Gang culture has been a part of this world for a very long time and is not exclusive to one race or gender. Being a 70’s/80’s baby from the West Coast, I grew up around Rollin 20’s Bloods, Sho-Line Crips, V-13 Vato and VBWL Locals – these gangsters wore different color but shared a similar aesthetic. On the East Coast during the 70’s they had gangs, but their homeboys looked more like bikers, plus they had colorful names like the Black Spades, Ghetto Brothers, Savage Skulls, Savage Nomads and Dirty Ones just to name a few. These gangs are very important to the history of underground music, being that many of their members were the founding Fathers & Mothers of Hip-Hop. The Black Spades became the Universal Zulu Nation, who are the real foundation of NYC hip hop. During the 70’s in the rotten apple, all of the weirdos united on some straight unity shit. It was not uncommon to see a bunch of punks head up to the same b-boy jams. Maybe this is why when I look at photos of New York 70’s street gangs I see way more than just hoodlums. I see Outsiders that would one day have their look become mainstream. More than just gangs, these people formed strong family bonds that at times they did not have in their own home life. Check out this huge photo essay of NYC 70’s gangs and also peep the killer documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s!
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Sean Reveron was born & raised in Venice Beach, CA. He terrorized the streets of the West Side as a young Suicidal Boy, and was a part of the early Hardcore movement. Sean has always been passionate about the music and the DIY fashion of the crust and metal world, and that passion led him and his wife Meghan to create the world of CVLT Nation and the CVLT clothing brand.More by Sean