Be aware, hyper-vigilant even. If anyone approaches youon foot only allow them at a bare minimum to get within 15 feet of you and tell them to stop. There is unfortunatley lots of media that glorifies thug/gangster life so it's probably not going to go away anytime soon.
Regardless, these kids would latch onto whatever was mainsteam at the time and probably still commit the same crimes because the problem lies within their family, more specifically their parents.
Remember younger kids are way more volatile than your average criminal adult. Most of them have grown up in piss poor environments and have no regard for human life or laws. They also have not had the time, or the teaching to value or respect people in general.
If it feels wrong or unsafe, don't go there. If somebody has been eyeing you from the across the parking lot and all of suddenly breaks out in a fast walk towards you i'd suggest you'd stop them. Either they want to sell you something, or they want to take something, the response should be the same in both situations.
Be careful in crowded parking lots, and near ATM's. I have had more than one friend get kidnapped, robbed, and beat up... it happens everyday. Don't flash cards or cash, and that's really all the advice I can give.