The Bloods are one of the Los Angeles, California street gangs. They are identified by the red color worn by their members, and their gang symbol is the word "blood" spelled out with their hands. The Bloods are made up out of various sub-groups known as "sets" or "tres" (trays) between which significant differences exist such as colors, clothing, and operations. Since their formation the Blood gangs have branched out throughout the United States, and have even influenced youth groups using the same name in Europe.
A traditional gang sign of the Bloods which spells out the word blood.
By late 1971, the Avalon Garden Crips and the Inglewood Crips had joined forces with the other Crip sets and began to engage in warfare with non-Crip sets. They began to expand to non-Crip gang territories controlled by gangs including The L.A. Brims, a powerful street gang, beginning in 1969 on the Westside. The Crips targeted these gangs because they were non-Crips. Several gangs eventually became part of the Blood family, including the Bishops and Athens Park boys. The Denver Lanes also had conflicts with the Crips, but were outnumbered and eventually became unknown in California for some time. The Piru Street Boys, who presented a powerful force in Compton, actually collaborated with the Crips prior to 1972, as the Crips had affected the Piru neighborhoods. For a short time the Pirus were known as the Piru Street Crips, and they also wore the traditional blue rags (bandana) and blue Chucks (sneakers) as part of their attire.
During the summer of 1972 the Crips and the Pirus had a conflict and warfare ensued. The Pirus, like other northern gangs, were outnumbered and the Crips prevailed. The Pirus wanted to terminate peaceful relations with the Crips, so they turned to the Lueders Park Hustlers for assistance. The Lueders Park Hustlers agreed and a meeting was called on Piru Street. The Pirus also invited every gang targeted by Crip sets to join the meeting. The Crips had murdered a L.A. Brim member earlier that year, so the Brims attended the meeting, as well. Other gangs that attended were the Denver Lanes and the Bishops.
At the meeting, the groups discussed how to combat Crip intimidation, along with the creation of a new alliance to counter the Crips. At that time the color of bandanas was not important, but since the Crips were known to wear blue bandanas, the Pirus and the other groups decided to discontinue the wearing of blue bandanas. They decided to take on the wearing of an opposite color, red, and created a united organization which later became known as the Bloods. The Pirus, Brims, Athens Park Boys, and Pueblos decided to unite with the Bloods, and soon after, other gangs who had been threatened or attacked by Crips joined the Bloods.
The Game (Cedar Block Pirus)
Suge Knight (Mob Piru)
Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. (Mob Piru)
DJ Quik (Tree Top Pirus)
Mack 10 (Queen Street Bloods)
Lil Wayne (Uptown Bloods)
Birdman (Uptown Bloods)
Bloods and hip-hop
A number of popular West Coast rappers claim to be affiliated with Bloods gangs or use speculation about their ties to gangs to generate media attention. The Game has said he was caught up in the gangs in his Cedar Block neighborhood. Dipset is also allegedly affiliated with Blood sets. Due to employing several known Blood members, the media has long speculated that Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight maintains at the very least an association with the gang. Birdman & Lil 'wayne Uptown bloods. . Rapper/producer DJ Quik, also a Compton native, has talked about growing up as a member of the Tree Top Piru Bloods. In 1995, Los Angeles producer Ron "Ronnie Ron" Phillips produced the self-titled debut album of the Damu Ridaz, a rap group consisting of gang members from the Denver Lane Bloods and the Crenshaw Mafia Gang.