Monday, January 28, 2008

Are Suge-less Streets Good For Compton?

If you missed the memo, the "War on Suge" continues.

Marion "Suge" Knight found himself the target of Compton officials' efforts to rid their city of criminals. City leaders have gone as far as to map out a "Suge Free" zone of several blocks, where, if Mr. Knight were to appear, he could be arrested for a misdemeanor.

"I am an upstanding citizen, dammit."

To be fair to Suge, he's not the only person Compton's political elite are going after. Members of the Mob Piru are the ones meant to be rooted out of the community, with whom Knight is allegedly associated.

Putting aside the obvious civil liberty issues that will arise, this is a bad look for the CPT. Why, you might ask? Well, think about it. Chances are you didn't know that the city's largest employer was the manufacturing sector and it's undergoing revitalization with the help of a nifty senior center.

Being an urban planner, I understand the importance of "branding place." And when I think Compton, I don't think senior centers. I think this...

"Welcome to Compton, bitches."

So instead of banishing Knight and his associates, the city fathers should embrace them and work to build the New Compton on their community's solid contributions to gangsta rap. I envision it as sort of a thuggish Colonial Williamsburg. I know kids all throughout the world would want to come and see the streets where "100 Miles N' Runnin'" and "Express Yourself" were shot. How about the basketball courts The Game hooped on before going to Washington State, flunking out, and coming back to sell rocks? I'm sure there are numerous other attractions that could be included on the tour.

So to whoever is running Compton's economic development office, please urge city council to give up this unnecessary persecution of Suge. Seize the opportunity to capitalize on your community's notoriety by harnessing the potential of your gangster image and turning it into a tourist destination with Knight as a main draw. Screw Sunset Blvd. Take us to Central Avenue. I see a financial windfall.

I'm sure one of the Hub City's greatest former residents would agree...

A young "G-Dub" Bush cruising the CPT streets, circa 1949.

Any other thoughts?


Dumi said...

Yeah, how would,"Straight out of compton! It's a brotha who will with house his grandmother, and help the addicts recover." Boring! And you tell me, other than GWB, who would have the cajones to arrest Suge Knight. I'd let him keep walking the streets of Compton like I didn't know him or like we treat Arabian Prince ;)

Jacarl said...

I caught Prince on tour with Stones Throw. The scary part was, at least for me, when he said he was an early member of NWA. Kids didn't know who NWA were. I felt old.
Yeah, Suge is staying put.

Diallo said...

"a thuggish Colonial Williamsburg"


"kids all throughout the world would want to come and see the streets where "100 Miles N' Runnin'" and "Express Yourself" were shot"

that is truly great - this could DEFINITELY be a Message sketch in the future, Jacarl (don't worry, we'd hook you up)

how odd that I too have met the Arabian Prince - booked him and Egyptian Lover to DJ at the Standard Downtown one time - only AP showed up though

life in the music biz

i didn't think i was old until i was someplace and people were talking about Michael J Fox and it was clear most of the people in the room knew him as "the guy from Spin City"


Jacarl said...

I was first thinking about using Disneyland, in part, because when I was listening to "100 Miles" in 5th and 6th grade, Compton, in my mind, was like a mystical bizzaro-world theme park. I wanted to visit it, but there was no way I'd stay. But the way the writing worked out, Williamsburg seemed a better fit. I'd like Compton to be a historic site with period actors.
Yes, please work this one out into a skit when you have the chance.
I have to say, though, finding the GWB pic was great (thank you wikipedia entry on Compton). It helps explain Eazy's attraction to the elder Bush. GWB should claim Compton more. His approval rating among thugs would go through the roof.

Diallo said...

yo, is that for real?

looked at Wikipedia and saw neither that picture nor any tales of Bush outside of Midland TX

Diallo said...

okay, i'm no conspiracy theorist, but does this entry about the President's brother Marvin strike anyone else as . . . troublesome...?

"From 1993 until June 2000, [Marvin Bush] was on the board of directors of the Sterling, Virginia company Stratesec (formerly known as Securacom), which had contracts to provide security for United Airlines, Dulles International Airport, and the World Trade Center. "

Jacarl said...

I got the pic from the Bush Library at Texas A&M. Apparently, they lived there briefly while the GHWB was working in oil.
It's the third one down.

Jacarl said...

My bad.
This is the correct link.
It's still the third one down.

Tamara said...

Great entry! I'm with you to bank on Compton's rich history. I can see the kids from the 'burbs lining up right now... think of all the profits to be gained from souvineers!!! Or "Take a Picture with a Gangsta"


Craig said...

Quick comment: If you are not from LA, you would think that Compton has ALWAYS been crazy BUT that would not be true. Compton was one of the first "suburban" areas in Los Angeles and if you drive around, you'll see some older buildings (i.e. the High School) that are quite architecturally distinctive. After the Watts riots, L.A. was changed forever. Whites moved WAY FURTHER out and Compton witnessed a dramatic change in the complexion of its citizens.

Jacarl said...

Right, as is evident by the fact the Bush family lived there in the 1940s.
'Tis the plight of inner ring suburbs.