Color representation can be an identifier although it does not always present more than just a style. Understanding gang
culture requires understanding people, cultures, beliefs, direct and indirect languages, and most importantly music.
Mainstream Rap music that is presented on mainstream television and the internet is the cause for much misinformation
of culture that leads to needless tracking of students/adults. The average American misinterprets clothing styles and dismisses
them as gang related identifiers.
Example 1-In 2004 rapper Cam'ron began getting his music played on popular mainstream American television and airwaves.
To make himself standout from others he wore matching pink colored shirts, pants, and shoes. He was a trend setter within
Upon seeing the attention that he was receiving people of all types started to mimic the pink style. It was noticeable
within our community. People of all ethnic backgrounds wore pink. People unaware of music culture took this trend as a gang
Example 2- Southern rapper TI came out with a song entitled "rubber-band-man." The song describes perceived
financial success. In TI's video her wears many rubber bands on his wrists. Rubber bands are needed to bind stacks of money.
After seeing the "rubber-band-man" video it became a style to wear rubber-bands around your wrist. There was
an influx of referrals and disciplinary actions due to this new style. Some educators deemed this style an identifier based
on the culture representing it.
The key to understanding gang culture is to embrace the media/popular music but distinguish the difference between style
and an identifier. We should have the goal of becoming knowledgeable about an individual's intent.