The chances are that you have heard of The Bloods and The Crips at some point in your life, whether its on the TV, through word-of-mouth, or maybe through some kind of affiliation.

For most people, the knowledge of Bloods and Crips stops there. They don’t know too much about how they came to be, or what they stand for. That’s where we come in.

Gang Colors

The first thing to notice is the color codes, and this was put in place to easily identify another gang member or rival – Bloods wearing red, Crips wearing Blue.

The color blue came in the early 1970’s when a founding member of the Crips, Buddha, was shot and killed. Buddha would always wear a blue bandana, and so, as tribute to him a blue bandana was worn by Crip members. A color and association that would stick to this day.

The Bloods vs The Crips Rivalry

The rivalry sates back to the 1960’s (around the same time that Kenichi Shinoda was also affiliated into the Yakuza). In the 1960’s Washington and Williams targeted Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens. After the attack both Scott and Owens setup their own gangs which formed the Piru Street Boys, this would be the first known Blood gang. The gang was initially setup as a way to provide protection against the Crips, and the more people that felt victimized by the Crips would join the Piru Street Boys, which would eventually become The Bloods in the early part of the 1970’s. The 1970’s was a prominent year on the calendar when the violence between the two gangs would escalate. The majority of gang related murders in that decade would be put down to Bloods and Crips.

Original Crip Homies (The Crips)

The Crips were founded in Los Angeles back in 1969, primarily by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. Just 10 years after starting the gang, Washington was shot and died a few hours later from the injuries. Williams, in the same year was convicted of 4 murders and was given the death sentence, he was ultimately executed by lethal injection in 2005 at the age of 51. Before his death he released his memoirs, Blue Rage, Black Redemption.

Gang Members

Since 1969 the gang have expanded in numbers and are now one of the largest gangs in the World with an estimation of between 30,000 – 55,000 members.

The gang itself has what are called “sets” and by 1978 they had 45 sets operating in Los Angeles alone. This spelled trouble, and before long there were internal wars with each set or gang sparring against another. At this point they were also warring agains The Bloods. It was the 1980’s when the membership really soared, when Cocaine distribution would turn huge profits for the Crips, and as a result the gang had an estimated 600 sets by the turn of the new millenium in 2000.

Some of the more prominent members included:

Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Eazy-E, Warren G, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, MC Ren, MC Eiht, Ice Cube (by association), Ice-T, Coolio, B.G. Knocc Out, Tone Loc, WC, South Central Cartel, Dresta, Da Lench Mob, Bad Azz, CJ Mac, Scarface, Afroman, Kokane, Young Jeezy, Schoolboy Q & Xzibit.

Gang Sign: The Crips

The Crips Gang Sign
The Crips Gang Sign

Evolution of the Name

Crips didn’t start out as Crips, the name chosen was ‘Cribs’ – due to the young age of the gang members who started it. You have to remember the likes of Washington and Williams were 15/16 back in the last 60’s. The name soon evolved into Crips when members would carry canes (like pimps). The were known as cripples or crips for short.

Original Blood Family (The Bloods)

The Bloods were founded in 1972, and they were first setup to provide protection against The Crips, who were increasing in power and numbers. The move to form The Bloods came shortly after a concert when 20 Crips attacked and robbed Robert Ballou Jr. Ballou was beaten to death after he refused to give up his leather jacket.

3 months after Ballou’s murder, Fredrick “Lil Country” Garret was murdered by a Westside Crip, by this time non-Crip gang members had formed their own gangs. Therefore, this marked the first Crips murder against another gang member and motivated non-Crip street-gangs to align with each other. This would form the beginning of The Bloods.

Gang Sign: The Bloods

The Bloods Gang Sign
The Bloods Gang Sign – Showing The Words ‘Blood’.

Since their creation, The Bloods have branched out to other areas of the United States (and also parts of Canada). Along with their expansion came a rise in gang members. The Bloods reportedly have up to 25,000 members, making them one of the largest gangs in the World.

Gang Members

The Bloods comprise various sub-groups known as “sets”, by 1978 the Bloods had 15 sets in Los Angeles, outnumbers by 45 Crip sets in the same year. Since their creation, the Bloods gangs have branched out throughout the United States.

Some of the more prominent members included:

The Game, Gucci Mane, YG, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Suge Knight, DJ Quik, Waka Flocka Flame, B-Real of Cypress Hill, HI C, Mack 10, Sinister, Top Dogg, Jay Rock & Kendrick Lamar (by association).

Evolution of the Name

When the Piru Street gang was started by Ownes and Scott, to form a gang to act as a protection against the Crips. The Pirus were the original Bloods gang, and the members would refer to each other as ‘blood’. A common phrase even in society today. The name Bloods was soon adopted by this, and the color, well that was due to the name Bloods.