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80s Hardcore

When Gang Culture & SoCal 80’s Hardcore collide: LADS aka LOS ANGELES DEATH SQUAD Photo Essay

The Southern California 80s hardcore scene was many things, and part of it was rooted in gang culture. Being from Venice, claiming Suicidal Punx was a natural thing, but I always thought of it as more of a family than a gang. The hardcore scene was mainly a white middle-class world, but for the Westside Punx, many of us did not have the money that Hollywood, Valley, or Beverly Hills Punx did. So dressing like a cholo was not something we did as a fashion statement, it’s what we wore because that’s all we could afford. Out of any punk gang, I would say the LADS, aka Los Angeles Death Squad, was our nemesis. I won’t front, the two crews would fight, but the fact that we were all punks unified us in a weird way. The LADS also like to dress like cholos, as you can see from the photos below.

All photos via LADS

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