N.W.A. depicted quite the scene in Compton in the mid to late 1980s. Whether it was drugs, violence, or outright crime, something was always keeping the neighborhood lively. Reddit asked their users which parts of the raps were accurate and here are our top 8 responses. Please enjoy. Additional gang stories found here.
DOPE DEALER UPBRINGING
My family lived in Compton in the 70’s and 80’s. My dad and grandpa were major players in the dope game over there during that time. They had a long standing beef with the CPD for being able to evade prosecution. Long story short, they had it with my dad one day and decided to throw him off a balcony. They failed because my dad had put on a considerable amount of weight from living the high life. I guess being fat does have its advantages. That type of treatment from police extends to the general public also though. I know my dad probably had that coming but that’s almost how they treat everyone. It’s not just Compton is all over southern California. It’s not as bad now but ask any black or Hispanic about their encounters with law enforcement and you’ll get an overwhelming negative response. I’ve talked about this before but I’ve had guns pulled on me more times from the cops than I have from gang members.
I lived in Compton from 78 to 87. Some of my outstanding memories I have are of that place. My mom and I getting jacked for sugar she had just bought at the corner store. Running into Eazy-E at the Compton Indoor Swapmeet, he had on his locs and Compton hat on! Getting beat up at George Washington school for my lunch money in the boys restroom at least once a week. Drive bys every night and finally during the Richard Ramirez Night Stalker killing phase my dad sleeping by our door with a gun. Yup wonderful memories!
I lived about one mile from Compton in a city named Paramount from ages four to 11 (1989-1996). I remember four things that taught me I didn’t live somewhere normal. We weren’t allowed to wear red or blue growing up. I often wore purple. We listened to a lot of hip-hop and rap and I remember thinking, “wow the towns we live in are famous!” There used to be a liquor store about 1 block from our gated community. My sweet neighbor who got a scholarship to college would often walk us youngins. He was so kind, well behaved, and a straight A student. During the riots this liquor store was absolutely destroyed and it broke my heart as the sweetest Asian family owned it. They were always so kind to my family. I remember during the riots we had no school for a week. The absolutely worst thing to happen was when my sweet straight A student neighbor was murdered only a few days before his HS graduation in a McDonalds by a gang member who only wanted his Sony Walkman. A few months after that my mom decided we had to move. I am grateful for her decision.
My car overheated in a bad area, I get out and throw up the car hood, the engine is smoking… A couple of dudes on bikes roll up on me. I am thinking, this is it.. We start talking about the car, what was I doing out there, this is not a good spot to break down. One of the guys says “I got you!” and disappears up the street for a few minutes. Shows back up with a bucket half full of radiator fluid, and pours it in the reserve. Not sure where he got it, they told me to “get my ass out of there.” So I did.
Grew up in Compton and lived there until I was about 14. Parents moved us out after a home robbery where I was held at gunpoint.
I always hated clichés about Compton but there really isn’t a way around it. Here are some of the better trivia from my life in the CPT.
I didn’t meet a white person until high school.
Got jumped many times. I was Hispanic in a predominantly black neighborhood. Every single person I knew hated black people. It took many years for me to grow out of this.
My neighbors house was a crack house and twice was seized upon by SWAT teams.
My dad ran an upholstery business out of our garage and his main customers were drug dealers with lowriders.
Two people were killed on separate occasions in front of our house.
THOROUGHBREDS IN COMPTON
Lived in Compton most of my life. Used to see a lot of horses. Found out there’s a quarry in Compton, too, on a random walk one day. When I was 17 I saw a guy walking down my block firing an ak47. I just casually pulled my niece down to the floor and kept her focused on the cartoons. Compton can go from normal to fucking crazy in a minute. I lived right next to the airport, which, back in 2003, was kind of mixed between Latino gangs and black gangs, so violence would erupt quite often. I grew up on Harris and Rosecrans, by the old drive-in.
STILL GOING STRONG 20 YEARS LATER
I lived in Compton about ten years after they went big from October 1999-October 2005. The movie showed what still went on as I lived there. I used to live in some small apartment/houses adjacent to the wooly airport. I remember going to the school down the street from where I lived, maybe a block or so east down Laurel. Directly behind the school was a Blood neighborhood (I think, I was told this). There were drug transactions & shootings right behind the cafeteria. I specifically remember walking towards said cafeteria in the 2nd grade & watching a guy get shot up & getting rushed into the cafeteria by staff & security guards that were posted at the school.
HEAVY BLOOD PRESENCE
I’m Mexican and grew up in Compton from 86 to 08. What was depicted in the film was accurate but only a small taste of what went on in Compton. I lived in a street with a very heavy Blood presence. Things that stick out are:
I remember seeing neighborhood lowriders hitting the corner fast as shit while yelling to all us little kids to run inside because they were being chased and shot at by a rival gang.
The dirt bikes riding in the middle of the street while doing tricks as depicted in the movie was huge in Compton.
One thing that sticks out to me was this one time when the ice cream truck was passing by and all the gang members rushed it and jacked everything from it. They beat the shit out the dude and completely vandalized the truck in front of us kids. We didn’t get a truck to roll down our block for a while after that.