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Compliments of Chicagohoodz: Chicago Street Gang Art & Culture
Published by Feral House
10"x7", 375p, soft cover
Based on original research, Compliments of Chicagohoodz analyzes the unique visual language and graphics of Chicago's gangs, drawing upon decades of interviews, documentation, and collecting of memorabilia, and featuring commentary from gang members and Chicago artists. The practice of creating and distributing gang business ("compliment") cards was popular in Chicago for over fifty years. These displayed the organization and branch, its active and fallen members, and rivalries. This book tells the stories behind the names, bringing the reader closer to the individuals who created, owned, and added their personal touches to the card as it passed from hand to hand. James "Jinx" O'Connor's photographic documentation of gang graffiti and members captures a lost era of large-scale color promotional murals and an extraordinary style distinct within street art. The book also explores other forms of representation including varsity-style sweaters, patches, and drawings. Through these images, Chicagohoodz traces the development and consolidation of the neighborhood street organization from doo-wop to hip-hop, from greasers to gangster rap, from dances, bands, and softball teams to racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and domestic terror.