On any night in South Los Angeles, gunfire crackles against the backdrop of revving motors and booming thumps of amplified bass. But on New Year’s Eve, those nightly but sporadic—and oftentimes purposeful—volleys of gunfire, are lost in the celebratory expenditures of what some of us consider to be precious metals.
The late eighties and early nineties saw the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. South Los Angeles, the epicenter of it all, experienced a colossal rise in violent crime. Gang members controlled the street level sales, and they were willing to kill for their piece of the pie.