This is dedicated to all of my native Angelenos old enough to remember this.
It’s been 24 years since the anti-violence track featuring a who’s who of West Coast rappers “We’re All in the Same Gang” was released. Due to an overwhelming number of deaths from gang violence in Los Angeles County and Alameda County’s Oakland, the song was used to deliver an anti-violence message to community.
Produced by Dr. Dre in 1990, the song was recorded in Watts’ Nickerson Gardens housing projects and featured The West Coast Rap All-Stars: King Tee, Body & Soul (including Dee Barnes), Def Jef, Michel’le, Tone-Loc, Above the Law, Ice-T, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E of N.W.A, J.J. Fad, Young MC, Digital Underground (Money-B and Shock G/Humpty Hump), Oaktown’s 3.5.7, and MC Hammer.
In 1991, the song was nominated at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
“We’re All in the Same Gang” was preceded by East Coast hip hop legend KRS-One’s Stop the Violence Movement and their song “Self-Destruction” which was released in 1989.
24 years later in 2014, both songs are still two of my favorite and whose message still applies today.