Where does Gangster Disciples come from?
In the 1960s–70s, two Chicago gangs, the Black Disciples (led by Larry Hoover) and the Supreme Gangsters (David Barksdale) joined forces to form the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, sometimes abbreviated to BGDN.
Over time, the new gang spread across the US. According to an FBI report, the Black Gangster Disciples were active in Memphis in the 1980s. Yet, as the group was growing, so was it splintering. The Black Gangster Disciples split into a number of factions, including the Black Disciples (BD) and the Gangster Disciples (GD). The different sects technically remained affiliated under the Folk Nation alliance of gangs, rival to the People Nation, both based in the Chicago area. That did not, however, stop Black Disciples from fighting with Gangster Disciples.
The Gangster Disciples gained national attention when a member who was also in the US Air Force killed an Army Sergeant during a gang initiation ritual in 2005. The gang is known for its use of the Star of David (in reference to original co-founder David Barksdale) and pitchforks as their symbols. Other related offshoots include the Spanish Gangster Disciples (SGD) and Insane Gangster Disciples (IGD).
Who uses Gangster Disciples?
Some rappers have publicized an allegiance to the Gangster Disciples. Rapper and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta TV star Lil Scrappy has repeatedly mentioned GD Folk (as in the Gangster Disciples and the Folk Nation) in his tweets. Offset, the moniker of a member of the hip-hop trio Migos, has referenced GD Folks on his Instagram account and on stage. Offset was also arrested as part of a "sweep" of Gangster Disciples.
In 2013, hip-hop mogul Rick Ross also once compared himself to Black Gangster Disciple Nation leader Larry Hoover in one of his songs, which in 2016 the FBI reported resulted in his extortion by Gangster Disciples.
The Gangster Disciples are discussed in the mainstream and social media in relation to active gang violence, both in Chicago and other US cities.
I grew up in a black gangster disciple neighborhood, so Bernie’s internet gang is very frightening to me. 🙄
@OjPats4, December, 2017
At a bond hearing in the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Assistant State's Attorney John Dillon identified Champ as a Black P Stones gang member who had suffered a graze wound to his leg in a shooting involving Gangster Disciples hours before the mayhem in the park.
Jeremy Gorner & Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune, September, 2013
In describing Shaquon's death, and many deaths of young men in the city, Chicago outlets—like those in New York and plenty of other cities—sometimes rely solely on police versions of events. For Ingrid's son, this meant the rapper was labelled a Gangster Disciple, and that his death was at least partially attributable to a "long-running feud" between that gang, the Conservative Vice Lords and the Black P-Stones.
Justin Glawe, Vice, June, 2015