As far as colors go, when red and blue are blended together, they make the color purple. However, two former members of the rival Bloods and Crips are showing the world that the red of the Bloods and the blue of the Crips can make green. Weary of the stress and dangers that gangbanging in Compton can bring, Malachi Jenkins (Crips) and Roberto Smith (Bloods) left the street life behind and joined together to venture into the culinary world. Together, the two have started a soul food catering service, called Trap Kitchen LA.
Malachi and Roberto were introduced through a mutual friend and agreed to go into business together in pursuit of “food and girls.” Jenkins told FOX New 11, “[Selling drugs provided] a quick dollar, you know. All money ain’t good money, but it was working for me, until it started getting us in trouble. So, I had to find something legit to do.”
“The gang stuff, the shootings, now that I’m sitting in this kitchen, I don’t go through none of that,” said Smith
Jenkins (a.k.a. Chef Spanky) enrolled at La Cordon Bleu culinary school, the started posting his dishes on Instagram. Viewers were very receptive and started placing orders. Now, Trap Kitchen LA posts its daily menu on IG and customers call in their orders. At one point, police mistook Trap Kitchen as a real trap house, due to the throng of customers coming through.
In addition to bettering themselves, Trap Kitchen LA also offers opportunities to men in their community from similar backgrounds. “We help a lot of our friends from the neighborhood, just to come get a positive outlook on life.”
One of the men they hired is Larry Williams, who just finished doing a bid in prison for assault. He said, “They welcomed me with open arms and just gave me this opportunity.”
Along with their regular customers, Trap Kitchen LA has served a host of celebrities, such as The Roots, Kendrick Lamar, Rev. Run, Fredo Santana and Lil’ Durk, among others.
“As long as you say positive and stay away from negative vibes [and] keep at it every day, you can do whatever you put your mind to,” said Jenkins. To learn more about Trap Kitchen LA, check out its official website.