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Rites of passage

What It's Like to Go Through a Gang Initiation

VICE followed a young prospect in Brooklyn looking to join the Crips to see what it takes to make it in.

For JT, a young prospect making his way into a local Brooklyn branch of the Crips, joining the gang is about family: getting close to a group of men who care about him and are willing to back him up if he ever finds himself in trouble. But getting initiated isn't easy.

On this episode of Rites of Passage, VICE met up with JT, his best friend Otis, and a high-ranking Crip named Cee-Lo to figure out what it takes to get made. We followed JT through the process to hear what drew him to the gang in the first place, and why he's so eager to suffer through a brutal beating known as getting "squared in."