Monday, January 7, 2008


I know I know, 3 posts in one night (not to mention it's 2 am) is a bit excessive, but I'm maximizing my one opportunity to get some thoughts in. Not sure if you've noticed, I post like once every 2 months.

Having spent the morning inside today (oh- the rain, the RAIN!), I channel surfed and found myself completely engulfed in Sunday Driver , a documentary about Compton's Majestics, LA's oldest lowrider club (yes, a club). When I was younger, I lived in Montebello in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. And even at the age of 6, I was aware that there were giant cars that bounced up and down to loud music. Since then I've learned that there is a whole culture around hydraulics, and like the whole fixed gear/bmx/harley/vintage car craze, the lowrider one is just as intense, if not more socio-economically driven.

The documentary focuses on several members of the Majestics, many former gangbangers, and their association with one another, the car culture, and even the LAPD. (In the end, you find out that club president Gangster is arrested for drug possession). Throughout the 80's, the lowrider trend existed as an extension of gang life. With crime rampant in south LA, lowriders picked up flack for being vehicles for deaths and destruction. But now, the scene has evolved into a simple obsession for Compton-dwellers (and strangely the Japanese, but more on that later). Throughout the doc, you see people competing jumps on their cars and people going all out on the customizations.

The lowrider scene in Japan is bizarre. I'm sure we've all seen Japanese lowrider zines out and about featuring immaculately designed cars and Japanese car afficionados decked out in Compton fashion. Big tees, locs, dickies, the whole lot. This is mentioned in the documentary very briefly. Just when you thought the Japanese reggae culture was intense...

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