This Song Inspired A Truce Between Rival Gangs

different types of microphones on a wooden floor
Graciella Ye’Tsunami
May 17, 2024

By the late 1980s there were 450 gangs in Los Angeles. Founder of the Crips, Mike Concepcion had grown tired of gang violence. After he was shot, Concepcion knew it was time to use his street cred to make a change.

Inspired by East coast rappers’ “Self-Destruction” project through the Stop The Violence Movement, Concepcion gathered some of California’s illest rappers to denounce street violence. Filling the recording studio with their lyrical genius, rappers MC Hammer, N.W.A. (minus Ice Cube), Tone-Loc, Above the Law, Digital Underground, Ice-T, JJ Fad, and others, recorded “We’re All in the Same Gang.”

The song wasn’t just another track. It was an anthem filled with reminders that change and unity take effort, and it’s our responsibility to show up for each other. The hit song was nominated for 1991’s Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.  But then it accomplished something no other song had ever done.

The impact of the song made the 1993 peace treaty between Crips and Bloods possible.

Rap is an invitation for truth telling, accountability, and raising awareness on larger issues. We don’t have to have the lyrical genius of some rappers but we can still use our voices to fill our streets with love and solidarity. We are all in the same gang. Black power forever, forever ever, forever ever.