyday hard working man is not so appealing? Could it be that if they want something, they go and get and the everyday man is afraid to get what is coming to him? Or is it the outlaw mentality that people love so much?

outside the law

The appeal of the man in the street initially is the go for it mentality. They say I want this or that, they go get it. And if they can’t get it handed to them, they’ll take what is felt is theirs. But what we really get attracted to when looking at the outlaw is the way they elude the system. There is something for some reason that is so ingratiating about these men eluding the government; a government that makes promises on  daily yet never deliver. So when you have men in the street who can work around the system, you silently cheer, but you also have this fear because you know who they are and their capabilities.

levels in the game

  • The photo below is of the movie The Godfather. It depicts the Italian Mafia which is the highest level of gangsters in American history. They have not only been the topic of films and songs, but have influenced the way men and women dress and talk. Almost every facet of pop culture has a bit of the mafia in its existence.

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  • The picture below is from the movie Colors which depicts street gang violence in Los Angeles. The movie takes us into the lives of two police officers as they patrol gang riddled neighborhoods in the inner city. These group of men (gangs) are attractive to young males and females growing up in inner cities because of that need to belong to something.

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  • The movie below is of the 1970’s film The Mack with head actor Max Julien. The movie explores the life of pimping, profession so many young men glorify. The guy in the movie who is able to have all the women, nice cars, clothes, and the gift of the gab. These types of movies took over in the 1970’s spurring out a generation of young men chasing the pimp dream.

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  • The last movie is of the fictional character Scarface. A megalomaniac drug dealer who sold cocaine; a key figure in so many young men selling drugs in the 1980’s and songs being made in hip hop. The drug dealer has always been glorified, so much so that famous musicians bare the names of some of these men.

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The problem with all the movies that I just named are the downfalls in each film. There is no riding into the sunset at the end, only heartache. You have never heard of a retired drug dealer, gang member, pimp, or mobster. They meet their demise, yet for some reason it never stops people from following in the footsteps. Because we have such deep connection to these lawless men.

My Personal Website:

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Tumblr Me: @fjackson44

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