The Crip Walk
An explanation of how to Crip Walk, or C-walk, is very difficult but videos can be obtained by going to www.youtube.com and simply searching for C-Walk.
Jude Graves is a friend of mine at USC who experienced quite a bit of gang culture back in his hometown of Portland. Most of his friends were affiliated with the notorious Crip gang, known for wearing the color blue and having a feud with rival gang Bloods who wear red. Jude told me that gangs are all about street credibility and respect, so in gang lore, any chance you get to disrespect a rival or assert dominance over an area, you take it. One way Crips stand out over Bloods is by performing a dance, called the C-walk, where they insult their rivals by spelling out Blood with their feet and then crossing it out. Crips also spell out their own names or their gang name, add special moves to the walk, or gesticulate gang signs with their hands while performing. Jude says the C-walk is not just performed to insult Bloods though; it can be used to show allegiance to the Crips, it is done at initiation, or in celebration of a robbery or killing of rivals.
The C-walk became mainstream around the same time as the infamous West Coast-East Coast Rap war was going on. Artists like Ice T, Snoop Dogg, and WC helped make the dance famous by performing it at concerts and shows or on television. Because of this, the C-walk caught on and quickly became a popular method of dancing to any kind of Hip-hop or Rap music. Since the 90s, when the C-walk began gaining popularity, new variations have been added to it such as the V, the Shuffle, the Heel-Toe, and the Snake.
Jude actually taught me how to do the dance, which is not difficult to learn. Although it was once used only by the Crips to intimidate others and assert their name on the streets, it has now reached a level of popularity that dilutes the seriousness of its origins. The C-walk can be seen performed at parties and dance competitions alike, for it has steadily shifted from gang lore to mainstream Hip-Hop and Rap.