barrio 2 barrio

Amor For Alex film release March 21st 2015

"Need a Ride"?

"Ey homie , you need a ride?"Probably the most loving words i ever heard in my lifetime. 
​ Walking around the neighborhood as a teenager, not many people wanted to give a ride. Whether it be fear of getting pulled over by a cop, lack of attention, or just plain selfishness, getting a ride is a hard thing to come by sometimes in a bad area. I remember walking home one day from school in the 7th grade. Drenched from the mile plus walk home i did to, and from. No ride from home because grandma didn’t drive and my uncle didn’t care.
​  A car pulls on the side of me. Primered up, it had a car full of the older homeboys bumpin oldies. “Ey lil homie, you need a ride”.I hear it come from the shotgun side of the ride. Its my older homie. “thats OG Ben’s Lil Nephew” someone says from the back seat. “Get in”.Im in the car before they can open the latch to let me in. “Hows your uncle?” he asked. “He’s cool, locked up but should be out soon”, i say. I dont even know if they remembered my name but i was just glad they picked me up from that storm. 
​ To this day i remember the exact location i was picked up at.To some it was just a ride. To me it was Carnalismo. A brotherhood , only recognized by those raised with respect and care for their loved 1’s.To this day i still feel a huge debt  to another person who may have just givin me a ride up the street. In Fremont , I knew every bus stop in the city. Knew just about every driver too. Going to a dance? lets hit the bus. Going to the mall? Lets hit the bus. GOing to ride on some enemies? Lets hit the bus. 
​ You might not even overlook the fact that you gave a human being a ride up the street or to the other side of town. But in the mind of the recipient of the ride, you might have gained a whole new respect.

The Recruiter 

​  I know this homeboy. He's a down-ass homeboy, a real soldado in the eyes of my neighborhood. I knew this homie since I was just a kid. He's been putting in work since I can remember. You should have seen when he was suited and booted. Creases sharp enough to cut through a cake, a real stand-up G. 

 Guess what? I heard he's got some stripes under his belt now. Layin the enemy down or whoever opposes our way of life. I had to chuckle at some of the stories I heard about him. Shit, I put in work too, so I know the feeling. The rush you get from letting a clip off or putting your blade in someone. I got a lot of respect for the work this homeboy has put in but you know what? There's one thing I don't respect about this homie. 

   It was a while back when I seen it happen. He just got home off the bus, so I guess he's back in the area. He's all tense in the shoulders. I can see it in his walk and the way he eats fast. We're chopping it up at the store talking about the shit thats been going down in the area. I'm telling him my stories and he's telling me his. We used to put in work together back in the days so the respect is there. But then the lil homie walks up, he's about 16. I'm talking to him about his family when my old school homeboy starts to get at him trying to recruit him in. I can't believe he's trying to waste the homie's life like his was. He starts spittin the same ol game on how they need him and how he's got "corazon". I know the talk because that's how I got in. It's a damn shame. 

 That was the first time I seen it. After a while it was all he did. Recruiting lil homies left and right. I'd see him at the parks by high schools and any other place that young fragile minds hang out at. I lost respect for him at that point. Its like he had a quota to fill with these these lil youngsters. Trading souls to war became his game.

  I think he wants to go back. You know how these guys are. They're so damn institutionalized that "3 hots and a cot" sounds way more appealing that a white picket fence. I guess I shouldn't be mad, we all signed up for this life but we signed our own ticket in this vida, don't bring someone down with you. I think of how people love him as a real soldado even after recruiting so many young lives to the system, essentially altering their views on the world forever. It's a fuckin shame!

​  I just can't believe my homeboy became a U.S. Marine. 

Where You From?

By No Love

  Those 3 little words. Depending on numerous factors like financial, ethnicity, and age, this question can provoke an array of feelings, memories, and pride. Descriptions of that “little conrer store” to that person behind the question or even finding out that you both have mutual friends and family members can ensure laughs and trips down memory lane to any good old American suburbanites.
  Now, throw this question around in a black or latino neighborhood and see what the reaction is.
"Where you from?" The guy behind this question just left his homie’s pad after just having found out one of their friends was killed the day before.
  The guy on the business end of this question just left his girl’s house a few blocks over and his car died out at this corner store.
  The guy behind the counter already knows what’s up. He says in a shaky voice and broken accent “please, I don’t want any trouble in here”. The lady who is shopping with her kids hears the question and starts to look through the isle for her children as if to look for another store to shop at.
  An answer is given that just doesn’t match up with the geographical region that the poor bastard with the broke down car is standing in. This is where those feelings, memories, and pride come into play.
​ And to think, this all started with someone asking a question with 3 simple words. Where are you from? This happens every hour in America. Blacks and Latinos deal with this question on a daily basis with dire consequences. So the next time you’re out and about and happen to meet an interesting enough person to spark a conversation with and you ask them those 3 little words, just be happy you do not live in the barrio or the hood where many have bled and lost their lives after hearing those 3 little words. 

Barrio 2 Barrio: keeping the streets informed since 1999


Welcome to the site! Browse through stories, pictures and videos from the barrio. 

The Effect


Letting people appreciate the barrio culture and the many forms of art is has spawned

The Causa


To give at in-depth look at the pain and love that is "The Barrio"

  Last night was an amazing night in San Franciscos Mission District. The seen was one that has been spoken of in the stories of past. Lowriders, cholos, cholas, students, activist, and community leaders all came together in honor of a man who was killed by trigger happy police. 
As Alex sat on Bernal Hill eating his burrito just before his shift started, a call came in to 911 dispatch complaining of a man with a gun. The alleged gun was a taser Alex used for his night job as a security  guard and was licensed to carry. Within a minute of the confrontation, Alex would be dead, shot over 10 times on the hill he ate his last meal at and enjoyed the view of his city. 
March 21st 2015 is a year later that the community would rise up in his name and unite to bring back the special culture the mission had. As one social media member states “the mission is back, if only for a night”. 
  The scene was a loving one. No funk, no hard looks, just love and unity. A speaker on the panel stated that tonight “each one of you is an honorary cholo and chola”, this meant we were back in the struggle as one. No brown looking down on brown. Only brown, uplifting brown. 
We got to see the parents of Alex Nieto and hear their stories of a loving son who didn’t hesitate to show his love for his family and others. We saw videos of Alex driving in lowriders and participating in community events. A far cry from the person the media and police tried to portray. 
  This #AmorForAlex event was one of the strongest community events I’ve seen in Nor Cal in a while for the brown community, it just sad that we had to come together when a good man was killed, and not before. RIP Alex Nieto Jr.

To Have a Pair....

   My earliest memory of em was probably when I was about 5 or so. We drove to San leandro. And there it was. The work clothing store that had the huge Ben Davis Sign with the gorilla on it. There was nothing like it. The yellow and red colors clashing with the solid black lines that formed the barrier for the yellow face of the all mighty Ben Davis Gorilla were the greatest site i could see, and brought a grin to my face just as big as the one the gorilla had. They sure didn’t have them in my size, but that still didn’t stop me from loving them. The older homies who came over to the house always had a pair on. Black was the most popular of my uncles friends. These homies were as real as it gets. It was an array of charactes out of a Homies Gum Ball machine. You had the Winos, the pinto, the viejos, and all of them had on Bens on. When you’re about 3 ft tall, you don’t see much but tags and toes.
   As i got older I wanted a pair even more. Jr high came around and it was just about that time i could start fitting into em. Nuttin But a G thang by Dr Dre was the hottest shit on the radio, so people wanted Black Bens and a Black Bens shirt with a matching 64 Impala even more than ever now. But the real knew what time it was. It wasn’t just a fad for us. It was bred in for generations. your fathers and uncles wore them, your grandparents even wore them. A new pair of bens under a hot iron for about 45 minutes made you look like you were about to crack in half. A little starch definitely helped get you to the point of break.My good homeboy Anthony once told me his brothers pants cracked when he added 7-up to the iron and steamed them. 7-up? I couldn’t believe it! But I was still to chicken shit to try to break my grandmothers iron and be stuck wrinkled for a month.
   My grandmother swore that only cholos wore Khaki Bens. She refused to let me get a pair until the 8th grade, thats when i talked her into it. I would tell her, “that was in your time old lady (That was my nickname for her), in the 50’s. This is a different era”. “Aww ni que era ni que nada” was her reply. We eventually took the bus to get some.
 I got about 4 pairs for school shopping every year.. Black, brown, green, and smoke grey or silver if you could find them. Sear and Montgomery Wards in the Bay were a favorite to get you pants for a good price. Plus my grandmother had the layaway plans if all else failed. Bens Davis shirts were optional if you could find them.
 Now my homeboy Grumpy, he had every single pair ever made! I dont say this in exaggeration either. If you ever had a homeboy who was creased up 24/7 then you know who Grumpy is. He had Black, brown, white, maroon, grey, green, carmel. Carmel? The most sought after pair of the times?!?! Yeah, he had em. My grandmother would always compliment at how clean and creased he always was. “I’ve never seen him dirty” she would say. But we all knew he ended up getting beer or blood spilled on his clothes by the end of the night. To this day i still remember the time he wanted to see how many pairs of pants he could shoot his 9mm threw. He shot right threw them in the closet of his moms house while she was at work. I think it was about 7 pairs. Pretty sturdy if you ask me.
    I still remember a story a homie told me, about another homie, who knew a homie, that seen a homie that got shot in the leg when he got his brand new Frisco Bens. The doctors had to cut his pants up but he pleaded that he would take them off and wash them out after.Sorry to say, but the pants were ripped to shreds by doctors… or so the story goes. Yeah! It was that serious.
   Ben Davis weren’t just a pair of pants that people wore and tossed out. You took absolute care of your Bens Davis.Some were worn for months without notice, if you took proper care of them. A single perfect cuff could be achieved on any pair of Bens without alteration of any sort. The feel of Bens as I pop the stapled tag off the back pocket and then rip the size tag off the belt loop area still rings fresh in mind to this day. I collected Bens tags for years. Watched my favorite movies and shows as i creased my slightly worn Bens to mush for hours and hours. After months of walking the barrio. Solid black creases soon became faded white lines one an almost grey canvas. Old Bens get a wavy look to them. Floppy and sloppy. Not something that average homie wanted to be associated with. My homie Lurch would often use food coloring in the washing machine to bring his old Bens back from the dead and save a few bucks, but all he did was fuck up his moms washing machine. But hey, a homie has to do what a homie has to do to keep his Gorillas looking crispy.
   These days, you dont see Bens around too much. Dickies took over as the affodable and hip brand now that they merchandised their company to attract everyone from young kids to nurses. A great business move it was. I still remember the first year i seen the transition at the Magic Show in Las Vegas. it blew my mind to see the change to a cell phone pocket. Ben Davis were simply to expensive for some at around $35-$40 a pop.But  Ben Davis has been a Bay area Icon just as long as the golden gate bridge, but has seemed to fade the from the minds of many as the pants their uncles wore back in the days. So the next time you pass by a Work World store, or the Army surplus store in your town, check out the orange and yellow gorilla in the corner. He’s been there for years. Take a trip down memory lane for your homies one time.

Newark Califaz Mini Documentary

New: Barrio 2 Barrio DVD for sale

Big Chuco Video:

Oldie But Goodie

Vogue TDK

Video by MTN Colors USA

DJ Agana interview

Mural in Berkeley, Ca