Inside the Crips: Life inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang


Inside the Crips is a memoir of Colton Simpson's life as a Crip — beginning at the tender age of ten in the mid 70s — and his prison turnaround twenty-five years later.

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Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang

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Inside the Crips is a memoir of Colton Simpson's life as a Crip — beginning at the tender age of ten in the mid 70s — and his prison turnaround twenty-five years later.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312329303
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/14/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 521,927
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Colton Simpson is a former Crip who has worked as a promoter for Ice T, Aaron Hall and Guerilla Black. He has been in and out of prison for over twenty years.

Ann Pearlman is the author of GETTING FREE: WOMEN AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING and INFIDELITY: A MEMOIR. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she lives.

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Read an Excerpt

An excerpt from Inside the Crips describing Colton Simpson's induction at age 11:

"You wit' it?" Big T asks, but he doesn't look at me.

"I'm down," I tell them, waiting for the discussion of my worthiness and loyalty to begin.

"When I say run, run down the alley and don't stop," Smiley orders.

I take a quick glance down the alley. Only a dim light lends a gloomy vagueness. The telephone poles have disappeared into the sky. The iron bars have a striped shield. What kinda shit is this? Then I turn to the group. Terry is loading guns.

"Run," Smiley orders.

I take off fast. There's no streetlight. I can't see. Stay in the middle. Otherwise, I'll crash into fences, the trash, or the poles.

My legs thrust. Don't stop, Smiley said. I gasp for air.


What's that? Car backfiring. I jerk from the sound.


Gunshots. They're shooting at me. Fuck. In spite of the night's heat and my sweat, I'm cold. I could die. Right here and now. No. Can't be a buster. Be hard. Run. Just run.

My heart hammers in my chest, my ears. My legs hit the cement as fast as they can, faster than my heart thumps. Another shot slaps behind me. My arms pump. Keep running. Stay strong. Focus. Stay in the middle. Run faster. I can do this. I can.

A clap and then sparks fly from a hit electrical wire. Darkness is thick.

Am I halfway through? What if they hit me?

Don't think that. Don't be a buster.

I can't get enough air.

A bullet hits a wall.

I pant. Darkness diminishes. Almost at the end. It's quiet except for my gasping, my heart. There, a car. I'm almost there, at the street, on the other side. I stop, lean my palms on my knees to grab some air. I made it.

Smiley and T.J. appear out of nowhere. Smiley punches me in the face, knocks me to the ground. Dizzy, I start swinging wildly. Big T rounds the corner. Three on one. My swing connects with a torso. Then T.J. lands five flush punches on my chest and I'm on the pavement, struggling for equilibrium. Kicked in the stomach, the wind is knocked out of me. I gasp and force my eyes to center.

"Squab for yours, cuz," someone says. I'm snatched by the collar, forced to stand. A solid kick to the chest whips my head back.

The world swims as I receive another kick and a strike. Hard spitting-punches come from all angles. I'm tossed by blows like a speed-punching bag. They have the control. Stars swim before my eyes again.

Stay strong and focus.

Copyright © 2005, 2006 by Ann Pearlman. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005


    This book was abosolutly amazing. I read it and fell in love with Colton 'Li'l Cee' Simpson. I will have to admit that I cried more than once while reading this book. It truly touched me. I am only 15 and just have been exposed to gang members, actually just broke up with one, and I have to admit... I didn't realize it was this bad. I hope that his idea works and speads and that he will touch peoples hearts everywhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    Highly Recommended - read through the lines!

    First, I would like to point out that Ann Perlman is the CO-Arthor of "Inside the Crips". She helped write and sensationalize Colton's story that was published in 2004/2005. This 2006 edition she added an excert from the trial. The truth behind most of his story will never be heard because it doesn't make the story as interesting as the title. For those that have not followed Colton Simpson's story he wrote this book not to glorify is past but to face his choices, deal with his own pain and maybe shed some light on the "justice" system. There are several children/teens that write Colton for mentoring and law schools/institutes that use his book in their courses. Unfortunately he is still fighting the "system" and others only seem to be profiting from his story. SMH...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2009



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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2005

    Black On Black Blues

    This is the story of a boy, rejected and manipulated by his mother, who makes the choice to lead a life of gang-banging, crime, deception, and thuggery in an attempt to gain fame, respect, and wealth. It is a story of a man who has seemingly come to the realization that although he is not sorry for what he has done (it made him who he is today), there are better choices to make in the future. He cannot erase the destruction of his ways, but he can help others understand that there is a better path, a more productive one, one that can do good for mankind. He has a good heart but his behavior has not come in line with yet and has had even recent trouble. Pray for him and a generation of young men just like him who need positive male mentors.

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