Having street cred is held in high esteem in the circles of many ghetto people. Having street cred can be earned by experiencing significant hardship and staying strong or having the ability to influence the masses based on occupation, deeds, or even swagger. Someone without street cred will be subjected to getting punked, pimped, and will be powerless. There are many ways one can earn street cred. Anyone who commands a certain level of respect whether they are a big time pimp, gangster, or community activist can earn street cred.
For example a pimp can earn street cred if his hoes make a lot of money and are loyal. A good pimp rarely has to beat his hoes down to get what he wants. Pimps are street psychologists and have learned the fine art of manipulation in order to get their hoes to sell their booty for dollars. The power of a pimp is based solely on how much money his hoes can bring in. A good pimp will not allow his hoes to play around in hard drugs like cocaine because that will negatively impact revenue. No one can challenge the power of a revenue generating pimp who can control his hoes.
A gangster can earn street cred if he has been shot multiple times a la 50 Cent, and lived to tell the tale. Gangsters also earn street credit if he/she committed a crime such as beating someone’s ass, pistol whoopings, shooting a rival gang member, or stealing highly valued goods. The gangster’s credibility will increase if he/she happens to spend time in prison. After the gangster serves his/her time, they are revered for being “hard.” Keep in mind that if the gangster or anyone for that matter snitches, any street cred they may have earned is forfeited. It is highly advisable not to snitch unless the individual plans to leave the country and never return.
Last but not least, the community activist has the potential to earn the most amount of street cred if their approach is right. Believe it or not community activists who actually live in the ghetto neighborhood are highly respected for their efforts to improve the conditions of the people living within the area. Community activists have seen first hand the plight of their people and have taken it upon themselves to make a difference. However, depending on the situation, sometimes community activists can come off as preachy and turn off the ghetto folks. When that occurs, a community activist will lose street cred and be disregarded as a loud mouth judgment snob. The community activist must keep a balance and ensure that they do not come off as having a superiority complex to the ghetto people they are attempting to serve or else they will lose street cred.