Gothic Summer | Rodrigo Ribera D'Ebre

July 21, 2014 8:38 PM

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Gothic Summer | Rodrigo Ribera D'Ebre

If you grew up in Southern California during the 80's and 90's, and were exposed to street gangs and violence anywhere from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, you might have remembered that summers were some of the most violent periods. Famous gangster rappers like Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Mack 10, and D.J. Quik all mentioned something to the effect of the oppressive summer eras, like the killing seasons in certain neighborhoods. People would hear more gun shots at night and gang members walked around their neighborhoods in the daytime wearing brown-colored gardening gloves to avoid fingerprints on their guns. The visual is so stark in my mind---bald heads, white t-shirts, shrink-to-fit Levis, white sneakers, and the ever-famous "brownies" on people's hands. Recently I started listening to a band called "Prayers" from San Diego, who recently released an album titled "Gothic Summer." The album itself is a trajectory of the survival mechanisms and philosophical tools needed in order to have survived such a lifestyle. In Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, he maintains that in a state of war, life is nasty, brutish, and short. That is the condensed version of the quote and since being part of a street gang organization is the equivalent to adopting a social contract, it couldn't be more true for gang members.

Prayers' front man, Rafael Reyes, has been described physically as a cross somewhere between Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode and Tupac Shakur. Short in stature, Rafael carries himself like a giant with scattered gang tattoos all over his body and the piercing eyes of someone who has endured long-term str...

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