Snoop Dogg-187 Sign

I remember seeing this poster in college at a pop-up poster sale near the Lupton library on campus. With the iconic Malcolm X “By any means necessary” poster in the clutches of one hand, seeing this particular image stopped me dead in my tracks.

A young Snoop Dogg glaring and snarling at an unidentified object in the distance, with the infamous California 187 road sign looming above him. How fucking tough would that poster look in my dorm room? Malcolm X on one end and Snoop Dogg on the other, dichotomously opposed. It would immediately intimate to anyone visiting my room, “hey, this dude is about his business, but he’s about that life too.” 

Of course, anyone that seriously knew me knew that I was definitely not about that life, especially as a middle class kid from Franklin, Tennessee. But the fanatical images that Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre conjured through their music was the reason why a kid from the deep south was an inveterate listener of west coast rap music. With no further hesitation, I grabbed one of those rolled up Snoop Dogg posters, and spent my last $8.76 on the two posters.

It didn’t matter if I was going to be broke for another week. Besides, I could scrape by on cafeteria food and eat my roommate’s Tony’s pizza when he wasn’t around.

This was Snoop Dogg.

It was a no brainer.

Fast forward 8 years, and I’m living in Los Angeles. Finding this location was not easy. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet, no reddit threads, no archaic message boards, nothing on pinterest. So consider yourself lucky if you’re reading this because I don’t think it’s published anywhere else.

Nah, this time I had to do some deep diving. Wait, don’t I always deep dive when I find locations? I think I may have a masochistic propensity to search for the most arduous film locations, like El-dorado or Atlantis. Anyway, I had to go directly to the source, the photographer, Chi Modu.

Chi Modu is the architect of 90’s rap nostlagia as we know it. The images that he captured with his camera, are not only timeless and indefatigable classics, but pervade throughout the entire industry: Biggie, ‘Pac, Bad Boy, Dr. Dre, Snoop, the Wu’tang Clan, and many more. Anyway, I messaged Chi Modu, but didn’t get a response.

This impelled me to seek his Instagram page to see if he tagged a location on any of his posts.

No such luck.

But I did see where some Instagram users commented “Venice blvd” under the picture in question. This wasn’t exactly unfamiliar news because that was something that was monolithically expressed on many of the old message boards. Venice Blvd—from Lincoln Blvd to 10 Freeway was once considered the CA State route 187. But this was relinquished in  2016. Plus, if you look closely at the picture, you can tell that the “187” sign  had been freshly cemented.

I began to question if it was a real sign or just posted for fun given the duplicitous meaning of “187”, and it’s reference in the 1992 single “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

[Chorus: Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg]
Yeah, and you don’t stop
‘Cause it’s 1-8-7 on a undercover cop
Yeah, and you don’t stop
‘Cause it’s 1-8-7 on a undercover cop

After seeing enough users comment, I decided to ask some of them where exactly on Venice Blvd that it was. The responses varied from mostly “I don’t know bro, I just know it’s Venice” to one single “Venice and Sepulveda on the car wash side playa“. A quick google map search confirmed his comments. I assume that he’s from Los Angeles, but if you ever read this kthirtyfive, you da man!

So I want to quickly bring to your attention that the place where the 187 sign has since been removed. Whether it was done for the purposes of fictional formality, I’m not sure. In the photos above, I essentially used the current bus station marker as a placeholder. A few feet north of where I’m standing however, is the exact location where the sign was once likely cemented and planted.

See how the sign is cemented just before the crack where Snoop’s foot is? Then look at the pictures below.

 

 

That’s my best guess. Let me know what you think!

Location: 11166 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (Shine & Brite Hand Car Wash)