Folks and People Nations

The Folks Nation (also known as Folk) is an alliance of street gangs,  which, since its formation in the late seventies, has spread throughout the United States, primarily in the Chicago area of the mid-west and also many parts of the southern United States. They are rivals to the People Nation.

The Nation was born from an idea of Larry Hoover, who was, and still is to some degree, the chairman of the Gangster Disciple Nation.  Hoover, at that time, was serving time (200 years) in the Illinois Department of Corrections but, through telephone calls, visitors, attorneys, and written correspondence, he managed to maintain control of the Gangster Disciples and eventually the Folk Nation.

Hoover envisioned himself as the ultimate leader, the king, of all of the Chicago area gangs as well as the gangs in the Illinois penal system.

On June 18, 1998, Hoover was convicted running a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE) and sentenced to six life terms, seven terms of 20 years, three four-year terms, and one five-year term under federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, with all sentences running concurrently and in addition to the 150-200-year sentence he received for his 1973 murder conviction.

Hoover is currently serving his sentence at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons maximum security facility in Florence, Colorado.


Some of the gangs that are known to  align with The Folk Nation are:

In the Chicago area, the Folk Nation and the Gangster Disciples are generally thought of as one and the same. 

There is a bitter rivalry between the Folk Nation and the People Nation. 

People Nation

Gangs in Chicago that did not want to be under the control of Hoover, banded together and formed the People Nation; partly for their self protection but mostly to maintain control of their share of the drug sales and other criminal activities. Like the Bloods and the Crips of Los Angeles, the Folk and People Nations are bitter rivals in most instances. 

Some of the gangs that align with the People Nation are:

Within the Folk and People Nations alliances, the individual gangs have their own unique colors, hand signs, alphabets, or codes. They show their allegiance to their allies as well as their rivals by  "representing" through symbols, colors, graffiti, hand signs and slang words.

Members of both Nations also demonstrate their affiliation by  indicators on the left or right side of the body.  A member of the Folk Nation will usually wear his colors on the right side of the body, will wear a cap tilted to the right or he may roll up his right pants leg.  Members of the People Nation may demonstrate their affiliation from the left side of the body.  The color blue is generally associated with the Folks Nation, while red is the color of choice for the People Nation.


Although every effort is made to provide correct information, gangs are forever changing.  Over the years, gangs that do not follow the historical aspects of the nations and of the traditional gangs, have formed.  These gangs are known as hybrid gangs, and  even  though their gang name may that of a well known traditional gang, they have been known to wear colors, or use signs and symbols  of a rival gang.



The symbols shown here are representative of the two nations




Gang Codes and Alphabets

Over the years, many gangs have developed various forms of codes and alphabets to enable them to communicate "secretly" with other members.  Below is one such example of a Folks Nation code.  It is frequently referred to as the 123-ABC code.  Beside each letter of the alphabet there are terms which may also be used to form words. 

To encode the words Folks Nation using the 123-ABC, it would appear as 6-15-12-11-19  14-1-20-9-15-14

Using the terms to write Folks Nation, it would appear as Father-One-Love-Kingdom-Self  Nation-Allah-True-Islam-One-Nation.

Other Terms and Codes

Other Identifiers

The items below may assist you in the recognition of gang members. PLEASE REMEMBER:  If a person has one of these identifiers, it does  not mean positively that they are a gang member.  It is best to look for a combination or other identifiers or valuators.

The pictures below illustrate how a gang member cuts the slits into his eyebrows.  The picture on the left shows the slits.  The picture on the right show that he individual is representing MS-13.  Although it is difficult to see, the "S" is represented by a scar on the nose.




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Robert Walker

This page was last updated on 03/13/2014

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