Trigger Warning with Killer Mike (2019) s01e03 Episode Script

White Gang Privilege

I want to talk to you today about somethin', right? I'm in America, raised an American, and we love the outlaw.
I'm on the Facebook, and I see an advertisement for a Hells Angel T-shirt.
I say to myself, "Wow, like, these guys are known biker gangs.
" They've been known to kick cop ass.
"How is it that they're able to sell T-shirts via Amazon?" And then I understood that they actually had incorporated themselves.
They're a motorcycle club.
And they sued big-ass companies over copyright infringement.
Even a mouse ain't safe from these white outlaws.
I said to myself, "What's preventing" black gangs from doing the same thing?" If outlaws are going to make money, "I'll be damned if they're going to be like white Jesus and not look like us.
" [Man] Some of the Crips and the Bloods, two of LA County's most vicious gangs [Second man] LA Police get their orders as they prepare for another assault on street gangs.
[Third man] But that was before [Mike] This is how the media shows black gangs on TV.
But in reality, Crips and Bloods are more like disconnected brotherhoods spread across the country, and most members ain't startin' too much trouble.
[Cheering] But even though black gangs or street fraternities, as I like to call them, are as well-known as the Hells Angels, they haven't been able to cash in and trademark their brands in the same way.
So I went to a trap house on the south side of Atlanta and met with some ambitious young Crips I know to see if they were interested in creating a legitimate stream of revenue.
Yay Paid, man.
Cash Crop CEO, man.
I'm from the South Side.
Shady Park, man.
Neighborhood Rollin' 60 Crips.
Gloc bloc, Murdo.
I'm from Four Seasons.
Neighborhood Rich Rollin' 60 Crips, Young Gunna Crew.
Neighborhood 6-0.
SPC, 'til the death of me.
My name's Newny.
4 Seasons, 60.
Gloc Bloc.
Cripping came about in my neighborhood when we realized there was no Crips in the area.
We actually started Cripping from my mom's living room.
I mean, the worst part about it is, you know, goin' to funerals and or hospitals, you know, from one of your homeboys gettin' shot or even killed.
I was eight when my dad passed away.
He was murdered.
They set him up and shot him in the back of the head.
The best part is just seeing a bunch of guys from your neighborhood coming together, just stomp down, unity, family.
We do a lot of shit for the community like get the kids backpacks and bikes and shit like they like.
We Crips.
All right, so look, this is what I know.
I've seen white gangs be legitimate, legitimized and be able to create money, streams of revenue.
"But, Michael, what gangs are you talkin' about?" Anybody familiar with motorcycle gangs, motorcycle clubs? - Hells Angels.
- Hells Angels.
That's the one I'm talkin' about.
I can go buy a Hells Angel T-shirt right now.
- Yeah.
- Merchandise.
Right? That sends money to that organization, that organization can help take care of they own members.
And I say to myself, "Why hasn't" any of my Crip homeboys ever done this?" So I would like to propose that you guys start a business.
Do y'all think that's somethin' we could do? - [All] Yeah.
- I think we could do it.
You guys have a larger-than-life brand, but you don't have a product.
In your mind's eye, your imagination, what product would you Me personally, I'd try to go deep and try to get, like, buttons and zippers.
Everything you buy gotta have buttons and zippers.
And if you notice, all the zippers and buttons - got like, they say - KK or something.
That's the only frickin' zipper brand! - I got you.
- If you charge cheaper than what they charge, you bound to get, you know, you going to make some money.
I'm smokin' a joint the other night, and I thought about it the other night.
I think about it frequently.
Coca-Cola has killed a lot more motherfuckers than Crips.
Diabetes and obesity.
You know what I'm saying? You look at me and Yayo - We have drunk enough Coca-Cola! - Yeah, no doubt! That shit kills about 270,000 people a year, right? - Yes, sir.
- 2,700 with gang violence.
- That's less, that's 1%! - Yeah, right.
Yet Coca-Cola's celebrated! Like, I don't mean just goddamn celebrated.
You can take the kids down to the goddamn - Coca-Cola factory! - Yeah! Remember being little, going and getting Coca-Cola gear, T-shirts and shit? Your mama buying cases of this shit that's killing your grandmama.
- Yeah.
- Right, but they never got pushback.
So I was like, "Man.
What if the Crips had a soda?" - Yeah.
- Mm-hmm.
Like Yeah, y'all think about it, like, every Crip neighborhood, you had the option to buy Coke, Pepsi or Crip-a-Cola? - That's all right.
- [Newny] Yeah.
You know what's so crazy? Niggas would really like that.
Well, let's smoke a blunt and do it.
[Mike] To get the soda into production, we're gonna need clean money.
So I took Yayo and Murdo to a local credit union to see if we could get them a loan based on their track record of entrepreneurial activity.
What type of business is it? A brotherhood, pretty much.
[Murdo] Like a Fraternal Order.
- Okay.
So it's a frat.
- Similar to.
How much are you lookin' for a loan for? I think, you know, in order to get through first year, year and a half, I think they'd be looking for something around $100,000.
Do you operate Monday through Friday? Seven days a week? How do you operate? - Seven days a week, yeah.
- Pretty much.
Do you generate any money out of this business? - Yeah.
- Based on sales? What? - Based on sales.
- Sales.
What type of sales? Some of the operations are are like a more.
Like, if you're in California and you're in the marijuana business ten years ago, you are a trailblazer, you're ahead of the time.
They're kind of more in the trailblazing part for Georgia.
I get it.
Do you have any bookkeeping? - Well - Tax statements, tax returns? So you're not operating with a tax return? You know, I have I have pulled up in a lot of treacherous neighborhoods myself, one one deep, you know, with a product to sell that, you know, individuals that might not see the world like I do you know, have purchased you know, various, - um, items that I sell, so - But are you tracking it? I haven't been doing the best of tracking.
I'm not I'm not going to lie about that.
But, you know, having documentations, you know, is something that I, you know, need to Yeah.
I would love to help you guys, but - But no law.
- That kind of money is, is not likely.
What if we ask for less money? We talkin' about a whole lot less.
Like 50? - I bet - Forty? Keep goin'.
[Mike] Without any history in the financial system, the Crips were never going to get support from the establishment.
So they were going to have to make this soda for cheap.
Like, really fuckin' trap-house kitchen cheap.
- In the saucepan.
- The big The big saucepan, right? Shit, no, nigga.
That's the what you boil the water in.
- [AC] So how much sugar do I put in? - Three cups.
- [AC] Three cups.
- One teaspoon, one tablespoon [Yayo] One teaspoon.
- [AC] Taste it and see.
- [Yayo] Taste the motherfucker.
Man, it need some more it need some more sugar.
- We finished - [Newny] Good stuff.
It taste good! It taste like Coca-Cola.
[Mike] The Crips had a cola.
But we still needed to find a way of making it uniquely Crip.
And unlike the Hells Angels, they didn't have a logo to put on the bottle.
So we hired a graphic designer to make one.
Uh, when you first approached me about doing this, I was confused and then when you explained it to me again I was super, super excited, because this is what I do all day.
My name's David and I'm super, super excited to show you some concepts that we've come up for you all.
Starting out with this idea of a crown, which is often used in graffiti and changing it into something that feels a little bit more corporate.
Yeah, I see.
If you was to turn the C up and then put the crown on top of it.
[AC] I really don't like the crown.
- Not feelin' the crown.
- Not feelin' the crown.
- All right.
- Me, I can deal with the crown.
- [David] Yeah.
- My absolute problem with that particular concept - is just the C on its back, it's just, - Yeah.
It made me feel like we retreatin', we we bein' defeated, like, you know - We came this far.
- It just ain't workin' for me.
Let's take a look at the next one, then.
No, I haven't worked with a gang before.
This is a First time for everything! That sounds great.
We'll go ahead and we'll take the symbol from this mark and we'll combine it with the type from this mark.
And the font that you're giving them is actually a font you created for them.
So basically, if anybody use that font, they gotta pay us? - That's right.
- Okay, let's go ahead and do that.
No, you're not gonna be able to download this, type anything out.
It is unique to you all.
- Yeah.
- I say so.
I'm really excited for you all.
- Crip-a-Cola.
- [Rings bell] Nothin' else can compete.
Floatin' round with this drink here, you might see a goddamn Ethiopian, goddamn way over there, goddamn sippin' on this motherfucker, goddamn in the Middle East or somethin'.
We now had a product, but I wasn't sure the best way to launch it.
So I took the Cribs to meet with a boss in the beverage industry to get his opinion.
My beverage experience actually dates back to before Coke - where I worked at Gatorade, uh - [Mike] Oh, wow.
a number of years before Coke, so I actually worked with Michael Jordan back then - Really? - The "Be Like Mike" campaign.
But I'd say that over the past 25 years, I'd put my beverage experience up against anybody's.
They have a cola.
- Okay.
- Called Crip-a-Cola.
C-R-I-P? - C-R-I-P-a-Cola.
- C C-R-I-P.
- Cola.
- [Yayo] A-Cola.
- Wow.
- [Mike] Yeah.
So how do we help clean up the perception of the brand to bring somethin' new and dynamic to market? So let's take the brand Coke.
- What did it have in it? - [All] Cocaine.
All right.
So I don't find the company has gone to great lengths to clean itself up.
It was actually started by a Confederate soldier.
Right? So my initial reaction, guys, is, I don't know that I'd spend too much time worrying about cleaning up and trying to move away.
- I'd focus more on where you're going.
- Okay.
- Oh, wow.
- We got a fresh bottle of it.
- Yeah, basically, we got Crip-a-Cola.
- Yeah.
Right here, this is our own font, we actually own this font.
- No kidding? - Yes.
Um, so let me give you a quick reaction to the label and the logo.
- Distinctive.
- Distinctive.
- Checks off one of those boxes.
- Right.
I think it's actually elegant.
You know? It's not totally what I expected, it's very elegant.
But I I'm not just saying this, I think you guys have done a heck of a job.
I didn't expect it to be at this state of finish.
[All] Thank you so much.
And that actually brings me to something.
How how will you be involved? I definitely, definitely would love to be involved with the homies here.
- Okay.
All right.
A story - I don't know if I'm going to get a all-blue denim suit and throw up Cripping.
- Well - Yet.
- Yet.
- Not that Cripping's not worthy - to be thrown up.
- Mm-hmm.
I just wouldn't want the government to murder me for things I said and blame it on the Bloods.
At first, you know, you have your You're second-guessing, like, "Okay, can we really, you know, come up with a soda that can actually be successful in this in this world?" Especially being branded by the Crips.
And then with the knowledge he was givin' us, you know, it gave me a sense of comfort that we can.
It really just made me feel like I'm on top of the world now.
With Sean's encouragement, we made a few cases so the Crips could pitch it to business owners and get it on the shelf.
We're basically just here today, you know, we came up with a product, um, a soda, you know, that we feelin' real good about, and, you know, we tryin' to introduce it into the world and we tryin' to see if, you know, maybe your store would, you know, be interested in us introducing it into the world.
It's also one of the healthiest drinks to drink.
It's healthier than Coca-Cola.
So I mean, y'all are gang members or somethin'? - This is part of a gang - My man, we're not a gang, man.
- We're more like a street fraternity.
- Yeah.
Like a brotherhood, you hear what I'm sayin'? We're pretty much good people.
We just protect our community.
Yeah Uh, honestly, I don't know.
Uh - Good luck to you guys.
- All right.
Thank you.
[Cheesy, bittersweet music playing] Your boss Can I speak to him please? - And we came up with a soda called - [Both] Crip-a-Cola.
There you go.
I won't be able to sell it.
Okay? So are you guys like a separate Crips, or are you part of, like, Crips Crips? - No, we're - You're part of Crips? - Yeah.
- The Crips that you always hear about? - Like gangs? - Like the Hells Angels, but Crips.
Assholes! I wasn't surprised that business owners were too conservative to carry a gang-affiliated drink, but I was hopeful consumers would be more open-minded.
So we booked a focus group at a top-of-the-line market research facility.
And with the homies observin' behind a two-way mirror, we brought in a group of soda enthusiasts to give their honest opinion.
We are audio and video recording this.
That's just so I don't have to frantically take notes.
I've got colleagues observing in the back.
Um, they take that material and that's what they use to do their analysis.
What's your number one, Hunter? - Coca-Cola.
- Coca-Cola? Mountain Dew, Mello Yello, anything of that nature.
First on my list would probably be A-n-W root beer.
- Okay.
- It's classic.
It's caffeine-free.
Mountain Dew Baja Blast.
All right.
All right.
We brought out samples of Crip-a-Cola for a blind taste test, and people seemed to like it.
So when I tasted that, my my first reaction was like, "Yup.
" That's soda.
- "This is definitely soda.
" - [Laughter] Yeah.
Like, it's exactly what I expected.
It came in on a cart, it got poured, I'm just like, "Yep.
" Yep, that's soda.
" But after we revealed the soda they were sipping was made by Crips, everyone's tone changed.
People could actually get shot - over buying a bottle of Crip-a-Cola - Right, right.
- if you're in Compton.
- It undermines the real issue of gangs.
- Like, it's violence.
- That's my feeling.
You know, people die for gang over gang-related stuff.
You can't just put it put it in a soda name.
If you are walkin' down the street with a Crip-a-Cola, it'd be, "Okay, we know who he represents, so we're gonna get him right there," whether the person is in a gang or not, you know? Luckily, there's no need for me and them to interact and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Let me let me get a show of hands that you associate the name Crip with negativity.
Associate the name Crip with negativity.
In the beginning, they were saying this is a form of neighborhood protection for the community.
- I think that - And that totally deviated from that whenever the drug culture came into play.
But you're saying, if I'm understanding correctly, you're saying the way they started was neighborhood protection? Crips started with no good intentions.
It came from violence.
- Like, pure and simple.
That's a fact.
- But, I mean, Mario, it if If it was, though, would that change your view? If it was accurate that it started as protecting the community, um [Sighs] I don't know.
- [All talking] - You don't know shit! Let's say that it was affiliated with Hells Angels.
- I was gonna say - If it was Hells Angels I know that they've helped the community.
They they watch out for women and children.
I know they do these things.
I don't know what the events are called or anything.
I thought people were gonna be way more open-minded than than that, but Nah.
That's crazy.
They probably YouTubin' or somethin' on Crip and gettin' a negative outlook.
I heard one of them say, um "If you buy the drink, you gonna get killed.
" Like, uh Like, damn, like Why the hell the drink can't bring people together? I couldn't just stand there while these soda enthusiasts talked shit about my homies.
So I went in to educate them.
- Killer Mike! - What's up? - [All cheering] - Yeah! - You like my politics? - I do.
So y'all know who I am.
Tom won't have to introduce me.
- I didn't need to.
- Right.
Can we be open and frank for the next few minutes? - Yes, of course.
- All right.
I've seen in America us celebrate the criminal time and time again, but we have not supported it coming out of the black community.
One of my dad's favorite old movies was Wall Street.
Wall Street was about the current environment we live under in which people who formed a financial oligarchy run our fuckin' lives.
We celebrate that.
It was directed by Oliver Stone, a great director.
It's a well-made movie, so it's celebrated not for what the story's about, but because it's a really well-made movie.
Just gonna say that.
- We celebrate - Scarface.
- Scarface.
- Mm-hmm.
We're celebrating a cocaine dealer and the proliferation of agony and pain and torture and murder.
And the amazing actor Al Pacino.
Andrew Jackson paid human beings to hunt other human beings and scalp them, because it was easier to bring in their scalp for a bounty than it was their whole body.
He didn't do it to reduce the numbers.
He did them to annihilate the population.
- I love how - That's not the only problem with America.
If we want to go into the problems with America, Killer Mike.
To be the most ethnic person in the room, Mario, you're an absolute fucking racist.
- We'll get back to that.
- Uh, I absolutely disagree.
- We'll get back.
- Okay.
We'll get back means table it, I got you.
But, you can't just call me a racist without me having an emotional reaction to it.
- No, you can in places of logic.
- Okay.
All right.
Shhhh! For you to be the only other brown person in the room Okay, see You know what, I'm just gonna leave.
You know what - I was going to tell you - You don't know me! But, I was gonna give my opinion based on what I saw, that's all.
- But you don't - It's just my opinion, it's not a fact.
I mean, look.
Yes, I'm Puerto Rican, yes I'm Latino, but that is not You just automatically put me in a box, and all these boxes, and, you know, I don't like boxes.
I have a song called, uh, uh Don't Box Me In.
Actually, it's called Box Me In, but the song's about not boxing me in.
- You know, because - Chill out.
Hell, man! put in a box - Mario, I got you.
I promise you.
- Okay.
The rest of you guys exemplify what's typically American "I don't know any of these people, have not met them", kind of racism.
You need to interact with someone who does not look like you from a Crip neighborhood.
You need to see the humanity in these people.
What's up? This is AC.
- This is Newny.
- How you doing? This is Murdo.
And we got Yayo comin' in.
A lot of y'all opinions based on what y'all first heard Crips is, not real-life experiences.
Te, te, Y'all never saw any good, positive thing that we did from whatever movie y'all guys saw throughout the years or whatever y'all saw on the news.
When y'all first seen Crip, y'all mind went this way.
But did y'all not know we the same thing as a fraternity? Fraternity come from It started in an education system It's the same thing.
It's the same thing.
Everybody together.
Well, then when you see an Infinity sign, like, what's the first thing on your mind when you hear Infinity? - Unity.
- It keep goin'.
- Oh, okay.
- It means that we're not tryin' to kill our kind, we tryin' to keep it goin'! We really trying to stop the the killing.
- The killing.
- 'Cause we can't just tell them, - "Stop gangbanging, stop killing.
" - Yeah.
But what we can do is give them a different outlook to look at it.
- It'd be like, you know what? - It actually sounds kind of brilliant.
We tryin' to let you know you guys know that we're tryin' to seriously put on a new face and be looked upon in a in a more positive way.
- That's all.
- I do wanna say thank you.
- Thank you all.
- We appreciate y'all.
It was clear that even if business owners wouldn't take a chance on Crip-a-Cola, the soda could still be successful if we could just get customers to meet the Crips face-to-face.
But there was still one image problem the Crips couldn't overcome by themselves.
The perception that buyin' a gang-affiliated soda would get you killed by their rivals.
You could actually get shot over buying a bottle of Crip-a-Cola.
Whether the person is in a gang or not.
So to prove to customers they weren't gonna be victims of a drive-by for drinking soda, I decided to get the Crips' natural enemies, the Bloods, involved.
So, look, I got a couple of the couple of the homies from, like - from Troopside.
- Okay.
- So They're younger, though.
- Mm-hmm.
And they got a big opportunity in front of them.
Like - What you talking about from the Crips? - Yeah, from the Crips.
- Okay.
- Their neighborhood.
- Okay.
- If you down to grind, I'd love to bring you in on the business and I'd love for it to be something collaboratively.
You can show little homies in the hood, "You still a part of your set and what you a part of, but I don't have to murder him.
" After I offered them a soda of their own, they were into it.
I think it'll really make a change and it'll bring the Bloods and the Crips together, bro.
You know what I'm saying.
We all black, the police don't care what color you're wearing.
That's right.
What better man to do it than you? I get tired of seeing, like, for real, black leadership over here talkin' about what you should do.
Ain't nobody reachin' out to say, "This how to do it.
" I'm with it all day, but I just got one question, like, - I'm a health nut, I'm vegan, all that.
- Yeah.
I just wanna know, like, what's the ingredients? - No soda is healthy.
- Right.
But it's healthier than Coke or Pepsi, ask me why.
- Why? - They don't use high fructose.
- Oh yeah, I got you.
- Which is really what - is the cancer cause, the diabetes - You gotta put me down.
You know - They use pure sugar cane.
- Okay.
So you know, how you're drinking a Mexican Coke? They're drinking a Coca-Cola with real sugar, so it's - Ain't no coca leaves and all that? - Nah, nah, nah, nah.
You want cocaine, you gotta go to Trap.
None of that aspartame and none of that dextrose sucrose? - It's got six ingredients in it.
- Okay.
- Pure sugar cane, that's good.
- Y'all talkin' over my head right now.
[Laughs] Nah, that's good.
- Appreciate you, bro.
- For love.
I know what you're thinkin'.
Bloods and Crips.
But did you know that Coca-Cola and Pepsi kill far more people every year than either of these two organizations? So the homies have decided, if anybody is going to kill our fat ass from sugar addiction, it's gonna be us.
With the Crips and the Bloods now each havin' a soda, it was time to show that they could both sell in the same territory without anyone getting hurt.
[Yayo] AC, I'm trying to goddamn help.
Bro, listen I'm tellin' you, put the middle one up, then the rest gon' follow.
So I got them each a booth at a local farmers' market and put them close enough together that thirsty customers would be forced to face their fears.
People kept their distance at first, but after a while, they got curious.
So you make your own soda? Just 'cause you see the red and blue, don't mean we gotta be over here feudin', throwin' up gang signs back and forth to each other.
Everything we doin', we doin' more for the community.
We do turkey giveaway, we do bike giveaway.
It's a lot of intelligent guys that are Crips, you know? There's Crips with PhDs and there's Crips with Bachelor's and Associate degrees and stuff.
Healthier than your average soda 'cause it's made from pure sugar cane, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Thank you for supportin' us.
We really appreciate that.
That whole afternoon, not one person was killed for buying the wrong drink.
The only retaliations were in sales.
There's no way you can buy Blood Pop without buyin' some Crip-a-Cola.
- There's your teen Blood Pop! - Oh, man! - Steal our customers! - Mine's good.
Mine's not Blood.
- Yeah, Murdo gettin' a little - [All talking] You gotta shop with us, too.
You know what I'm saying.
Blood Pop or no pop! Shake it again When you came over to the Crip stand - Crip-a-Cola - How you been? - Come back to - I think I can get 'em both, right? - Yeah, you can get 'em both! - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- That way I'm totally neutral.
- Yeah! You know what I mean? They won over a lot of hearts and minds, but more importantly, the most feared gangs in Atlanta were now a viable and fully legal soda company.
After the success at the farmers' market, word spread.
And the once reluctant business owners agreed to give gang-affiliated sodas a shot.
Now that the Crips and Bloods have been at the mainstream marketplace, they're one step closer to achieving the same privileged status that white gangs like the Hells Angels have enjoyed for years, and that makes me sleep a little better at night.
But they still have a long way to go.
So the next time you're thirsty, don't buy from those shady fucks Coke and Pepsi.
Make sure to support your local street fraternity.