Zoo Life/G-Unit Rapper 40 Glocc is real political these days (“’Cause I care, he says). Not only is he gearing up for the release of his street album Concrete Jungle with the lead single, “Grindin’” being a reflection of how music is a refuge from the New World Order, he’s also unabashedly speaking up about his trial this coming January for allegedly promoting gang culture in his music and videos.
Last year, he and fellow alleged Colon City Crips (a faction of the Crips gang operating out of San Bernardino County, California (Inland Empire)) members were served with an injunction that specifically details him – birth name, Lawrence White – as “particularly notorious… a senior member of the gang who has become a rap star.”
The injunction further claims that he uses his resources (network and net worth) to “perpetuate and foster” the image of the gang’s dominance of the Arbor Terrace Apartments, sited as a place of criminal activity including trespassing (by members of the gang who are non-residents) and illegal drug selling.
The apartment complex is otherwise known as “The Zoo.” White explained to Hip-Hop Wired that the “zoo” of Zoo Life refers to “them calling us animals.”
Though he didn’t clarify exactly who is the aforementioned “them” and “us,” White did elaborate further on how the prosecution and much of mainstream media has painted gang members for the public eye. “He [the prosecutor] called us the Colton City Criminals.” White said. That stereotype, he explained, can be just as damaging as of what he is accused.
“Everybody that’s in a gang is not a bad person. It’s always a lot of them, a big percentage of them that’s in a gang telling everybody, ‘Yo, don’t do that, that’s not right.”
Regardless, the Prayer for Relief as listed in the injunction includes disallowing two or more gang members to appear in public together, and no one gang member may pass through or stop anywhere in the Arbor Terrace Apartment complex and nearby SB Liquor Store; drink alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol in public; or use photography, video, or audio to foster the reputation that the two aforementioned locations are “turf of the Colton City Crips or their offshoots, Zoo Babies, Zoo Crew, or the like.”
“How you gonna banish me from American soil that you don’t even own?” White asked. “You telling me I can’t go to this liquor store down the street [privately owned property]… there’s no crime committed. I’m not a felon.”
Though he’s “never been in the penitentiary,” if the injunction is passed, and, “if I get caught walking down the street with an open can of beer, which is a misdemeanor, that’s considered a felony and I’m eligible for prison.”
Gang injunctions have been of much debate. Organizations such as The American Civil Liberties Union have argued that the terms of many injunctions “infringe the rights of individuals to associate freely,” even during legal events like family reunions. “There are better solutions to crime,” the ACLU reports, “such as community policing… job and education programs.”
Just last week, Ontario, California (another part of the Inland Empire) politicians and law enforcement held a select committee hearing: “Gangs 2.0: The Emerging Threat of Cyberthugs. The meeting was called to combat the area’s escalating dangerous crime rate and gang activity and members using the social media networks like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace to recruit young members and further their gang activities.
Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico (D-Fremont) led the meeting and spoke with Hip-Hop Wired. He stated,
“Social networking is a great way to reach out to others, update them on activities, exchange information and support a cause. Unfortunately, gangs are using these tools to communicate, recruit, issue threats, traffic narcotics, promote violence and expand their criminal activities.”
He also stated that these technologies were being used by gangs to conduct business inside the prison system and help run the outside from the inside.
“These guys go onto public computers that can’t be traced and these guys know what they’re doing. They know how to scramble some of these signals and we’re way behind and need to catch up. We’re holding these meetings to help our law enforcement get on an even playing field with these gangs.”
As 40 Glocc gears up for his case, he is now watching his back even more, as he has been labeled a target by law enforcement. The Zoo Life haa also been in the news, as of late, for accosting Plies at a Jamie Foxx video shoot. Check out some of their video footage below of the incident and their new single “Return To Sender” which is aimed at Plies and a response to his “Letter To The Industry” track.
Also stay tuned to Hip-Hop Wired for our upcoming feature with 40 Glocc, as well as, updates on his upcoming trial.