The Dutch artists Pinar & Viola’s practice is concerned with radical surface and new totalitarian decadence. Under this Blog, they report on the emerging digital folklore from the wilds of the net.
In the recent months, we have all been entertained with shivers down our spines by the worst kept secret in the rap world, the dispute between Rick Ross and the Chicago-based gang the Gangster Disciples. On October 29th, GD released a YouTube threat for Rick Ross, concerning the Star of David on his mixtape. After that, on 28th January 2013, Mr. Ross crashed his Rolls Royce after another vehicle fired shots at him as he drove home from his birthday party at the famed Miami nightclub LIV. As expected, this shooting alluded to Hebrew-fanatic gang Gangster Disciples, flaunting their sense of humour by shooting him on his birthday. On the other hand, according to reports allegedly “dozens” of rounds were fired at Ross’s car in the drive-by which made 50 Cent speculate that Rick Ross staged his own shooting. Meanwhile, we were bewildered by this Jewish swag which has been the centre of this gangster gossip.
Hip hop and occult visual imagery is like caviar and vodka: a classic. Especially the speculative masonic Illuminati looks of our favourite Givenchy boys, Jay-Z & Mr. West. Writing an opinion about a subject which is a combination of Jewish symbolism, street gangs, African-Americans and hip hop, while not having a background in any of them and getting away with it is not easy, but the question remains... Why on earth would a street gang associate itself with Judaism? And why is the Star of David the go-to rap symbol of choice?
Folk Nation is an alliance of street gangs based in Chicago and Gangster Disciples is its strongest sub-gang - also one of the most violent gangs in the USA. It is estimated to have over 600,000 members worldwide. The gang uses the Star of David, a pitchfork, 360, GD (their initials) and number 74 (the places of their initials G and D in the alphabet) as their symbol and they are known for carrying a black flag (bandana). Allegedly, the Star of David in the GD pays respect to David 'King David' Barksdale who was the original leader of multiple Folk Nation gangs among Gangster Disciples. The letters on the points of the star stand for Love, Life, Loyalty, Understanding, Knowledge and Wisdom.
The gang is adamant about their silence and secrecy yet we know that Trick Daddy, and Lil Scrappy are from GD. We believe in the context of hip hop and street gangs, the star of David and Judaism are more used as a socio-political status, rather than religion. We were quite surprised to observe that the reasons for joining a street gang has overlapping motives with what the Jewish people have been longtime associated with in the popular, often anti-Semetic, imagination: identity, recognition, status, belonging, discipline, love, money and power.
We should also take it into consideration that Gangster Disciples, a street gang, is a minority, yet a very strong one. They grew up in the housing projects of Chicago, the criminal podium of USA. When society did not want to count them in, they created their own economy. Also, let's take the respect and survival factors into account and make an unexpected comparison. Jews have long been a minority in a big nation, working hard to survive and to keep the respect alive. We think that the combination of these factors is the reason why the impossible made possible, a non-Jewish street gang wanted to be associated with Jewish symbolism in their visual representation.
The video that Gangster Disciples uploaded on Youtube showing their feelings towards Rick Ross about the Star of David on the cover of his mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, has a history. It has been said that Rick Ross disrespected GD for dropping the name of their leader Larry Hoover in the song “B.M.F.” as a street swag booster which made him millions, as well as for using the Star of David (which is the gang’s major symbol) on the cover of his mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah.
The gangster gossip surrounding Rick Ross' marketing strategies stretches to world-renowned cocaine king-pin Freeway Ricky Ross. First named 'Teflon', the Miami MC Rick Ross is currently being sued by Freeway Ricky Ross for using his name.
After the shooting in January, the ex-correction officer Rick Ross is currently being protected by actual police force. It can't be fun to be Rick Ross right now.
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