For decades, the mid-sized city of Compton struggled with an outsized reputation, seared into American pop culture, as a place synonymous with gangs, drive-by shootings and gangsta rap.
Surrounding cities even scrubbed the names of streets, such as Compton Boulevard, and neighborhoods, such as East Compton, to distance themselves from the city. Gang violence, chronicled by rappers, became inextricable from the Compton legacy — and its brand.
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