History EditThe Families were founded in Compton, Los Angeles in the 1960s by Jean Johnson. In the 1970s their main set, the Grove Street Families, was formed at the Grove Street cul-de-sac in Compton, which bordered with East Los Angeles (Ballas turf) and other Ballas neighborhoods surrounding them. For most of their history, they have been rivals with the Ballas gang, and they developed a blood hatred of them. In the 1980s and 1990s, The Families progressively became weaker as the Seville Boulevard Families and Temple Drive Families changed sides to support the Ballas, and their high-ranking OG Big Smoke started his own drug-dealing empire. In 1992 a civil war broke out, with Big Smoke and OG Ryder Wilson taking control of the gang, but OG Carl Johnson retook control of the family by killing both of them and also taking over much of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas from their rivals.
Despite Carl Johnson's opposition to drug dealing, the gang moved towards dealing cocaine as well as stealing it. Eventually, the gang was forced out of Grove Street and moved their main set to Chamberlain Hills, which heralded the rise of the Chamberlain Gangster Families. Now nearby to Grove Street, The Families and the Ballas are known to fight over disputed turf, and in 2013 Families OG Stretch Joseph attempted to make an alliance with the Ballas due to his friendship with some of their inmates; his plans were foiled by Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis, who killed him.
The Families are allies of the Los Varrios Aztecas Mexican street gang, in an alliance that developed when LVA leader Cesar Vialpando dated Johnson's sister. The LVA assisted the Families in reclaiming power from Big Smoke and Ryder, although today they have little connection. The Families also made alliances with several small crews that arrived in Los Angeles in late spring of 2013, using Lamar's Facebook connections to recruit new criminals as their handymen. In 1992 they allied with the San Francisco Triads under Wu Zi Mu, and gained a connect in both SF and Las Vegas, where the Chinese opened a casino.
Since their foundation, The Families have been enemies with the Ballas, but they also have a wider range of opponents. In 1992 they were enemies with the Vagos, who took over East Los Angeles from the Ballas gang. The Vagos, led by Big Poppa, were Big Smoke's biggest ally after the Ballas, as they were his neighbors as well as drug importers. In 1992 the Families managed to wipe out the Rifa and Da Nang Boys gangs and also dealt a great blow to the Italian Mafia's Leone crime family, which moved back to New York City. In recent years they have ignored the rise of the Marabunta Grande, Korean Mob, Los Angeles Triads, and other new gangs, as they mainly fight over already-contested turf.
In legitimate business, The Families support The Feud basketball team, while the Ballas sponsor the Panic. Families members sponsored The Feud with their extorted money, which is why The Feud wears green; the Ballas do the same with the Panic, which causes them to wear purple.