I think this thread is interesting. Take it seriously, it can explain lots of beefs & collabos, business decisions & stylizations within the american hc hiphop community. It's definitely not "fake", several mc's mentioned here had (or have) ties to O.C. & that's not weird or exotic. Just because you reside in a house in a suburb & live with a dormant fear of the filthy, black & latino gang members you watch on Cops resisting arrest with pupils like dinner plates & want to believe gangsta is all an image, that Kurupt, Ice Cube, Mack 10 & Ice-T (Ice-T's all cozed up with republican TV-tycoon bruckheimer or wolf or whoever produces Law & Order, he can't still throw up signs when meeting homies from his crazy youth on the street, right? Oh yeah he can. He didnt play tough in the 80's when gangsta rap was a goldmine, real gangsters exist outside the sepia-blurred prison world on tv & they can have their tentacles pretty deep in the industry & I prefer BGF, MS-13 or whoever protecting e.g. Wu-Fam money, acts, gigs & estates in staten island rather than RZA & Oil Grant going 100% capitalism, cause then it's all about finance, speculation & margins instead of investment & creation, but the Wu-Tang declared from the beginning that they are a clan, an organization, not a business, that says a lot about how they feel about loyalty, "crime" & hierarchies) are just like any adult musicians/entrepreneurs, just black & with baggy pants. All art, zero lifestyle. It ain't true. Mack 10, Cube & WC may have had different affiliations to begin with but according to Mack the fact that B-Real & Muggs was bloods made the friendship between Cypress Hill & Westside Connection possible (even though they had a famous falling out in '96). Also, Rock (of Heltah Skeltah) did hard time some 8-10 yrs ago for attemptive murder, shooting a rivalling color in Brownsville. Kurupt have always held his crip affilliation in esteem, just like his Dogg Pound second-in-command Daz & their earlier benefactor Snoop Dogg. But they don't brag, actually the opposite, a majority keep quiet about it so no, there's a shitload of crips & bloods & other gang affiliated among the american underground hiphop elite. There are mc's with no criminal backgrounds whatsoever & mc's with long rap sheets but no gang affiliation, but hiphop, especially horrorcore/gangsta/hardcore hiphop, is rooted in & originating from communities where u need contacts to practice ur profession as a noise maker. In south philly, south central, red hook, u can't just occupy a corner with a PA & start talking **** & demanding attention w/out people backing u up. Or releasing mixtapes or get ur **** played in local clubs. Or finding ppl to build with. In the 80's & early 90's common practice was that those getting too old to act as mules chose to focus on rap while taking the next step up to soldiering within the gang to avoid the worst scenarios; also, young guns & pushers around 14-17 yrs operate in squads of 4-6. One in the group may have a sharp tongue & ambitions while another likes to beatbox, they could cultivate their skills w/ the permission of their comrades; many orthodox (1 mc, 1 dj) groups started out as parts of pusher squads. It's not uncommon for them to have been friends since childhood, entering the game together & then successively focusing more & more on the music while still honoring their color (Kool G Rap & DJ Polo is a good example). Today it's far more rare but this list consists mainly of veterans, so I have no reason to believe they'd claim thug to seem street. That'd get u hurt.
But the "gang affiliations is all image & nothing else"-myth aside, the list may be a little off & incomplete. I'm pretty sure Ice Cube is blood, WC crip (at least he does the cripwalk, haha), Mack 10 blood, Sticky Fingaz & Sonsee of Onyx are blood. Smif-N-Wessun crips. A rule of thumb is bloods like to switch letters, avoiding "ck", "ch" & "s", preferring "kk", "k" & "z" & crips have a tendency to use the word bloodclot as a pejorative term more often than a blood would. But all this can be found on wikipedia. I'd like a list w/ some solid sources behind it.
Two hearts: There's other gangsters than tupac ffs, I've been thru the system & Im not even american, hiphop collectives aiming high in northern europe, russia, sweden, france etc. are quite likely to belong to semi-criminal factions & theyre always formed in the projects, with ethnic, religious or political bonds between members, never among liberal individualists. Even though mc clubs like hells angels & bandidos have more pull than the wire-style street gangs here, considering that I, almost a regular guy, educated but with some heavy luggage (no murderer or rapist), is no stranger to gang affiliations & the violence surrounding the drug trade, america is an anthill of organized crime. The "go for yours, accumulating wealth equals freedom"-ideal encourages operating outside the law. So when the get rich or die trying message collides with the harsh reality of american poverty & easy access to heavy firepower - don't convince yourself organized crime is something going on in the margin, carried out by obvious goons & psychopaths covered in tattoos & scars. Maybe u think denying oc's influence make u seem well-informed yourself, cool, not like blabbering, cause u know they all fake. Its counterproductive. Its smart to shut up about certain issues when in company of strangers, but that's something else.