COMPTON, CA - MARCH 3:  A bicyclist passes an electrical box painted to encourage community pride, March 3, 2009 in Compton, California. The city that became known as the birthplace of gangsta rap and was once one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. is striving to overcome its violent history. The murder rate has been halved in the small 10.5 square mile city, from 65 in 2005 to 28 in 2008. Millions of dollars have been spent on new commercial and residential developments, concerted efforts by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which took over patrolling the city in the 1990s, continue, and outreach programs have been implemented. Despite the progress and lowering of the homicide rate, problems persist. Robberies and burglaries are increasing and gang activity continues. More than a quarter of Compton's residents are poor. As Crips, Bloods, and Latino gangs went to war against one another to control the cocaine trade in the 1980s, some rappers began to glorify their violent lifestyle and brought notoriety to Compton gang life.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)