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The Crips are one of the largest gangs in America, and have been a staple of pop culture for decades. Ever since the rise of gangster rap and the rise of gangster movies, people have talked about the Crips as one of the most notorious gangs in existence.
Though they're a part of pop culture, the Crips remain a highly secretive order. Most people know a little trivia about these riotous "boys in blue," but we're willing to bet that you didn't know these obscure facts about the Crips.
The gang was actually started by two teenagers.
The Crips gang was started in Los Angeles by two teenagers: Raymond Washington and Stanley Tookie Williams III. The two quickly became known for their reckless behavior and ruthless criminal inclinations.
Within decades, the Crips grew to a loosely-knit gang that totaled over 50,000 members. Tookie was later apprehended for murder, and felt remorse about the beginnings of the gang.
During his time in San Quentin's death row, he published a book teaching parents how to help kids avoid gang violence, helping provide a reason to stop blaming parents for gang culture. He also published memoirs and a book that detailed how black violence affects the community.
Their first name wasn't the Crips, either.
Believe it or not, Stanley and Washington really weren't looking for a criminal enterprise at first. Rather, they wanted to have an organization that was dedicated to black rights similar to the Black Panther.
The two originally called themselves the "Avenue Cribs," due to the young age of the members. Eventually, a newspaper called them "the Crips," due to the common practice of walking with a cane as if they were crippled.
The name stuck, and now they're known as Crips. They then retroactively added an acronym behind the name, which was known as Community Revolution in Progress.
Blue isn't the only color they bang.
Yes, Crips are known for their affinity for the color blue, but that's not the only color they wear. Some Crip sets, such as the Grape Street Crips, are known for wearing purple. Others, like the Shot Gun Crips, are known for wearing dark green. Others have been known to add orange to their blue.
It's a regional thing, as well as a set-based preference. As a result, most facts about Crips' colors tend to vary from place to place.
Their misspellings and mispronunciations are on purpose.
Crips, when writing, avoid using words with the letters "c" and "k" next to each other because it stands for "Crip Killer." Instead, they will switch the spelling to a double c. So, "back" becomes "bacc."
They may also say things that avoid "b" sounds, such as "cooks" instead of "books." However, this gets confusing and most don't do it on a regular basis.
They have a set of slurs used to address Bloods.
It's no secret that the Bloods and Crips hate each other. In fact, one of the most well-known facts about the Crips is their hatred of the Bloods. Over the years, they have created a small vocabulary just dedicated to dissing Bloods.
Some of the most common insults Crips use include "buster" and "slob." They may also wear K-Swiss shoes, which stands for "Kill Slobs When I See Slobs," or yell "PEPSIs," which stands for "Punk Every Pussy Slob In Sight!"
One of the more shocking facts about the Bloods is that they retaliate by saying "crab," rather than the more obvious method of retaliation they typically use: Shooting them.
Every set of Crips has a set of rules each member needs to abide by.
Believe it or not, one of the lesser-known facts about Crips is that they have laws to follow in order to stay in good standing. There are approximately 35 laws in total, with some gangs adding four or five more based on their location and individual creeds.
Of course, there are also loopholes that tend to be used in order to avoid breaking the rules. One of these rules and perhaps a thing you don't know about female gang members is that male members may recruit female members to beat up women that get out of line.
Most Crips sets will not accept gays, lesbians, or transpeople into their gang.
One of the less-known facts about the Crips is that they have a commonly-held law that bars gays from entering their set. Though this is starting to change from set to set, most Crips sets still refuse to accept LGBTQ members into their gangs.
They also have laws that bar former Bloods from joining the Crips, but that's a law that's commonly broken in many sets.
The Crips have a "points system" to determine who ranks where.
Crip rankings are done on a meritocratic basis, and in order to rise through the ranks, you have to do deeds that score you points. These deeds have to be seen by at least two other Crips—or have evidence that you've done them.
Points can be earned by getting money by any means necessary, protecting territory, gaining territory, checking false flaggers, or fighting in a gang war.
The Crips also use King David and Queen Sheba as symbols in their lore.
One of the most commonly cited facts about the Crips is their love of the Star of David. What you might not know, though, is that King David plays a major role in Crip lore.
However, it's not the King David from the Bible. Rather, it's a way Crips address the Star of David—it's their king symbol. Queen Sheba is a reference to African women as well as the overall name for female Crips.
The six-pointed star is also a nod to Folk Nation, which the Crips are a sub-set of.
The highest rank you can have is a O.O.O.G.
One of the little-known facts about the Crips and Bloods is that there are two higher ranks in their gangs above the "OG status." A Triple OG, or a "triple Original Gangster," is considered to be a king in the Crips world.
These gangsters typically have either served for more than 20 years in the gang, or have killed a lot of people during a highly volatile gang war. They aren't people to mess with.