Despite being mentioned in a Black Eyed Peas song, the Crips maintain a hardcore image.

Founded in LA back in 1969, the gang has a long-standing rivalry with the Bloods, and has itself split into a number of warring factions that often do battle with one another.

Some estimates have the total number of Crips at upwards of 35 000, and those numbers are only growing as more and more (mostly) men look to join their ranks.

So what does it take to get initiated into their ranks? Via VICE’s YouTube video:

For JT, a young prospect making his way into a local branch of the Crips in Brooklyn, joining the gang is about family: Getting close to a group of men that care about him, and are willing to back him up if he ever finds himself in trouble.

But getting initiated isn’t easy. We followed JT through the process of getting made to see what drew him to the gang, and to hear why he’s willing to be “squared in”—suffering a brutal beating at the hands of his best friends.

Just a warning that this video becomes pretty graphic in various parts:

Nah, I’m good.

Better than a communal Marie biscuit or not?

[source:youtube]