Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities

By Darnell Hunt; Ana-Christina Ramón | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
“Blowing Up” at Project Blowed
Rap Dreams and Young Black Men

Jooyoung Lee

In 2009, Trenseta was a thirty-four-year-old African American male who stood around 6 feet and weighed close to 180 pounds. Despite being lean, he had a deceptively muscular build, which he credited to lifting weights and playing pickup basketball almost daily. A die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan, he never missed televised games and made sure the game was always playing on the television at Crenshaw Faders, the local barbershop where he worked full time.

Trenseta spent ten years building a reputation for being one of the most respected rappers in South Central Los Angeles.1 In the past few years, he had recorded songs with Jamie Foxx, The Game, and other major recording artists. Although many underground hip-hop fans knew him as the “King of Crenshaw,” things were not always this way. As a teenager, Trenseta was a member of the Harlem Rollin’ 30s, a Crip gang whose territory runs from the Crenshaw Corridor (see chap. 2) and into other neighboring communities. Trenseta remembered getting into fights with rival gang members and random strangers during his time in the Rollin’ 30s. All that changed after the birth of his first daughter. He recalled:

And then my baby mama got pregnant. Once she had my baby, you
start taking it [life] serious, man…. Before, I was running around try-
ing to break into something, trying to look for the next scheme, trying
to get some cash. … So that’s what really changed my mind over …
having a daughter, you got to show some care in that, you know what
I’m saying?

-117-

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