Whether these stars are vocal about their affiliation or just act like it, these celebrities with alleged gang ties have raised some eyebrows.
Chris Brown’s every move has been under a microscope ever since he physically attacked Rihanna. His career took a serious nosedive and some have blamed the group of friends Brown hangs around as the cause of his downward spiral. Since being released from jail, Brown made his return to the stage at this year’s BET Awards. The “Loyal” singer was spotted at an afterparty throwing up gang signs sparking rumors of an affiliation with the Bloods. This isn’t the first time the troubled singer has been linked to gangs. Some members of his entourage reportedly have gang ties and he’s tweeted Blood calls in the past.
If you’ve ever listened to any of Lil Wayne’s music then you know the New Orleans rapper does little to hide his affiliations with the Bloods. He frequently peppers his lyrics with references to the gang. In the song “I’m Bloodied,” he raps that if you mess with him, he’ll “get blood on your clothes. And I’m blooded. Soo-woo.” Soo-woo is the popular saying that Bloods use.
Funnyman D.L. Hughley can look back on his life and laugh now but when he was growing up in Los Angeles, his future didn’t look so bright. As a teenager, Hughley joined the Bloods and as a result, he found himself in constant trouble. The turning point came when his cousin, who belonged to a rival gang, was murdered. It was then that Hughley decided he wanted to live a different lifestyle.
Born and raised in Compton, rapper The Game has been a member of the Cedar Block Piru Bloods since he was a teen. His rough upbringing has been a frequent topic in his songs. The “Bigger Than Me” rapper has started his own label imprint called Blood Money and he will be releasing a compilation album with his artists towards the end of the year.
Snoop Dogg has been through several transformations in his life so far. Recently a trip to Jamaica turned out to be a spiritual awakening for the “Gin & Juice” rapper and after becoming a Rastafarian, he decided to go by Snoop Lion. But long before he changed his name and religion, Snoop was a member of the Crips. He joined the Rollin’ 20s Crips as a teenager and has rapped about his gang life. The Cali rapper frequently wore blue and even named one of his albums “Tha Blue Carpet Treatment.”
Despite the antics of many of its players, the NFL is a conservative league that frowns on any type of behavior that could negatively affect the league. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Eagles cut player DeSean Jackson because of his behavior off of the field and alleged ties with L.A. gang members. Jackson had previously missed several team meetings and his friendship and working relationship with a reputed gang member who was acquitted of murder was frowned upon.
He plays a New York City detective investigating sex crimes on “Law & Order SVU” but Ice-T’s checkered past is totally different from the type of character he plays now. Attending high school in South Central, LA with both Crips and Bloods, the future rapper identified himself with the Crips. Leaving the violent world of gangbanging and pimping alone, Ice-T started rapping and it forever changed his life.
Who knew that Nick Cannon used to be such a bad boy? The “America’s Got Talent” host grew up in a neighborhood just outside of San Diego and was friends with a lot of members down with the Bloods. He became associated with the gang and began to regularly wear the color red. Cannon saw several of his friends shot and killed but he had an epiphany when he was the one shot at and decided that a life of gangbanging just wasn’t for him.
Growing up in Boston, Mark Wahlberg certainly didn’t think he would eventually become one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors. With a penchant for drug use, gang affiliation and fighting, at 16 years old Wahlberg was looking at some serious time with an attempted murder charge over his head. Leaving his victim permanently blind in one eye, the “Four Brothers” star pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to two years. After serving 45 days, Wahlberg was released and vowed to turn his life around.
Danny Trejo certainly has a mean and menacing look. His intimidating scowl helps him find work in Hollywood now but it also came in handy back in the day when he was living a life of crime. Trejo came from a life of robbing liquor stores, doing drive-by shootouts and multiple stints in prison but the gangbanger turned his life around. Speaking at a recovery meeting, the “Machete” star ended up with an invitation to come down to a movie set and his career in Hollywood began.
Rapper Jim Jones was reluctant to sign on to do a reality show and for good reason. The Harlem rapper tends to live a private life but he has been affiliated with the Bloods throughout his career. The “We Fly High” rapper frequently wears red, a color the gang prefers to wear. Jones is also known for throwing up Blood gang signs during performances.
Back in its heyday Suge Knight ran Death Row Records with a tightly clenched iron fist. Some have likened his crew to a gang and Knight had plenty of experience with gangs. A member of the Mob Piru Bloods, Knight was even named as a member of the gang in an injunction filed by city officials to keep gangs from congregating on the streets. After the death of Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg leaving the label, Death Row Records has floundered.