Throwing up the West Coast W
Is it a gang sign?
Does it represent a gang?
Who started it?
Who brought it back?
What does it mean?
Throwing up the W is known worldwide. There’s no argumen that Ice Cube and the West Side connection kicked the infamous W off to represent the West Side of the Coast. Regions were irrelevant before 1993 as hip hop took a Coastal approach to the culture.
The West Coast slogan came alive with Pac, Snoop, and the DOC In the mid 90’s as the world embraced the the two fingers twisted in the middle. At the same time, throwing up the W, and representing the West Coast became a clique of elite artists who were from elite sections of Compton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Watts, and South Central.
These elite individuals and sections have grown the network throughout the entire Western Region, from California, Colorado, Arizona, and Las Vegas. Not to mention those who have ventured out to other states and countries and spread that West Coast love throughout all the communities.
One could assume that the gesture is a gang sign, or perhaps represents a gang. Let me clear the air for you. The W is a neutral sign simular to a “peace” sign. It’s NOT a gang sign, although one could be associated with a gang. However, the W is a universal sign, and the individuals you see throwing it up are unique in their own right.
Pictures speak a thousand words when you see people proudly taking pics with their 4 fingers twisted in the middle over their hearts.
As we continue representing the W, keep in mind that no matter who you are, or where you’re from, the W isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s for the strong, and those who have refused to conform to a lifestyle of hate and envy. It’s for those who rise above their environment and want better for the West Coast culture. We want better for our neighborhoods and communities, and together we will get there.
So who brought the W back, and who made it possible for you and I to throw it up? We did, and I personally brought it back in 08 on Myspace when I started my career as a West Coast artist. It didn’t feel right taking flicks without throwing up the West Coast to let everybody know that I represent the entire Coast. To this day, things still haven’t changed much as I will forever represent the West where ever I go.
Remember who you are, and never forget where you come from when reopening the West Coast. Stay focused, share the love and erase the hate.
Maurice A. Petty
CEO & Founder
West Coast Rise Magazine