Gangster's Rap

Salvino Martinez is singing. But not to the Denver cops. At least not directly, though they've shown interest in the first album by the gang member and erstwhile rapper because of a murder investigation he alludes to in his songs.

The only CMG Westside Bloods talking to the police, Martinez gloats, are those who once accused him of doing the same before they tried to kill him in July 1996. They murdered an innocent nineteen-year-old mother of a four-year-old boy instead.

"Look who's talkin' now," Martinez said. "Them busters are all snitchin' on each other."

"Them busters" to whom Martinez refers are the former "crew" of Daniel "Bango" Martinez (no relation to Sal): Alejandro "Speed" Ornelas; his brother, Gerard "G-Loc" Ornelas; and Samuel "Zig-Zag" Quintana.

According to court documents, police believe that Bango Martinez was convinced that Sal Martinez was a snitch, even though both belonged to the same gang. Bango put a hit out on Sal. But when Speed Ornelas and Zig-Zag Quintana opened fire on a Lakewood apartment in July, Sal was already gone, and instead they killed Venus Montoya.

Less than a year later, this little clique within the loosely organized CMG Westsiders was embroiled in another murder. On May 30 of this year, fifteen-year-old Brandy Duvall was picked up by the gang and taken to a house in Adams County where she was raped and tortured. Her body was found the next day in the mountains; she had been killed by multiple stab wounds ("Trail of Bloods," July 17).

Charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of Duvall were Bango Martinez, Zig-Zag Quintana, David "Baby G" Warren, Maurice Warren, Francisco Martinez, Frank Vigil and Jacob Casados. A few days later, Bango, Zig-Zag and the two Ornelas brothers were charged by Lakewood police with the first-degree murder of Montoya. All have been arrested with the exception of Bango Martinez, who remains at large.

Sal Martinez says the rumor that he was a snitch was put out on the street by rivals who were jealous of his drug connections and his Lincoln Continental low-riders. In July, he predicted that his enemies would start snitching on one another rather than face the death penalty ("Blood Brothers," July 24).

And in September, Zig-Zag Quintana, the son of a Denver County sheriff's deputy, pleaded guilty to both murders and agreed to testify against the others in exchange for a life sentence.

"Zig-Zag's in protective custody," says Sal Martinez, "and I hear...that some others is talkin'. So who's the snitch?"

Meanwhile, Sal Martinez's "gangsta" rap group, G-Loc 9 (although the Glock 9mm is a popular gun with gangs, Martinez says the name stands for "Gangsters Living on Cloud 9"), just released its first collection of rap rhymes. Police believe the rap titled "Killin' Tonight" contains references to the murder of Venus Montoya, which are also sprinkled through the preceding song, "Westword Hoes":

Bango and his crew say I'm droppin' dimes
Where's your paperwork, I'm just droppin' rhymes
They tried to do me dirty
But what you thinkin',
Jealous of the birdies and the Lincoln
Tried to wipe me off the map
But that's a no-no
And while you're in the pen
I'm in my low-low

Bango, you fool, you need to get a grip
'Cause the last time I caught your ass, you got
And that's on the fo'
I chin-checked your little sister bitch, Boom, at
the Super Show
Speed, your name's comedian
And G-Loc, you're no "G" so take the "G" out
You know what I'm sayin'?
Real homes would be happy for you
Busters, so why you tryin' to flex
Fuck what you heard and what got put in the
And Zig-Zag, get off of Bang's nuts
Why don't you be your own mother-fucking man?

This is the big boy, Vino, fo' minutes, fo' mother-fuckin' minutes
Oh, yeah, and don't go whining
When your ass ends up in Limon.

Martinez said he's no longer gangbanging. And now that the little matter of who's snitching on whom has been resolved to his satisfaction, he says, he just wants to make music.

"Trail of Bloods, or trail of bitches?" says Martinez, breaking out into a rap. "Who's the real Gs and who's the real snitches?"

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