I’ve Been Playing Music Here Since South L.A. Was South Central

The South Central Skankers' Lead Singer on How His Hometown Shaped His Sound

The ska band in which I serve as lead singer, the South Central Skankers, still has the same name it did when we started 15 years ago. But South Central has changed profoundly, including in its name. And South L.A.’s music has changed with it.

The first songs I wrote in our early days were about going out and partying and having drinks all the time with different cliques in which I moved—the skaters, the nerds, the gangsters, the partiers, the paisas. But I grounded those stories with our personal sense …