Green’s Dictionary of Slang

set n.2

1. in senses of theatre/film jargon set, the backdrop to the action.

(a) (US black) wherever the hedonistic, criminal or night life takes place.

[US] ‘Bill and Lil’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 121: Ten long years of bitter regret / Won’t stop me busting your ass when I get back on the set.
[US]Milsap Participant Observation Journal in Wallace Skid Row (1965) 32: Say daddy, have you dug the set at the Key club?
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 175: It was where all the slick people were living [...] the set I wanted to be in.
[US]Smith & Gay Heroin in Perspective (1972) 109: He is a person who stays in the block all day and is supposed to know what is going on; he is, as they say, always on the set.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 148: When some good smack is on the set, man.
[US]O. Hawkins Chili 18: 1964, back on the set, back on the job I’d left.
[US] W. W.T. Vollmann Royal Family 625: Some gangstas popped a cap at me [...] That’s life in our set, muttered Chocolate.
email to 9 May [Internet] He even went as far as to drive me to the set so I could cop my dope [and] let me shoot a bag in the back of his patrol car.

(b) (US black) a party, a gathering.

[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 93: Well, you didn’t miss much. What a set! That man Trotter makes me sick.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 59: The set is on the fifth floor and the floor is creaking an’ groaning under the weight of all the coolies that are swinging.
[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 75: Wasn’t you over to that little set they had over to Sonny Davis’ place.
[US]Ice-T ‘Rhyme Pays’ [lyrics] I hope this something that you never forget / Tie that freak outside next time you come in a set.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 175: Where the set at tonight? I need to get loose.

(c) (drugs) a place where drugs are sold.

[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 14: Once the addict has drugs on him, he keeps moving. [...] He strikes out with what some detectives call a ‘leaving-the-set-walk’.
[US]B. Davidson Collura (1978) 75: Space was never stoned ‘on the set’ ( a street drug-buying operation).
[US]M. McAlary Crack War (1991) 32: Fat Cat’s attorney [...] arrived on the set even before police had led his client away.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 19: Set — Place where drugs are sold.

(d) (US black) the neighbourhood.

[US]E. Sanders Family 186: Two policemen [...] were on the set too, investigating Charlie’s rape of the girl.
[US]Dr Dre ‘Some L.A. Shit’ [lyrics] But I grew up where niggaz jack you, harass you / Blast you, for that set you claim (where you from?).
[US]Source Aug. 148: Snoop is my nigga from my gang and my set.

2. see dead set n. (1)

In phrases

break to the set (v.)

(US black) to move to or arrive at a gathering.

[US]Ice-T ‘Soul on Ice’ [lyrics] We broke to the set; E parked the car on the grass.
bust someone’s set (v.)

(UK black) to ruin an atmosphere.

[UK]‘Q’ Deadmeat 251: I’d just positioned myself to pull a beautiful Nubian princess [...] when Froggy bust my set by putting a Malibu and pineapple juice in my hand.
pull to a set (v.)

(US black) to attend a party.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 176: Like you say, ‘Man, I’ma git down dis weekend. Pull to a set and right’ly get loaded!’.