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What Message Is The Game’s ‘Gang Sign Tutorial’ Sending?

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The Game (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Game (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Erik Parker
Erik Parker
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The Game makes no bones about his gang affiliations. The cover of his latest CD, Jesus Piece, features an image of his deceased brother, a Crip gang member who was shot to death in 1995. Game recently offered a gang-sign tutorial designed to make you aware, or “bang you out” when in unfriendly territory.

While Game cracks jokes throughout the video, he demonstrates how to make several gang hand-signs, including symbols for the notorious Bloods and Crips.

“I’m from Cedar Block Piru,” he said in the video, which was posted by  Uber Urban. “I can’t remember what side of my neck it’s [tatted] on but it’s to the death. I grew up not to far from a Crip neighborhood called Santana Block.”

As a member of the Piru Bloods, a gang located in Compton California, Game demonstrated how to throw up the “P” sign when in Piru territory as well as the sign for Santana Block. He also offered some insight into the alleged gang member Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight were caught on tape attacking the night of the ‘Pac’s murder.

“If you heard about the dude Tupac stomped out, Baby Lane, he was from a South Side Crips,” Game said, before twisting his fingers into the South Side sign. That’s the dude that Notorious B.I.G. used to get with when he was in town. He would hold him down.”

While Game’s take on gang signs is both informative and playful, the clip offers little context to his actions, which could prove problematic for the uninitiated. But it’s not the signs themselves that could cause the problems.

“If you go to LA and you are a young black male from 10-15 years-old, you have to know these signs,” said Cheo Hodari Coker, the author of Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. and the co-screenwriter of the film Notorious. “That would be like getting mad at someone for pointing out a stop sign or walk signal. “

Coker, who also interviewed The Game early in the rapper’s career for a definitive VIBE story on Game, cautioned against reading too much into Notorious B.I.G.’s affiliation with the man Tupac was caught beating on tape the night he was shot. As a longtime fan of The Game, Coker said he would like to see more context offered between the signs.

“Him doing this [showing gang signs] is not the issue,” Coker told Radio.com. “The issue is that he’s making it cool for people who don’t have any of these issues to do these things. It’s not like a tutorial where he says watch out for this or don’t go down that street.”

“All of a sudden, kids in Belgium or anywhere see this and they think it’s cool and it turns into fist-fights and guns and people claiming this s***,” Coker continued. “It becomes about spreading the negative aspects of this culture.”

In the video clip, Game finishes with the “Westside” symbol and the “Eastside” symbol before signing off.

“I’m trying to keep you safe, or I’m trying to bang you out,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m trying to do, I’m bipolar so throw up a gang sign or don’t throw up a gang sign. I don’t care what you do. It’s your life,” he continued. “Don’t get yourself killed out there.”

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