First, the obvious disclaimer: The OC Weekly does not endorse graffiti, cholos, gangs, and especially graffiti cholo gangs. We encourage all youth to stay off the streets and blah blah blah blah blah. The only gang we claim–and the only one that matters–is OCW, and we RIFA C/S!
But look at the above tag, left over the weekend on a wall near the corner of Hawley and Ninth streets in SanTana. That's the handiwork of F Troop, oOC's
oldest veteran Mexican gang* and the one with the most fascinating name in OC (yes: the gang is named after the late-1960s sitcom) after the Nazi Lowriders and PEN1. Now, get over the shock of this infernal rag highlighting a gang tag, and refry the following:
*We all know most gang tags are quick scribbles that people can barely decipher. Not this. Not only did the artist have to conceptualize writing out F-Troop's name in hand signs, but then they had to put their vision into practice. And, man, did they do it: The line work is impeccable, reminiscent of Keith Haring; the fingers, perfectly proportioned (except on the T–a bit too long there, you wannabe Warhol, you!); the hand contours, perfect. And the "Mi Vida Loca" dot-tattoo? Whomever did this spared no detail–and whether you want to admit it or not, this is art. But better you put this in galleries than streets, youngster–make more money that way!
*Something like this isn't a quick job; it's going to take time. And with that in mind, this tag reflects tellingly on the Santa Ana PD. At least Public Works covered it up in about 24 hours; the po-po must've been too busy raiding pot shops and eating edibles somewhere to bother patrolling this neighborhood–long a gang hotspot–and catch the taggers in the act.
*If a gabacho "street artist" did this, hipsters would be IGing the fuck out of the above, hailing the painter as a visionary. But since it's a Mexican gang who did this, expect said hipsters to decry this as vandalism and criminal–which it definitely is, just like Bansky. Or maybe this was a piece of art by his Mexican counterpart, El Banksy?
*Again, what boggles me is that someone did this, period. Did no one bother to call the police and report this as it was happening? Is this neighborhood so F-Troop-friendly (or scared) that it was just viewed as another day in the barrio? Or maybe this is a set-up by the SanTana PD, to see who shares this story on social media and track them down? This department has done lamer things…like raid pot shops and eat edibles.
So…what do YOU think?
*Gustavo note: A lot of homies are writing in to correctly correct me about calling F-Troop OC's oldest gang. There's more than a few gangs in Placentia, Fullerton, Stanton, Anaheim, and SanTana who claim the crown–good for them!