From Lil Nas X to Orville Peck, 2019 was the year of the cowboy. And the global fascination with that culture shows no signs of slowing down; this April, reporter for The New York Times, Walter Thompson-Hernández, releases his book, The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation Of Cowboys In America’s Urban Heartland. This close-knit group, who first met more than 20 years ago, gives back to the local community by teaching inner-city kids how to ride horses.
Here, we speak to five members of the Compton Cowboys about how a childhood pastime turned into a career, beginning with founder Randy Savvy, whose aunt bought the Richland Farms land (now the group’s ranch) back in the 1980s.
Randy Savvy (Randall Hook)
‘Rather than flee a neighbourhood troubled with drugs, crime and corruption, my aunt Mayisha decided to make a change, establishing the Compton Junior Posse in her own backyard. Today’s Compton Cowboys were the kids in that equestrian programme. Once we grew up, we wondered how we could help the next generation. What really brought us together was when we were asked to be in a Rihanna and Drake video in 2016. A year later, Guinness asked to film a commercial. Maybe it’s because we represent all ages, dynamics and backgrounds. Our modern family is “unorthodox”; it isn’t necessarily a blood family, but a collective of folks who share a common mission, interest and
love for one another.’