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Words Nomi Prins Photos EstevanOriol.com Captain Carlitos Caceres of LAFD Fire Station, District 13 couldn’t give a damn about what a firefighter looks like. After 17 years of fighting fires and saving lives in one of LA’s toughest areas, he cares about the real stuff: what a firefighter is on the inside. Growing up in Echo Park, Carlitos didn’t know what to do with his life. Then, at 21 years old, a police officer friend of his told him he had the heart of a fireman. “So, I knocked on the door of the local neighborhood fire station and these guys took me in. They were all white, big forearms and mustaches – but they weren’t critical. They didn’t care I was some Mexican kid with tattoos.” That lack of judgment made a strong impression on him. Because for him; being a fireman is all about that acceptance, that brotherhood. The guys he met taught him the values he passes on to his team now. At the top of that list is being humble. “Being a fireman isn’t about wearing the T-shirt to bars, sporting the bumper-sticker, flashing the badge. You’re out at a fire – it’s about how you do the job.” And that job ain’t no walk in the park. The average number of calls during a 24-hour day is 15 to 16. Firefighters work from the minute they get to the station until 11 PM when they go to
sleep in tiny cots. That’s when the toughest calls come in. “If there’s only 1 at night, that’s a good day and we’re well rested. If there’re 5 or 6, we’re beat. By the next day, we’re fatigued, and this may go on for 3 days in a row, before you get a day off.” Besides that schedule, firefighters see some horrid conditions. They aren’t just sent in to fight fires, but to get in the middle of shoot-outs, save toddlers who’ve been raped by children not much older than them, help old ladies having heart attacks. The coverage of Carlitos’ station includes Pico Union and McArthur Park, some of the most densely populated and diverse areas in LA. Their old high-rise apartment buildings contain packed units housing 4 to 5 families, many here illegally. Kids play in their drug and rat infested hallways. These guys are as much community workers as firefighters. Then, there’s the danger. On the field, firefighters don’t have time to figure something out, they have to know it; react on experience and instinct.
“If I’m trying to save a woman and her two little kids, and taking them out a smoky hall – they’re blind for a moment. I’m the one who takes them through it, and once they can see again, they have hope again.” The problem is that certain chiefs today care more about how a firefighter looks than how they act. They want that ‘image’; buff, clean-cut (and often blond). Carlitos is Mexican and covered with tats, not quite their stereotype. In a town like LA, where racial tensions are never far from the surface, the department has seen its share. “When I started as a fireman, I came onto a department that was mostly white and known for discriminating against blacks. That racism led to harsh repercussions and inevitably, to big changes.” Yet today, there’s a new kind of racial profiling going on. Since a string of lawsuits have left city administration and chiefs in defensive mode – they have been focusing more on appearance and containing potentially intimidating behavior (say, while training rookies to react no matter what the circumstances) than on competence in the field. “We’ve had to change how we train our new members. You can’t create realistic training conditions that mimic the intense pressure of the fire-ground, where victims in life threatening situations can be pretty intimidating. Because if we pressure people to the point where they consider it hostile and complain, the administration will back them up, as opposed to the veteran crew. So, we have to bite our tongues
and keep people around who shouldn’t be in the department.” The heightened bureaucracy is also killing the culture of bonding that firemen need to get through the dangerous work they do. It’s eliminated the use of hazing as a tool to evaluate new members’ strength of character and thickness of skin. “Like when you go up to some girl in a bar, you might give her a hard time, just to see how she reacts, and if she can’t deal – you’re like – I don’t want to start anything with her. But, if she rolls with the punches, she’s cool.” Same thing goes with recruiting. Messing about with a firefighter who can take it, shows what will happen in a tight situation.” Another example of the administration losing focus on what the job is all about is targeting people with tattoos, because of their appearance, not their performance. For seven years, a tattoo protocol assignment has been weaving its way through the department. It finally passed arbitration recently, and Carlitos and other men are about to learn their fate. “They’re probably gonna tell me to cover up my arms.” Asking a guy to cover up his tats is like asking him to cover up his soul. The tats are his skin. They are his identity. And it’s not like Carlitos hasn’t thought about what his tattoos represent before. “I did some serious questioning in my earlier years at the department about my tattoos. I understand that some people have reactions to the way I look, like maybe some 80 year old lady who’s never seen tattoos in
Jamie Walters shows off the tattoo skills of Captain Carceres her life, but I tell her - you want me to be the one to help you because I’ll give you the best service you could get.” But things turned personal against Carlitos when he discovered that an officer from another shift told a group of guys, ‘There’s an off-color shit that runs a loose ship’ and ‘we got a captain who is covered with tattoos.’ “When a chief officer says stuff like that, there’s a reason – to poison their opinion about me, and when he says I run a loose ship – he’s getting into my performance. My normal style would have been to approach him directly. But I know this guy and his history. So, I filed an official complaint with my chief who then launched an investigation into this ‘hostile environment.’ Ironically, this officer was in the middle
of giving a directive on not making such comments about a guy with a prosthetic leg (can’t call him ‘peg leg’) while remarking on Carlitos’ appearance. The results of the investigation determined there was no conclusive proof that the officer had done anything wrong. But, at least Carlitos got to speak with an employee relations expert on the topic. He initiated a new conversation about tattoos and their culture, what the fire department really should be all about and how to get that back. The administration may feel it has the right to present a certain image, but Carlitos disagrees. “There’s never been a civilian who complained about how I look or the service I provide. In my mind, the image should be: I’m diverse. I kill the stereotype. Hell, I use
Captain Carceres applying fresh ink it as a recruitment tool. Kids thinking about joining gangs see me – and, it makes them think they’ve got other possibilities out there, off the streets.” This is 2007. Everyone has a tattoo – even Paris Hilton has tattoos. “But, the administration’s losing focus on what’s important - our job. We’re not a company. We’re not a bank. We’re laborers. We’re blue collar workers and we’re different – our lives depend on each other. Yes, there’s a rank and file, but respect should come from brotherhood and from having proven yourself, not just having the badge or what you look like.” Standing in the doorway of the fire station recreation room, consisting of two paper-piled-high desks, a bunch of mismatched easy chairs, a TV set and an old wooden, unused pool table,
Carlitos recalls how he originally felt like he’d artistically sold out by joining the department. He also did lots of soul searching in his early years, about how he looks. But, when he met Mister Cartoon, legendary tattoo artist, he saw a guy comfortable in his own skin. That gave Carlitos the confidence to be the same. Now, on breaks from the fire station, he inks out of Mister Cartoon’s 6th Street tattoo shop. Along his personal journey, he found a way to incorporate the two things he loves and that define him as a man. It seems like the fire department should do the same; re-embrace its inner core and forget about the external crap. “Most people don’t ever love what they do. Me, I love being a fireman. And, I love being a tattoo artist. I’ve been blessed.”
Words James Bond Photos EstevanOriol.com Boxing to the untrained viewer looks like two guys beating each other into submission. Looking around at the increased popularity of mixed martial arts fighting, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the popularity of boxing seems like it might be in danger of declining. However, if you spend time in a boxing academy, you will see that this is not the case. If you take time to compare the sweet science with other recently glorified art forms of ass-kicking, you will soon realize that boxing is a version of chess. The fighter has his punch combinations and strategy laid out in his mind before the first bell rings. He trains for this every day of his life, and is usually guided by his coach and his own heart. When I first encountered Lil Pete, it was through photos and footage shot by Estevan Oriol of some recent training sessions. I was amazed by his quickness, but I was blown away by his determination and focus. We met recently at the Eddie Heredia Boxing Club in East L.A., and sat down to talk face to face. Arriving early, we watched him go through some of his workout and get a feel for what keeps him in the gym. Again, as he went from exercise to exercise he was completely focused; the rest of the gym just seemed to fade into the background. You could tell this was Lil Pete’s place, safe from the outside world that has tempted even the very best to stray from their path to greatness.
James Bond: How would you describe your style? Pete: I can be a puncher sometimes, when I’m really really hyped up I can be a puncher, like let’s just go full force on them. Sometimes when they’re smaller than me and they’re coming in, I’ll be a boxer. So I’ll switch it up. If they run, I’ll go after them. If they try to come at me I’ll box them. It might be a bit difficult, but I’ll just do what I got to do. JB: What’s your philosophy? What wakes you up in the morning, and keeps you going to the gym everyday? P: I just wake up in the morning. I just like boxing, so I just come to the gym every day. I like the competitive side of the sport. JB: What weight class do you fight in, and how is your record? P: I am in the 85s, the 12-13 year old division. I have like 80-something wins and six or seven loses. I’ve been to the Silver Glove Nationals three times. I lost in the semi-finals the first time, and I’ve won the last two years in a row. JB: Have you ever fought with any kids outside of the gym?
P: Naw, I’m not that type of person, I don’t like fighting. If I have a problem with somebody I’ll just say back off. I don’t want to start no trouble.
all the way down, and then that’s when I hit Telegraph, I go down Telegraph and all that, after that I hit Olympic I make a left, and the gym’s right here.
JB: The boxing has allowed you to travel; do you look forward to seeing more of the world with boxing? P: Well I do see it sometimes, like when I go to Kansas City or Minnesota. But I do want to see more like New York, New Jersey, all the east side of the states.
The other path I take, I go down Florence, I hit Garfield, I make a right on Garfield, I keep on going until I hit Randal, and I make a left of Randal, and then I keep on going until I hit Eastern, I make a right on Eastern I keep on going till Olympic, and that’s all.
JB: What’s your day like? P: I get up, I run, I come back, I go to school, then after I come back from school, I get ready, and I go run to the gym. I do what I have to do in the gym – I try hard. And I come home, do my homework, eat, and go to sleep. JB: What path do you take from the school to the gym? P: There are two paths I take. There’s one where I go straight up Florence, I come all the way down till I hit Eastern, I make a right on Eastern, I keep on going all the way through Commerce, and then I keep on going
JB: How far is that? P: I’d say five miles. JB: How long do you run for in the morning before you go to school? P: About an hour. JB: How long do you stay at the gym? P: Three or four hours. JB: How many days a week do you do that? P: Six. JB: What do you eat before a fight? P: Steak and eggs, before I fight, steak and eggs.
JB: Where do you want it to lead, where do you want it to all go, outside of the obvious? P: Well from family, I like the fact that they’re in the fireman business, so I’d like to be a fireman if boxing doesn’t work out. JB: How bout pops, how important is he in your boxing? P: He keeps me on task, if I’m slacking off, if I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do, he tells me “hey you better get to work,” and I get to work. JB: What do you like to do when you’re not boxing? P: I like to play tag outside, murder in the dark, video games, Grand Theft Auto, football, basketball. I used to play football, middle linebacker and tight end. JB: What else does boxing give to you? P: It gives me more discipline. It gives me time to not be on the streets, doing whatever, acting like a little hoodlum, getting into trouble. Just
keeps me off the streets from bad things happening, if someone comes and tries to rob somebody, if they see somebody else, it won’t be me. I won’t be there, because I’ll be at the gym. When our interview in the back office of the gym was over, Lil Pete’s dad, looked on proudly as his son went back to training. He had been with us the whole time during Pete’s workout, and had filled us in on how the boxing game worked at this stage, and talked about his coach, travel and life. Even though he plays a huge role in Pete’s life, never did he talk about himself or take any credit for his son’s success, he let Pete shine on his own merit. It reminded me of being a kid, and spending time with my dad at football camps and father-and-son events. Now I have my own infant son, and I wonder what will bring us together. I hope we find the same common bond and love for one another that Lil Pete and his dad have found together in boxing.
Words MisterCartoon.com Photos EstevanOriol.com & EribertoOriol.com Lifestyle Car Club was founded in 1975 in the Boyle Heights area of Southern California. It was formed by members of other car clubs that joined together with the idea of starting a new kind of club. To be a member you need to have a two door American car with hydraulics, 520 premium sport way tires, and wire wheels â€“ preferably Daytons after the year 1990.
Lifestyle cars go from 1957 to 1983. ‘83 is when they stopped building the Cadillac Coupes, you could have a Cadillac Brougham in the club, but it’s almost considered a new car. There are no four doors, wagons, or trucks. One time there was an exception of a ‘51 Chevy Truck. But it’s not a bomb club, it’s for low riders - Impalas, Lincolns, Rivieras. For twenty-something years there was no vinyl tops allowed in the club. For two decades there was no convertibles allowed in the club. A car is designed as a hard top first, before the designers make it a convertible. Back in the day convertibles were considered to be for lames and old ladies. Now they’re double the price of a hard top, so they are accepted and sought after. I got introduced to the club in 1991 when I was approached by Joe Ray, president at the time, to do murals on his show car in the works, the Las Vegas car. I was honored at the opportunity to do the murals on this futuristic concept car that would revolutionize custom turntable low riders. Little did I know that a few years later I would become a lifetime member.
In 1993 I bought a 1960 Chevrolet Impala hardtop and made the decision to join the greatest car club in the history of the United States. It wouldn’t be easy though. Lifestyle is not only the best, but the strictest car club. It carries the traditions of the early 70s fraternity of car builders. If you were late to a meeting, or acting stupid in public with colors on, or somehow disrespected the name, there is a sergeant of arms with a wooden paddle to regulate the chosen members. I was actually sergeant of arms for two years, meaning I handed out the swats. I was loved and hated. I didn’t want to swat my homies, but I got swatted, so everyone goes down eventually. Let me tell you, when you get swatted in front of 50 other members not only does your pride and ego hurt, but your ears turn bright red. The club’s not just about getting swatted, it’s about making each member pay attention and have respect. Otherwise you have 50 guys with egos who show up when they want to show up, and do what they want to do, then the whole thing falls apart. If you run the risk of getting your ass swatted by grown men, you’re going to stay more on point.
Lifestyle Car Club is based on paint jobs, paint comes first, it’s all about custom one of a kind paint jobs - pinstripes and murals, and then everything comes after that – interior, chrome, lifts. Shaving your door handles, molding, making the custom dash, custom interiors, old school Bob & Son tuck and roll interiors, D&D pinstriping and wall striping, Mario “Candy Factory” (Rest In Peace) paint jobs, Gary Baka, Mario’s Auto Works. These are the painters and stripers that would paint our cars. A lot of times the members themselves do the
work. The benefit of being in a car club is everyone has the same disease you got, all they think about all day is cars. All of our jobs are means to get money to build our cars. We all have some kind of talent when it comes to our cars – one guy can do stereos, one can do hydraulics, one can do paint. That doesn’t mean you can get it for free, but you trade. If my partner helps me paint my car, I will do a mural on his car. A lot of time the homeboys will just come labor-wise, and help you. But with it you got a lot of different personalities, and you don’t always
get along with everybody. But you love everybody because of the cars. We’ve got every walk of life in the club. A lot of times back in the day it was ex-gang members. You can’t be an active gang member and be in the club, because you will bring too much drama to the club. The club has a lot of blue collar construction guys, mechanics, tattoo artists, car painters, there’s everything. We’ve even had police officers. We don’t put it on blast, but the cop needs to know he is going to be around a lot of guys drinking, maybe smoking some weed. That’s not what the club is about, but anybody that is half-way cool - that’s what’s going to be going down. The club’s been around 30 years now, so over 30 years a lot of people come and go. Right now it’s over 70 deep, a bunch of new and old guys, so you get a good combo of people. If you are lucky enough and get asked to come around a meeting or an event where Lifestyle is at, you won’t hear rap music, you won’t hear Vincente Fernandez coming out the car. You’ll most likely hear Jim Morrison, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, or Neil Young blasting out of these custom painted cars. The reason is the same members who started the club, are still active in the club. That was the music in the 70s, so it’s carried on in a lot of the cars we have. For example, the Pink Floyd car, which is candy pink, the LA Woman car with Jim Morrison murals all over it, and the Moonflower car. My ’62 is called Soul Kitchen. That’s one of the things that makes us different. When people think of East LA and low riders, they think of Hip Hop or Spanish music. They don’t think of Dark Side of the Moon blasting out of the Lincoln Continental.
Lifestyle Car Club is not a hopping car club, its not three wheel motion, its not about entering hop contests, it’s about how low can your car lay. How low can it slam? Another thing that makes us different and old school, when you’re driving down the street, and you get a flat tire, the first thing you do is unscrew your plaque and pull it down. Then you tend to your tire. The last thing we want to see is a broken down car with a plaque in the back. There’s only one chapter of Lifestyle, it’s located in Los Angeles. People have moved here just to be in the club. The reason we do that is to never confuse or water down the plaque. If you go to Texas, they have different tastes and ideas on how to build cars. You need to let them do that, that’s what makes everyone original and stand out. But if we have a club in Texas, and they let other people in, and we start beefing with our own club, then it all falls apart. That’s the biggest problem with most car clubs, their chapters don’t get along. They have different ideas of what it’s all about. To me it’s a way of life, that’s why the club is called Lifestyle – from arguing with your old lady, to paying the chrome bill before the phone bill; your woman could get jealous, because your Sancha – your woman on the side, is your car. Your girl is saying can he put that much compassion and no holds barred, do whatever it takes attitude into me? So it causes tension. But you know what? When you’re at the car show, and your car is laying on the floor of the car show, the greatest feeling in the world is to have a Lifestyle plaque in the back window. When you look in that rearview mirror, and it says Lifestyle in gold letters, you know you made it. You know you’re in the history books of low riding.
Photos Greg B. There is just a higher density of fine girls out here in Los Angeles. People have written songs about them, the Beach Boys did “California Girls”, and Jim Morrison actually did a song called “LA Woman”. Even when you go out to New York, people talk about LA women. There is a bunch of different kinds out here, you get to see them and know them. There are girls who are sexy women from all different places - in Hollywood, everyone wants to be a model or an actress – and it’s just all image. You meet a couple of them that are kind of cool, but some of them are just really stuck on themselves and there’s just something not there. Then you meet really fine women that live out on the East Side or the Valley. They know they’re hot chicks, but they are just kind of cool in their own way. In Hollywood, girls are trying so hard to take care of themselves because we are in the California sun, giving them excuses to have their ass and tits out. I guess they think there is some kind of spotlight on them. With the girls I photograph, a lot are just cool girls I’ve met. They know they’re hot, and they’re comfortable with being photographed. They know they’re hot, but there is just something different about them. I can’t put my finger on it exactly; it’s just always been one of the best cities in the world for beautiful women. I can’t explain it in words, I’m just trying to capture the phenomena of the LA woman.
Words Sum Patten Photos EstevanOriol.com We were told Cupid is the Roman god of erotic love, and he’s the little naked dude with wings on Valentine’s Day cards. Then we were told a shot from his bow could transform high school crushes into pure love or obsession. We were even told he’s a myth. What we weren’t told is that Cupid has a radio show and lives in Los Angeles. Cupid’s real name is Art Laboe, and although he may be a legend, Southern California’s most famous DJ is anything but a myth. Pioneer and revolutionary is more like it. He is single handedly responsible for creating the “oldies” format most R&B stations play across the country. He was the first person to compile an album featuring different artists’ hits and coin the term “Oldies But Goodies” to describe them. Art was also the first person to play Rock & Roll on a West Coast radio station, broadcast a live show from a drive-thru
restaurant, and license music for films. He was hanging around when the modern electric guitar was invented, and Frank Sinatra offered to make him breakfast once. It might all sound like myth, but just ask the hundreds of inmates, ex-cons and Latino gangsters who write in dedications and call in requests on his show every week about how real he is. And it’s all in the name of love… “You gotta be careful when you ask me ‘why’. You’ll get a long answer
for a short question,” Art responds laughing to the question of how the hell a Stanford-grad-turned-engineer in the 1950s has a massive following of Mexican gang bangers from the less-than-glamorous hoods of L.A. The laid back glint of mischief in his eye and playboy tone of his voice might lead you to believe that making music history for over 50 years is easy as pie. “I can remember when I did a show at the drive-in on Jefferson and Crenshaw back in the 50s. Everything west of there was nothing but the beach. The population of each [ethnic] group has grown tremendously since those days, especially Hispanics and Blacks. Back when I started in the 1950s, there were 12 stations, and only five played music. There was no FM. I started taking requests from the people, so I was the first one to play rock n’ roll out here. What separated me from everybody else was I wasn’t scared to play blues and rock. Other stations didn’t even know what it was, but I was taking requests from the people.” Over 50 years later, Art Laboe is still taking requests from the people and has embedded his relaxed charm in the fabric of Los Angeles culture and in the hearts of her natives. For that reason, his request lines are blowing up nightly with real Angelinos calling from the streets and lowriders of the country’s biggest city, all talking to each other through the music he plays. One listen to his nightly radio show, The Art Laboe Connection on Hot 92 Jamz (92.3 FM Los Angeles) might clue you in to how connected he is with every type of listener in the town. He might get a call from the 15 year-old girl who
wants to dedicate The Moonglows to her boyfriend of two weeks, or a letter from the lonely wife who requests The Penguins for her incarcerated husband. A tattoo artist in East LA might just call in to devote some Chuck Berry to his mother. It doesn’t matter who it is, every walk of life in Los Angeles listens to Art. The proof is in the pudding. The Art Laboe Connection has the highest ratings of any radio show across all demographics in the entire state of California. “I’ve had three careers, with peaks and valleys,” he says pausing to chew on his thoughts. “The valleys weren’t real low though, but the peaks were the 50s, the 70s, and now. I play all the Hip Hop; I even played Tone Loc the other day. Diddy and Keisha Cole get play too.” Art’s impact is seen best at the famous concert series bearing his name, “The Art Laboe Show”. A recent show in March 2007 featured heavyweights like The New Stylistics, Deniece Williams, Heatwave and the celebrated Zapp. In a city like Los Angeles where the color war goes race deep and broader than Crips and Bloods, black vs. brown is a sad reality. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a place where Black and Latino bangers can peacefully coexist without unloading tons of pent up frustration on each other. With the exception of a few punch-ups, they somehow manage to pull it off at Art Laboe’s concerts. With the ease of a veteran maestro, he introduces legends and goes through a lion’s share of shiny suits and costume changes all in the spirit of leisure, music and love. Everybody at the show loves the music, but maybe no one more than Art himself.
From puppy love to divorce, Art’s seen the gamut of relationships through the dedications on his show. With half a century of experience under his belt, he’s got way too many stories to emphasize his points. “I don’t know if love songs affect love life, I’m sure they affect everybody’s. Men are no damn good. I tell girls that all the time when they call and wonder why a guy hasn’t called them for a while. They love that. It reminds me of a time I had pre-recorded a show while it was raining one day. I said something in my broadcast about snuggling up
with your lover on a rainy day. So I get back home and me and my girlfriend are doin it. I mean DOIN IT. I had the radio on because I like to know if anybody messes up the broadcast, or if I did something wrong. So I’m on top of this girl, and my voice comes out of the radio talking about snuggling up with your lover on a rainy day, and she wraps her arms around my shoulders and asks me, ‘Is that a tape?’ I told her, ‘No, that’s live, the tape is screwing you.’ Men are no damn good.” March on Cupid, we’ll be listening.
DANNY SUPA, RUSH
4081 - Rushmore
Words Sebastian Demian Photos Ethan Higbee The ever expanding Soul Assassins empire has come to include Palmdale, California’s SA Kennels. Frank151 sat down with DJ Muggs and world-class trainers Dietrich and Steve for a look into the ferocious power of the highly-trained attack dog. Frank151: So the dogs are trained to go for arms and stuff like that, right? I mean, you don’t train them to kill. They’re trained to disable people, right? Steve: If a dog is trained correctly, there are three reasons why a dog should bite somebody. If you felt like someone is going to attack you and you sick your dog on them, the dog should do that. Second reason why a dog should bite somebody is if someone physically attacks you, comes through that window, breaks through that door, tries to rob you, mug you, get into your house, car jack you. If he’s trained correctly that would be the second reason why a dog should bite somebody. The third reason would be something that a lot of trainers don’t train. Let’s say you’re at an ATM, you take some money out, and someone stands right next to you puts a knife right up to you. Now, physically the guy’s not attacking you so the dog is like, this could be my owner’s friend, and you can’t say nothing because if you do, this guy is going to stab you and stab your dog.
But it could be something as simple as a blink to the dog, or a certain sound and the dog is taught, if I see that blink or hear that sound, whoever is next to him gets his ass chewed up. F151: Are there some breeds of dogs or breeds of Pitbulls that are better for security work? Steve: You have standard German Shepards, Rottweilers, I won’t even lump a Doberman in there because the Dobermans have been bred so down now, meaning they’ve been over populated. They’ve been breeding for a certain look versus a certain temperament. There’s the Malinois, the Dutch Shepherds, the Beucerons, a lot of the European dogs. Usually those are the dogs that you tend to look at for training, for personal protection reasons, competition or whatever. Only in the last maybe 20 years have Pits, American Bulldogs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and Presas become more widely used for protection training or competition. There’s not one specific breed that we would tout and say this is the best breed. Dietrich: We’ve trained everything. Standard poodles to do protection
work. Tough dogs. You can train miniature pinchers. Every breed can’t necessarily do the work. You may have a dog that is an exceptional dog that was able to do the work, and then not necessarily all of its puppies can do the work. Every person can’t be a marine. Every dog can’t do it, so it’s special when you do get a dog that can do this work. F151: So how about the diet? You said that you formulate your own dog food. I had a buddy who was a vegetarian all of his life and he is a Pitbull owner, and he would buy chicken breasts and cook it, and cook a whole meal for his dog. Is he crazy for doing that? Steve: Not necessarily crazy, he just has a lot of time on his hands. That’s what it comes down to. It’s a fact, dogs are meat eaters. A lot of the foods that you find in the grocery stores or in the big chain stores are heavy grain based dog foods. There is a synthetic protein that they are adding to the food. The protein that is natural for dogs is a meat
protein. They could eat a thousand pounds of meat and never get sick, but if they eat this synthetic wheat gluten protein that’s man made, and put a little more into the dog food, it’s causing these dogs to go into renal failure. It’s the ingredients. You want to feed them a dog food that’s high in meat protein. A lot of the foods that are from the grocery stores and chain stores are all grain source proteins, corn, soy, soy tofu, hence there are a lot of proteins in there but there is no nutritional value in that for dogs, none whatsoever. Now you’re starting to see the shift in people’s perception of dog food. But still the majority of the population is using these inferior dog foods. A lot of chemicals, a lot preservatives, a lot of synthetic stuff that’s going into these foods are creating a big circle where all of these dogs are having dietary problems, obesity, skin issues, bladder infections, urinary tract infections and
it’s all coming from the cheap materials in these foods. Dietrich: Here I am training my dogs to do performance, I want the best for them like an athlete, because that’s pretty much all this is, like martial arts, football or whatever. If my son was playing football I don’t want to give him soda and McDonalds, I want him to have Gatorade. I want him to eat oranges and eat fruits so he could be strong, be a good athlete. I want the same things for my dogs. I don’t want them to be sick after they just finished working out because it’s my dog, it’s part of my family. When I met Steve, he put me up on a lot of different sources of food and it’s been magic. I don’t have expensive vet bills. F151: How did you end up in the dog world? Muggs: Dietrich has been my
homeboy for a minute. He’s been training my dogs and everything so we decided to start SA Kennels. That’s his expertise. D started training Blue and he’s like a big baby with my one year old daughter. He’s rolling over and she’s slapping him, and I wanted a dog like this so when she grabs his ears and pulls on ‘em, it don’t hurt him, because I pull on ‘em and slap him. He likes it. F151: So it’s been about five years now that you’ve been doing SA Kennels? Muggs: Yeah. One thing about the Soul Assassins is like, you have different Hip Hop crews where pretty much everyone raps in the crew or everybody produces. Our shit is a bunch of artists with their own talent, bringing their talent to the crew to help it grow. We all can’t do what each other is doing. We keep the dogs here at the studio just in case someone runs up in the studio. We keep them at the
houses just in case with the kids around and the equipment. You never know what’s out there. The dog gives you just enough time to grab your gun. It might not end it all or be it all. But it will give you enough time so you’re not going to be caught off guard if someone runs in. You’ve got your dog and he’s going to hit the motherfucker and you’re going to have enough time to grab your shit, make sure nothings going to go down because LA is a funny city. It’s like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You never know what’s going to happen out here. We’re not paranoid, we’re just always on point. Always ready for anything at any time, you know what I mean. Nine times out of ten nothing is happening ever, but just in case you’ve got to be prepared, mentally, physically, spiritually, dog wise, we’re good to go. You never know what the fuck’s going to go down. A lot of fucking gang banging going on out here. We don’t gang bang, we’re just grown ass men. We protect ourselves and
our families. We train boy. We don’t talk about it. We don’t run and act hard on records. We’re nice people. We’re kind of nerds, know what I mean, we got kids, we drink our Starbucks, go to the mall, pushing the fucking strollers. Doing what we like to do. We’re trying to break those stereotypes. F151: Where do you see your business going? Muggs: We get calls from different people, they see our dogs, they hear about our dogs, and they want a dog done, fully trained. It’s just another piece of the puzzle, another brick in the wall of something we’re building. The business isn’t going to be the end all be all, but it’s another step in the evolution of the Soul Assassins. Eventually the kennels will be world renowned. That’s the plan.
Check out Angeles Records for DJ Muggs music and info on forthcoming releases with Psycho Realm, La Coka Nostra, and Planet Asia.
Words Jesse Nicely Photos EstevanOriol.com Some people are lovers, and some people are fighters. In the case of Malaipet “The Diamond” Sitprapom, he is definitely the latter; a pure-bred fighter since birth. It’s all he knows, and at 29 years old, he is at the top of his game. His determination and skill have allowed him to rise up from poverty through the ranks and made him into a world champion Muay Thai kick boxer. Feared by his opponents, and beloved by his fans, Malaipet sat down with Frank151 to share his story. Frank151: How old were you when you started training? Malaipet Sitprapom: I started at about five or six years old. I started to learn how to fight, following my whole family, because my whole family fights. My family had put me fighting people older than me, four or five years older than me, and fighting with knuckles, no gloves and no mouthpiece. And in the countryside, all the people would form a circle around you so you can’t run away. At my first fight, they tied rope around the four stilts that held up our family’s house. It made the ring. They want to test you, how hard you are. But I cried sometimes, you know the people were bigger than me. But my brother and dad, they would say, “You good, you punch hard, you got power, look at him already.” I would think “Oh, yeah, I got him.” That would make me feel better, even though there would be blood pouring out of my mouth, it would keep me going.
F151: How many brothers and sisters do you have? MS: I have five older brothers. I am the youngest boy, and I have one younger sister. F151: Did your older brothers beat you up when you were younger? MS: No, that’s not the Asian style. When you are younger, and your brother hits you, mom and dad don’t care. Usually, it’s all the younger kids hitting the older kids. At least that’s how it was in my family, in my city. My brothers and I were more likely to fight with other kids. F151: Who is the toughest in your family? MS: Everyone is on the same level, everyone has won a title. F151: What town are you from in Thailand? MS: Sulin on the Thailand / Cambodia border, also known as Elephant City.
It’s considered a bad city; it’s more dangerous than L.A., more dangerous than everywhere. When I first came here my friend got shot, and he died. He was 24. Another person said, “He died too young.” I said, “What, too young? In my country people don’t live past 18.” People fight everyday. F151: How many fights have you had professionally? MS: 160 fights, officially. But actually, I guarantee I’ve fought more than that. But I couldn’t tell you how much I fought. Before I fought professionally, I only cared about fighting to make money for living, for my new future. My mom died when I was six years old, so my whole family split up. All the brothers were sent to live with other people. My dad didn’t have enough money to take care of all of us, so he left to another city to go and work. He would send us some money. My sister was little; she couldn’t even go to school yet. I took care of her, we lived with my grandmother. I had to learn how to cook and everything, to take care of my sister. I would wake up in the morning, cook, then take our cows out on the farm, water everything. All my brothers spread out. One of them was in Bangkok already fighting Muay Thai professionally. F151: How much longer do you think you will fight Muay Thai? MS: Right now I fight Muay Thai and MMA (mixed martial arts). With MMA, if you are 50 years old you can still fight. Think about that. How come Muay Thai fighters stop fighting so fast? Because Muay Thai kickboxing is hard on the bones. You kick so much it causes injuries; later on, the bone is not the
same. But in MMA, you grapple, you tap out, you fight again next month. In Muay Thai, if I get kicked and get an injury, you feel it for a long time afterward. But my Muay Thai training helps a lot with stamina. When I fight MMA, I never get tired. Three or four rounds of MMA fighting is nothing for me. When you fight a lot, you’re very calm, you know how to breathe and control your pace. F151: What’s your worst injury? MS: My nose got broke three or four times. But the thing that was the worst was when my jaw got broken. I couldn’t eat, fight, or talk. I could only eat soup for two weeks. It got broke from an elbow to the jaw. My tooth fell out. I spit it out into my hand, passed it to my friend, and told him to hold it. The doctor gave me medicine for the pain, but it wasn’t helping. I was in an incredible amount of pain and even after one week, I couldn’t sleep. I went to a Buddhist temple; a monk said a special prayer and blew water on my face. One day later the swelling went down. I owe that monk my life. F151: You’ve had a hard life, but even with all your trials and tribulations, you are still a champion. What is the secret to your success? MS: I love to take care of my family, that’s my motivation. My family is with me all the time. When I feel sad, I think about my family, and that makes me happy. Any time I fight, I fight for my family. TeamMalaipet.com
Interview by OG Lepke Photos EstevanOriol.com Sometimes two friends start off on the same path, then somewhere along the line they make choices, and go separate ways. Bato (David) and Lepke were best friends growing up in the same neighborhood in Hollywood. Then, as an adult, Bato would abandon the street life and embrace religion. Despite having gone different directions, both Bato and Lepke still remain friends. Bato, whose real name is David, would sit down with his childhood friend Lepke, to talk about the past and the path he took to get from the street to the temple. Lepke: We started young, when we got involved in the neighborhood. I always put the blame to you, that you were the influence that pushed me in that direction, and vice versa. Now I look up to you as a positive role model, you took the negativity that you and I were involved in, and you turned it on to a level for a lot of individuals not knowing your past, it might be hard to visualize. You might be thinking itâ€™s
simple to you, but to another individual to know anything about what you practice today, from how we started from when we were younger. The question that I am trying to focus in on, at what point did you break away from that cycle? Where do you feel the change came from? David: I see what youâ€™re trying to say. After a while, I guess you get tired of doing the same thing. Some people
don’t change. Change doesn’t happen in one day. It takes time. L: Was there a point in time when we were younger, and we used to look at these guys going in and out of prison, and we kind of made a decision that we should go into jail and let these guys know who we are? ‘Cause I think you used to like going to jail. D: Well you know that’s attention. But there’s better ways to get attention than that. It would be like showing off. But I don’t like to be in spotlights anymore. I’m trying to be more of a humble person. It’s better to be humble and pious, that’s what being God fearing teaches you. I feel better about myself. L: We committed a lot of crimes together. You had been accused of a murder… D: It was a manslaughter… L: Was that part of being from the gang? I heard you were just protecting yourself. D: Like I said, what happened was in the past. I had a fight with someone… L: We were worried about you; you were facing the possibility of life. Do you feel during that time, in a sense, you kind of went crazy a little bit? D: You think about it, you reflect, and when you’re inside, you find out you want another way, and you’re grateful. But I knew I didn’t do anything premeditated. It was an accident, it was manslaughter. I feel bad about it, but it happened. It’s not a good thing, but it’s in the past. L: What year do you think the change
started to take place within you? Do you think it was after you did the time for the manslaughter? D: That didn’t help too much. At the beginning, I still had problems back then. I still have problems today. But you have to do it like it says in the 12 steps, try to do an inventory, figure out what the problem is, and deal with the problem. Life is hard. I think that everybody has it, but you just have to work it out. If you find a diamond, you have to shine it up, and bring it out. L: Is there a particular point that stands out in your mind as a turning point? D: Just getting older, and seeing that I’m not going no where. What am I living for? For pleasure? What are you living for? You have to look at the big picture. Who’s in charge? I believe God’s in charge. You have to serve Him, not serve ourselves. So for me it was better to go ahead and start serving God, not just doing what I want to do. L: What made you return to your Jewish roots? D: The other way wasn’t helping. I felt empty inside. I feel more fulfilled, doing this type of lifestyle; having things you have to follow, not ‘cause your doing it ‘cause you want to have nice clothes or a nice car. God told us certain things that we have to follow, and do our best to do them. It works for me better. L: Was there a strong foundation laid for this growing up? D: Not really, because I grew up and my father wasn’t religious at all. My grandfather was supposedly, before
the war. I grew up around it, and I saw that a lot of the people were happy and they weren’t driving around in $100,000 cars. They were just happy for what they had. Sometimes I can’t do it today, but I’m trying to learn, trying to go forward, and just be grateful every day you are alive and healthy. L: How has the religion helped you to come to terms with your past? D: You don’t want to forget about the
past, but you try to go on to the future. It’s just not thinking about it everyday, not reflecting on it everyday, you can’t close the door on it completely. In a book I read called the Tanya, it says you can feel depressed about something, but don’t sit in the pity. Just reflect, look at it, something went wrong, try to correct it. It’s something that you had to go through, and it made me a better person. I don’t think about it, I don’t know if I don’t have
time to, but there is just so many other things to do than to think, “how it used to be, how it used be,” I think about trying to improve myself. L: How have your experiences with gang violence growing up shaped your opinion of the Israeli-Palestine conflict? D: We went through a hard time. I don’t know if it’s a different perspective, but it’s an old war. People are saying “this is my land, this is your land,” and they’re fighting over it. It seems like there is never going to be an end to it. It takes two people to settle; if only one person wants to settle it’s not going to end. That’s what I learned from my past, it takes two people to see a change. L: Can you give us a brief timeline of your life? D: When I was young I lived in East L.A., I grew up in the Hollywood area since I was 12 or 13 years old. There were Jewish people around me, but I didn’t socialize with them. I started getting into trouble around 13, maybe a little younger. At about 18 I went away for awhile, I got out at about 21. I started to get sober through programs like AA. It worked to stay sober, but I transferred my addiction to other things – like gambling, women, or not being honest in my affairs. Something came and backfired on me and I got in trouble again 10 or 12 years later. I went away and did some time. And when I came out, I started to say that being sober and working the program wasn’t going to work for me, I had to do more. Like I was saying before, it takes two people to make a change, but you really have to go more into it – it takes three people. God would be the
third person. Letting God into my life more, being more honest in my affairs, I think that was the key. I was about 35 when I came out the second time, and I started to look at life differently. Then eventually I was married, my wife already had a few kids, and I had a boy. We had two more kids together, so now we have six. I don’t know if that’s so much a timeline. When I was inside it started, I guess. There was a gentleman who was inside with me, he was Jewish, so we started eating Kosher. He wasn’t from the same lifestyle as I was, but we both started to become religious again. L: Did your old friends accept this change? D: What it is, if people hang out at a certain place, like at a park, you don’t go to that park, and you don’t see the people. If somebody was to see me today, the way I look, those people probably wouldn’t even recognize me. I’ll talk to anybody, but the thing is, you have different interests. After a while, if you have nothing in common with these people, you don’t have a relationship with them. L: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to make a major change in their life? D: Don’t give up. Keep trying. It’s never too late. Rabbi Akiva, who is one of our sages, he started at 40 years old, and became a big rabbi. One of the reasons he became religious is because he saw a drop of water, and that little drop just kept dripping and dripping and it eventually made a hole in that rock.
Words MisterCartoon.com Before the influence of New York graffiti arrived in Los Angeles in the early 80s, there was a long history of the territorial hardcore and violent gangster block letters that covered the walls of gang-related neighborhoods. This graffiti is not meant to be beautiful, 3D or colorful; it is to the point and hard. In LA you don’t need to read the street signs to know where you are at. You read the walls to know what hood you’re in, and who’s running it. You could see who’s going to war by who’s getting crossed out, and who’s active by how many tags are in one hood. The first pictures I saw were from the 1950s. By the time the 70s came around, gangster writing had progressed. Roll calls of dead homeboys and RIP memorials laced the southern California barrios. In the 80s there was a big fad of 3D block letters, always one color with crosshatching fill-ins of the 3Ds. The chosen colors are always black, white, or blue, unless you are in Culver City or are a Blood. Each neighborhood has a distinct style. I grew up in the Harbor Area, which stays true to the old school block style, whereas South Central LA gangs like 18th Street, Drifters, and Playboys would be more aggressive using more complex gangster fonts. It seemed like the West Side gangs always set the trends for writing, even though East LA is known as the birth place of gangs. In the East Side of
South Central, neighborhoods such as Florencia and 38th Street are known for doing massive amounts and huge sizes. They are known for literally destroying their neighborhoods, and for the city never erasing them. Each neighborhood has its own style. Driving through Lynwood, Compton, or Watts, you can see the letters change from size to style. Talking to the OG graffiti
writer Chaz, who grew up in the Avenues area of Los Angeles, he told me about the early days where the actual letters were born. He said that back in the day everything official was written in old English font, such as the Los Angeles Times, a death certificate, or a high school diploma. Little by the little, the homeboys would try to do the letters fast, and they turned into blocks. To this day, the style is associated with Los Angeles and has grown from marking gang territory, to influencing the style of graffiti writers and designers worldwide.
Words & Photos EribertoOriol.com
Paul J. Botello
Raul Gonzalez The Chicano murals of East Los Angeles deal with our community, where we’ve been and where we’re going, but the main thing it deals with is our roots, history, culture, and contemporary issues. Most of the murals highlight issues that are reflective of the community, and some focus on role models that members of the community aspire to emulate. They also show our indigenous roots, which are pre-Columbian, all the way up to where we are at now, as well as our connection with Mother Nature and the land known as Atzlan. They are bold in color, design and execution, and that’s the artist dramatizing what they want to express and share with the community. The other thing is, not all of these artists doing this work have gotten their artistic skills from institutions; they have learned on their own. The artists often bring in people from the community to participate, so they act as mentors as well. Overall, it’s an expression of the soul and culture of the community. For me that’s the bottom line.
Manuel Gomez Cruz
Paul J. Botello
Recipe OG Lepke Break bread homie, donâ€™t be a cheapskate, weâ€™re putting a spread together. When we make the Baller Spread, everyone pitches in.
DIRECTIONS: • Put the 15 Top Ramen soups in the trash bag (hold off on adding the seasoning packets). • Add hot water and let sit. The longer the better as the soup will expand. • When you open the trash bag all the water should be absorbed by the noodles. • For best results add two cans of tuna, two cans of smoked oysters, and two cans of smoked clams. • Add in all 15 Top Ramen seasoning packets at this time. • Add 6 ounces of mayonnaise.
• Add any type of chips the homies saved from their lunches. (Hot Cheetos are preferred). • You can get wild and throw in anything else you can steal from the kitchen, for example olives or left over chicken patties. • Tie the trash bag up containing all the ingredients. Mix it up real good. • Let stand for ten minutes. • Bust it open. • Add to flour tortillas or bread to make good tacos.
No matter what, if you try this at home, for some reason, it never tastes the same as in prison. Before you eat make sure you say a prayer to bless the food.
1. Ingredients: towel, rubber glove, Vaseline, magazine.
Illustration MisterCartoon.com Instructions OG Lepke Weâ€™re making what is known in the California State Prison system as a Fifi Bag.
2. Take your towel and lay it out flat.
3. Roll up your magazine.
4. Take your rolled up magazine and place it on top of towel.
5. Roll up your towel around your magazine.
7. Grab your rubber glove.
6. Remove your magazine from the towel, carefully maintaining the cavity created by the magazine.
8. Insert your rubber glove into the center of your rolled up towel, wrapping the end of the glove around the towel, similar to how you would secure a trash bag to a garbage can.
9. Insert a healthy glob of Vaseline into the inside of the glove.
10. Hold your Fifi in place by securing it under your mattress. Pleasure yourself until desired result is achieved.
Interview by MisterCartoon.com Photos EstevanOriol.com The first time I heard of Jack Rudy was through Mike Pickel from the Dukes Car Club back in 1990. Up to that point most of the low rider tattoos I’d seen were hand poked and crudely done. His work, the soft powder shading and ultra-thin lines, captured the East L.A., Whittier Blvd look. I recently saw a tattoo that he did for Lifestyle president Joe Ray, it still looks incredible 25 years later. Baby Ray, another legendary tattoo artist, wasn’t wrong when he referred to Jack as a space alien, single needle shading like that is a sign of advanced intelligence, Jack is a living legend. Cartoon: With all the tattoo reality shows, and bigger worldwide acceptance of tattooing, can you let youngsters know what life was like on Whittier Blvd at Good Time Charlie’s? Jack Rudy: I certainly can. In those days, when we started it in the summer of ’75, there were no tattoo magazines, no conventions, nothing tattoo-related other than tattooing. There were a fraction of the shops that there are now. This is going back now almost 32 years. I read something a couple years ago that puts it all in perspective. It said that 30 years ago, there were over 3000 drive-in movie theaters, and about 300 tattoo shops nationwide. Now there are way
more than 3000 tattoo shops, and less than 300 drive-in movies. What’s wrong with that picture? Well, I say plenty. There are way too many tattoo shops, too many tattooers, too many conventions, too many magazines, too many TV shows about tattooing. It was never supposed to get like this. At one point in the early days, we did want to make it more acceptable. We wanted it to be more popular; this was our livelihood. In those days, it was low riders, bikers, cholos, servicemen, blue collar workers, an occasional white collar worker, but for the most part it was the working man and woman that got tattooed. Now it’s everybody, anybody, it’s gotten completely crazy.
That’s okay as far as the popularity goes, but there are just so many people getting into it every single day that it’s just completely out of hand. It was never supposed to be like this. C: Is it important for a tattoo artist to have a custom car? JR: I’ll tell you, the whole custom car thing, like the custom bike thing, is really an extension of the person, more or less. So a lot of tattooers do have custom cars of one type or another. They have custom bikes, custom homes, a lot of custom things in general. So I think the whole custom car thing, whether it be a custom hot rod, or a brand new one that has been slammed and custom painted, it’s all an extension of that person. I know it’s important to me. I’ve had custom cars for 35 years. For me it’s a lifestyle. I remember in high school, there were guys that got into low ridin’, and maybe even customs. But then 10 years later they were driving a station wagon and got kids, and they’re all conservative. I understand that to a point, but when I got my first car I was 18. I remember I would be at the gas station, and some old guy would be saying something like, “Wow, what do you got there?” I would tell them what I have, and they would say “Yeah I used to have an old shoebox Ford, or and old Mercury,” or whatever the hell it was. I would say, “Well what happened?” “Oh I went in the Army, and I sold it,” or, “My old lady made me sell it, and we had to get a grocery-getter station wagon.” I knew even when I was just 18, “Well that’s one club I’m not fucking joining.” Because inevitably they would always say, “I wish I still had that.” So I decided
right then, “Well there’s no reason I’m going to sell mine.” I’m going to keep it no matter what. I’ve been through a couple divorces, and the Marine Corps, and all kinds of shit, and I still got that first car. And all the old ones I’ve accumulated over the years. For me, this is always how I’ve lived. C: What’s the benefit of being a member of the Beatnik Car Club? JR: The benefits are almost too numerous to mention. Basically, it’s like an extended family. We’re in 12 different states, and two foreign countries – Australia and Japan. It’s a bunch of guys that are like-minded, and it’s a lifestyle for us. We’re not just weekend warriors, who just get in our cars whenever the sun is shinning. We drive our cars across the country, we drive them in shit, snow, rain, sleet, hail; nothing keeps us from our appointed duty, just like the mailman. So it’s something that we just all really enjoy doing. We’re all into getting a lot of tattoos, and we’re into the whole lifestyle, with the traditional hot rods and customs, 50s to early 60s style. We hang out every chance we get, even though we’re spread across the country, we get together atleast a couple times a year. Last weekend, I went to the rockabilly car show, Viva Las Vegas, and a couple of guys came out from New York and we were hanging out for the weekend. C: Hydraulics versus Air Bags? JR: (Laughs) Man, now you’re talking! Let me put it like this; anyway somebody wants to do it, that’s fine with me. Personally, I’m a hydraulic man from the old school; I’ve had hydraulics for more than 30 years.
There’s a reason why you don’t use air on a lift gate; there’s a reason why airplanes don’t use air to move the flaps or tail; not only would it freeze at that altitude, but it’s unreliable. I would never trust my car riding on a bag of air. I definitely trust hydraulic cylinders that are overkill because there’s one for each tire. Even if one o-ring is leaking, you have two o-rings to begin with. So even if one goes, you got a back up, and it’s only going to go down, its not going to keep you from getting where you got to go. If an air hose or a bag blows, you’re done. I don’t like the whole deal. I think the whole air bag thing was started by people who didn’t like low riders. So unfortunately the whole hydraulic deal gets a bad rap because of the hoppers. Now anybody that’s ever rode, or even seen a hopper, you know you need a kidney belt to ride in that thing any distance. Because they are the worst riding cars in the world! But they don’t claim to be anything else. Because when you want to hop, you can’t have any shocks to take the bounce out of anything because you want it to bounce. You also have 3, 4, or 5 ton springs out of dump trucks or whatever, so when you hit it, and you go down, you’re bouncing up off the ground. Which is the whole idea, but the cars ride horrible – they’re the most terrible riding cars in the world. But they’re for hopping, not riding good. But what people don’t understand, especially all these youngsters out
there, and even some veteranos for that matter, that are going with bags; it’s like shit homes, did you forget? You can get a SUPREME ride with hydraulics. And you know what? I like air compressors - in my garage, cause I like air tools. I don’t want an air compressor in my car. I don’t like the noise when it’s charging the tank. When you let it down, it sounds like you got a flat tire – a blow-out actually. I think the whole thing is over-rated, and it’s a shame, because hydraulics have been around a lot longer, and when hydraulics are done right, with state of the art technology, it’s a superior ride. I was determined to do that with my truck, because nobody lifts a truck. How many old trucks with hydraulics are there? Virtually none, a handful of us at best. All the other old trucks, they’re all bagged. I really feel it’s ‘cause people don’t know any better. C: What would happen if an air bag company offered you a full sponsorship? JR: Oh man, (laughs) that’s a good one. I’ll tell you what; I tell people I wouldn’t have air bags if I won them in a contest, with free installation. If that ever happened to me, I would thank them publicly, “Thanks a lot, this is really cool.” Then I would turn around and sell the whole thing, and get a hydraulic system. Again, whatever anybody wants to do,
that’s all good. I don’t care. I just don’t like the fact that the hydraulics get the bad rap, undeservedly. To prove the prejudice against low riders; if you have a car in a show, not a low rider show, but in a regular car show - the Grand National Roadster Show or the Frisco Show, for example - any of the indoor shows that have low riders, customs, hot rods, bikes, you name it. I don’t care how custom your car might be - chopped, sectioned, nose decked, everything you can imagine - if you have hydraulics as your suspension, they put you in the low rider class even though your car might not be a low rider at all. If you have air bags, you’re in the custom class. It just proves the prejudice against hydraulics. C: What kind of people get color tattoos? What kind of people get black & grey? JR: I’ll tell you what, the kind of people that get color tattoos are the kind of people that get color ones, and the kind of people that like black & grey get that. And you know some people get both; it’s not really that uncommon. There are people that really prefer one or the other. But you really can’t stereotype anybody, I mean you can, but it’s not really fair. None of us want to be pigeon-holed. The reason I like black & grey work, it tends to have a whole different look to it. It’s crazy, because even though everything is colored in real life, the black & grey stuff has a tendency to look like black & white
photography. There’s something to it that’s just different. I’ve just always liked the black & grey look, even before we called it black & grey. Originally we used to call it black & white, like black & white photography, but that’s not really accurate. It’s from black to white, and everything in between. That’s why at some point early on, we started calling it black & grey work. C: How did prison style, fine line, black & grey end up in tattoo shops? JR: Well you can really thank Good Time Charlie Cartwright and myself for that in the beginning. When Charlie opened his first shop (which also happened to be the first shop that I ever worked at) in East LA in the summer of ’75, we were primarily working on Mexicans from all neighborhoods around there, low riders and cholos and regular guys as well. It was a request; guys would come in and say, “Hey, homes, can you guys make the ‘fine lines’ like they do in the pinta, you know the guitar strings?” We’d tell them we were working on it, and we did. We figured it out by late ’75 or early ’76, and we were doing it. That was it man, single needle was born in a shop. Because part of that, the only place you could get it was in the joint or on the street from a guy that had learned in the joint. That was it, as far as Charlie and I ever knew. So we kind of re-invented it for professional purposes.
C: Ass man or tit man? JR: Oh definitely ass man, always have been, always will be. Even when it wasn’t popular. I’m not just an ass man, I’m a big ass man – there’s a difference there. Even when that wasn’t the happening thing, I didn’t care, I always knew what I liked. C: What’s your favorite tattoo convention? JR: I got a bunch that I like; Ink Slingers, Nationals, The New York City Convention, Eternal 66, I like the one in Long Beach, that’s a great convention. I like a lot of them. It’s hard to say which one is my favorite, cause they’re all a little different. C: What medium do you use to draw the convention shirts? JR: Ink, water color, color pencil. Sometimes just ink and water color, sometimes just ink and color pencil. Just those three at max. I’m not sure how many t-shirts I’ve done, but I’ve been drawing t-shirt designs since before ‘82 at least. The first one I did was for the shop in East LA, and it was all ink, because in those days it had to be camera ready. They couldn’t really do much half-toning, so if we could do it in all black ink that was the best. C: Is it necessary for new shops to be opening up in Southern California, or does it just water down the industry? JR: Of course it does. We need new shops like we all need fucking holes in the head. You can’t stop it. I don’t know
if it’s so much that people don’t give a shit about it, I just think people aren’t aware of it, and they don’t really want to hear it. It’s like when you’re at the check out line and there is one person in front of you, and they are about to close that line, and want you to go to another checker. You go, “No, no, no let me in, close after me. Fuck that asshole behind me.” See, that’s the same mentality that exists in this business, people want to get in, so you tell people that there are too many tattooers, too many shops, too many conventions, too much everything. And they’re like, “No, no, no let me in first, then close the door.” But there ain’t no closing the door, its too late. You can’t stop people from doing what they want to do, that pursuit of happiness. A lot of people try to get in this, and they realize it’s much tougher than they think it’s gonna be. On the other hand, you can buy machines that run good right off the top, you can buy the pre-made needles, pre-mixed color, starter kits up the ass; it’s just bullshit. You have suppliers that don’t give a shit about the business; in my humble opinion, any supplier that sells starter kits is absolutely bad for the business for the professionals. They are just encouraging more no-talent shit heads to get into this business, which is already way over saturated to begin with. And then you end up with people that are self-taught, which is a really hard way to learn this thing. Not that it can’t be done, but you can’t do it any harder than that. Again, a bunch of crap.
Words J. Nicely Photos EribertoOriol.com Walking through his downtown Los Angeles neighborhood back in 1989, Eriberto Oriol stumbled upon a battle of epic proportions. Two young L.A. kings were painting on the walls of the Belmont Tunnel, one of L.A.’s most famous graffiti yards, that was torn down in 2006. Starting in 1921 the Belmont Tunnel was home to the trolley cars of early Los Angeles rail-based public transportation. The system was shut down by 1961 and the Belmont Tunnel lay dormant. Then in the 1980s, the Belmont Tunnel received a second life as one of the most vibrant yards when it became a cultural epicenter for L.A.’s burgeoning graff scene. By 1989, Slick and Hex were using the Belmont yard to stage the first of what would become a series of legendary style wars that would help to shape the aesthetic of Los Angeles graffiti. “When we first saw Slick and Hex at Belmont battling, we were looking for something different from the traditional artists we had been working with,” explains Eriberto Oriol. At the time, Oriol and his wife Angelica had just opened a gallery in the Pico House, the oldest historical hotel building located on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. After seeing the work, the couple decided to curate an art show with Slick and Hex, which would grow to include Mandoe, Duke, and Skill – a collective of some of the most respected graffiti artists in Los Angeles. “None of them had ever been in a gallery before,” recalls Oriol. “We asked them if they were interested in participating, and they said yes.” “It was my very first taste of this hustle called Fine Art,” reminisces Slick, who
in the years following the show would go on to build a successful career as an artist/designer and launch his own successful clothing brand. “I was really impressed by how Eriberto and Angelica were down for what we were doing and went way out on a limb to try and bring it to the rest of the world.” Deeply rooted in Los Angeles cultural, social, and political causes, the Oriols asked the artists to focus on issues confronting the community. “We knew that Slick and Hex were battling in the street, but we wanted to make one community statement - it wasn’t about battling.” “One of the things that we wanted them to do was work with issues, especially the whole redevelopment process that was going on in downtown LA, where the surrounding
The legendary Slick vs Hex battle that started it all. Belmont Tunnel, 1989
Hex and immediate area was being torn down to put up new high-rise buildings and other developments. In the eye of the public, graffiti artists had a bad rap, they were considered nothing but hoodlums or gang members. If they worked with universal issues there was no way the public could tear them down, because these are the same issues that the public deals with everyday.” By making a community statement, the Oriols were able to showcase them as fine artists. The artists painted in the gallery space in full view of the public for the next month and a half. This process would help build a dialogue between the artists and the community. A local restaurant ended up providing free food for the artists whenever they were working, and even an MTA manager came around and voiced support for the project. “He said that tagging on buses in the area had dropped by 60%... he thought that it was helping the whole situation,” explains Eriberto.
However, the show was not without its controversy. Once sponsors found out the show involved graffiti, they all withdrew their funding. “We had $35,000 to do the exhibit,” says Eriberto, “but once sponsors found out that we were doing a graffiti exhibit, they all pulled their money. They told us graffiti had a bad rap, and if they gave us the money, they would look bad. We didn’t have any money, and we had told the artists we would pay for all their supplies and materials.” Regardless of this setback, support from the community was never far off, as local businessmen who learned about the situation stepped in and paid for all the artists’ materials. Observing the artists’ energy and spontaneity, Angelica Oriol would come up with the show’s title - Burning Desire. “She saw that they really had the burning desire to be artists,” says Eriberto. “In many ways, these guys had more of a burning desire to create work than many of the artists we had worked with in the past.”
Mandoe By the time opening night came, there was palpable buzz surrounding the show. Mandoe, who was 18 at the time, recalls, “The opening night brought together an array of curious eyes… young adolescents, teenagers and adults — all from different walks of life that encompassed graff writers, news reporters all the way to councilmen - all getting an eye-full of our drama. It was truly one of the best moments of my life. This was the first show of its kind and its magnitude out here in the City of Angels.” The show would eventually draw more than 17,000 visitors, and receive local and national coverage. Once the Los Angeles Times’ art critic William Wilson reviewed the show, praising the artists “tireless inventiveness”, the floodgates were open for a wider more mainstream acceptance of the show and the art form. Wilson, would go on to claim that if the artists “got a look a the current world of fine arts, dominated more by strategy and ideas than pictorial density, they might well
flee in disgust.” International coverage would follow, coming from as far away as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and several European countries. Mandoe’s piece ended up being purchased by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art for inclusion in their permanent collection. The show’s ultimate success would help to pave the way for graffiti’s wider acceptance as an art form. Looking back, Mandoe remembers the general attitude towards graffiti at the time of the show’s opening in 1989: “Back then Graff was not as accepted as it is today. Nor did we have as many patrons to this style of painting or as many venues as we do now.” Today, corporations are eager to embrace graffiti and urban art, integrating it into their brands in hopes of gaining street credibility in a saturated market. Eighteen years later this landmark show reminds us that the combination of art and a burning desire can open minds and change perceptions.
Words Mellow Man Ace Photos EstevanOriol.com The story starts off for me in 1983-84, after hearing “Sucker MCs” from Run-DMC, it really sparked me to want to become an MC. At the time I was breakdancing with B-Real and Sen Dog, and as the moves in breakdancing started to get harder, rap started to appeal more and more to us. So we picked up the mics and it seemed to feel right, and we just started rocking parties. By 1989 I inked a solo deal with Delicious Vinyl, an independent record company based out of Los Angeles. One day I went to the studio with Muggs and I met the people at Delicious Vinyl, and they said we’re giving out record deals. I told them I could rap, and I could rap in Spanish too. They really dug that. They told me to come over the next day and dropped me on a beat, which would become my first single called “Mas Pingon”. They felt it and gave me a $5000 record deal, which was good for me at the time for two reasons. For one, I was running the streets, and I pretty much would have been homeless at the time, if it wasn’t for the homeboy Greg O’s mom who put me up at the crib. The second reason was the fact that Latinos hadn’t really been represented at a level to the masses.
I felt there was a way to build from that and parlay it into a major situation, which I was later able to do. I was opening up for T-LA Rock in San Diego when a rep from Capitol Records by the name of Kenny Ortiz stepped to me after the show and said that Capitol had really dug what I was doing with the Spanish stuff. So he gives me a card and tells me to give him a call when I get back to LA. I did, and shortly after Capitol bought out my contract from Delicious Vinyl for somewhere in the neighborhood of $45,000. I got in the studio with Tony G and started recording the new album. Tony G was a DJ on 1580 KDAY, and he is the equivalent of a Grand Wizard Theodore out here on the West Coast;
he was also sharpening his skills at producing. Being that he was Cuban, and I’m Cuban, it made a perfect fit in the studio. By the time we got to “Mentirosa”, which was the last song we recorded for the album, he said to me, “Yo, Mellow this next record that we do, you got to do it bilingual. I don’t care how you do it, but when you come back in the studio it’s got to be written bilingual.” I don’t know how many people know, but it had never been done up to that point. Either I was rapping in Spanish completely, or I was rapping in English completely. So it was with that record that we experimented.
like it was destiny, like it was made to happen. Once I wrote it, I went back to the studio and we laid it down. Capitol Records heard it and loved it. That was 1989, and the record dropped in 1990. “Mentirosa” became the second single off that record.
It took awhile. I remember having to puff a big chocolate Thai joint with BReal outside the crib one day just to get the flow right. B-Real was very instrumental in that he wrote the “Check this out baby” part. Then, as we were drinking 40s and puffing the el, I had to go to the bathroom and relieve myself. That’s when I heard my next door neighbor, a kid by the name of Alvaro, say something to his mother. It was something so simple that it was in front of my face the whole time. It was the language that we use everyday. He says, “mama, I’m going to the liquor store, orita vengo.” Which basically means – I’ll be right back. That’s when it clicked – there’s the style, now all you have to do is write the song in that fashion, making an English word rhyme with a Spanish word.
The first single was called “Rhyme Fighter”, which we chose thinking we would come on the underground tip. We really didn’t know what we were doing at the time so it was very experimental. That record was all over the place, and the video had no direction since we were just starting out on making videos. By the time we got to “Mentirosa”, Capitol suggested that we run with the whole Latino thing, and kind of be more focused on that. When I heard this I loved it, I was able to become the first Latino to bring something to the people of Latin races, yet not exclude anyone else. I think the beauty of that record was that it taught white and black folks how to speak Spanish and get at girls in the club on a whole different level. I remember that they played it on LA’s Power 106 on the Make It or Break It segment; I went up against Madonna, Janet Jackson, and New Kids on The Block. I beat all their records for two weeks straight. That’s when I knew that I had something special. I just want to thank all the fans that requested that record at that time in 1990; you have helped me to live out my dreams.
Got back to the car and B-Real was waiting on me. From there it just seemed to flow like water. A story about the girl running wild in the city, it just came like a faucet opened up in me,
“Mentirosa” was very ground breaking. It was the first record to go gold and platinum in the United States and Mexico, the first rap record to reach three different charts on Billboard
– the Hot 100 Singles, the black R&B chart, and the Spanish Contemporary chart. It was a very monumental record at that time. I’m real proud of that record, it’s opened a tremendous amount of doors for me and allowed me to see the world. Not just me, but my Cypress Hill crew, and even Funkdoobiest. I’m real thankful for that release. Due to the success of that record, the media put many titles on me such as pioneer, the legend, and the godfather of Latin rap. I had no choice but to run with these titles and carve my niche in Hip Hop. If you watch MTV or BET, you’re not going to get a Latino experience when they go back and do the history of Rap music. They
always leave the Latino aspect out of it. So it became one of those “each one teach one” situations, where it is up to us to teach the next generation about Mellow Man Ace, and the Latin Rap movement - basically another title that the media put on us. We were just making Rap music that felt good to us; the media came and gave it its own genre, they made it Latin Rap. But just know that to me and my crew, we were just making rap music that felt right to our neighborhood.
For more info check out MellowMan Ace.com, or go to the store and cop Mellow Man’s album with his brother Sen Dog of Cypress Hill, The Reyes Brothers’ Ghetto Therapy.
How to make Pot Brownies First, get whatever kind of brownies you want from the store. The best I’ve tried are Duncan Hines Triple Fudge. Check on the back of the box to make sure that the ingredients call for butter or another type of fat (canola oil, margarine, etc.). Now get the weed. If you use schwagg, then about 1/2 ounce (de-seeded of course) is perfect. If you use real weed (Sinse). Then you only need about 1/4 ounce is good. Now take the amount of butter the recipe calls for and multiply that by One and a half times. If the box gives you a choice of cake-like brownies or fudgelike brownies be sure to choose fudge-like. Take your butter and place it in a pan, put it on low heat until the butter is liquid. Now add the reefer. Heat the pan on medium to low, stirring almost continuously. The time you let the butter heat is crucial. Make sure there is almost no smoke coming from the pan; smoke means the butter is burning. There is only one way to tell if the butter is done, the color. You might think it looks done, but be patient. The butter will be pretty dark for a while, but then in a matter of about a minute the butter will just shift to a blunt-paper brown color, almost black... that means its done. Once you get to this point, you have two choices: strain the butter/pot mixture or leave the weed in the mix. If you are using schwagg I highly recommend you strain it. On the other hand, if you are using Sinsemilla I would leave it in the mix for two reasons: It gives the brownies a deeper, fuller taste, and there is still a pretty good amount of THC in the sautéed pot. Mix everything according to the recipe, and once you are supposed to add the butter, put it on in whether the weed is still in it or not. When you mix all the ingredients in the bowl, mix them well and make sure the butter is distributed evenly. Bake the brownies for however long it says and enjoy. One brownie should get you high and keep you high for at least 3-4 hours, depending on how potent you make them. If you don’t have enough pot to make brownies, see if a friend will match what you put in, then split the brownies down the middle. My friend and I each put in 7 grams of Sinse whenever we make our brownies. That way, you just eat one in the morning and you’re high all day. Note: If you eat your brownies and you don’t feel anything, just wait; it will come. When you eat the THC, it hits you different than smoking, it takes longer to get high (about 30 minutes) but it lasts far longer, it gets you higher, and gives you a different high altogether.
Words & Images Jerry Heller Illustration Patrick Martinez Jerry Heller lives in LA and works in the music business. With over five decades in the industry, he has seen it all, and had his share of ups and downs. Along the way he helped to build the careers of numerous artists, including Marvin Gaye, Average White Band, WAR, Bobby Jimmy and the Critters, Elton John and Pink Floyd. He also played a pivotal role in creating the West Coast Gangster Rap movement. As the co-founder of Ruthless Records with Eazy E, Heller was key to making NWA one of the biggest selling Hip Hop acts of all time. Heller sat down with Frank151, to share his thoughts on the current state of the music industry, and give his advice to aspiring musicians who are grinding along the ever elusive road to super stardom. “The music business right now, as we’ve known it in the past, is basically over. I think it’s at one of the worst stages that I’ve ever seen it at. It’s been almost this bad once before. It’s ironic that the album that paved the way for
the downfall of Rock & Roll, is one of the greatest albums of the second half of the 20th century – Sgt. Pepper’s. The Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was so
good and set the bar so high, it was impossible for other rock & rollers to achieve that standard of excellence. People started spending so much money on albums, trying to achieve this Sgt. Pepper / Beatles kind of excellence that the standard in the music business changed from loving music, to being committed to projects just because they cost a lot of money. People started spending more money on records than had ever been spent before. And what it did was disrupt the economic integrity of the music business. The music business is intrinsically a win / win business. The only business I’ve ever seen where the more the artist makes, the more everyone else makes. In every other business, the more one person makes, the less someone else makes. The music business in the early 80s was sort of floundering, and then in 1985 I heard about this little pressing plant on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood called Macola Records. For $1000 you could press up 500 records, do the artwork, and this guy would distribute to other regional distributors in other cities. They would basically charge you 15% for this service. Pressing at Macola in those days was the LA Dream Team, JJ Fad, the Egyptian Lover, Rodney O and Joe Cooley, The Timex Social Club, Bobby Jimmy and the Critters, a group called CIA with Ice Cube, World Class Wreckin Cru with Dre and Yella, Ice T was pressing there, and even MC Hammer pressed some early records there. Macola Records was reestablishing the balance of economic integrity of the music business. Now
records were costing less to produce than the tape used to record them. The economic integrity was coming back in the business, and it was something that appealed to me. I was doing very well managing World Class Wreckin Cru, CIA, LA Dream Team, JJ Fad and Egyptian Lover. A friend of mine named Alonzo Williams, who was pressing with Macola, had a company called Kru-Cut Records, and he was a member of the World Class Wrecking Crew. He told me about this guy who wanted to meet me named Eric Wright. After a couple of months of badgering me to meet him, I finally agreed, and he paid Alonzo $750 for the introduction. On March 3, 1987, Eric “Eazy E” Wright pulled up, reached down into his sock and handed Alonzo a roll of money. I asked Eric if he had something to play for me, because in the final analysis, all that matters is the music. Nothing else matters. Eazy was willing to let the music do the talking. He played me “Boyz in the Hood”. That same day we decided to launch Ruthless Records. The next day I called a meeting of all my clients. I told them I couldn’t represent them anymore because I was going into business with Eazy E. Today, the music business has once again regressed. Right back to where we were after Sgt. Pepper. Only now it is the other, second greatest album of the second half of the 20th century that did it, and that’s NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. The big corporations like Universal, Sony BMG, EMI, and Warner Brothers would
like to tell you that the whole problem is downloading. Well I don’t believe that. I think that once again they’ve disrupted the economic balance of the business. The problems of the music business now are a function of price and content. When we did Straight Outta Compton for $12,000 and Eazy Duz It for $8,000, that’s what the music business is supposed to be. Now we have a Snoop Dogg record costing as much as a Whitney Houston record. We have videos that cost more than Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda spent on the entire movie Easy Rider. The economic integrity is such, with radio and promotion, it’s so expensive to promote records, that a major now says you got to sell 1.5 million units just for the artist to recoup. That’s not what the music business is supposed to be about. Trying to sell records for $18.99 when you have a 12 year old kid, who has a $5 per week allowance, I think it’s beyond sensible to think he is going to save up 4 weeks to buy an album. Now, if it was a good album, that would be one thing. But today, the technology has allowed these record companies to put 19 to 22 cuts on a CD. Record labels force their artists
to put that many cuts on a record to justify the high purchase price. What they should be doing is taking the price back down to $10, and have 9, 10 or 11 outstanding cuts, and then people would be interested in buying records again, instead of downloading. Nobody is going to pay $18.99 for a record that has only has 3 good cuts on it. The business is once again in one of those paradoxes; the majors are just working counterintuitive to the goals they want to achieve, trying to justify the high purchase price. They aren’t in the music business anymore, they’re in the market share business, in the ‘keeping their stockholders happy business’. Not the music for music’s sake business.” I think we need to go back to reestablish the economic integrity of the business. The areas where those kinds of numbers still exist are Latino Hip Hop, Spoken Word Poetry, Ghetto Metal, and positive message music. Today those areas are still accessible to re-establish the economic integrity of the business. If we don’t do that, the business as we know it is doomed.
To learn more about the life and times of Jerry Heller, and his adventures with NWA, check out his autobiography, Ruthless: A Memoir.
Kicking it old school with L.A. Hip Hop legends.
Jerry Heller’s Ruthless Rules for Success 1. Work harder than anyone else. That’s a crucial rule; most people really don’t understand the value of hard work anymore. 2. Emphasize your strengths. Strengthen your weaknesses. 3. Take every “no” personally. Refuse to accept it, and use it as a starting point to a yes. 4. Be imaginative, don’t be discouraged if people react negatively to your ideas. 5. Look for artists that are trendsetters, unique, and the very best at what they do. If you listen to a Bob Dylan record you don’t say, “I wonder who that is,” you know who that is. 6. Be scrupulously honest, above reproach.
7. Always be “Ruthless” on behalf of your clients. Don’t hesitate to go all the way on their behalf. 8. Remember, you both like what they do. Sometimes that may be all that you have in common with your artist. Look at Eazy E and I. I was tall, he was short, I was white he was black, he was from the west coast I was from the mid-west, he was young I was old. There couldn’t be two people that would be more unlikely to build a successful empire together. So just remember, that you both like what they do, and sometimes that may be all that you have in common with your artist. But that’s enough. Eazy and I proved that. 9. Read My Book. Apply my experiences to your own quest for success. 10. Remember to turn out the lights before you go to bed.
Words Big Lepke
How to Get an L.A. Woman Words Rachel Sterling Photos EstevanOriol.com There are so many different types of “L.A. Woman”. You have your socialite, your jaded bourgy, your model / actress, your homegirl, your good girl, your hipsters and everything in between. You’ve got so many different types that I guess the thing one must decide first is what type you want... and by doing that you need to find out what type you are. But since you are asking me, I’m assuming you’re going for the actress type that poses in great publications like Frank151....yes, or no? This would be a great time to add that most “L.A. Women” aren’t even from L.A.! I’m from Texas, and went to High school in La Jolla, California, but I get accused of being from New York all the time because I’m so blunt. I have California looks, with a Texas mouth powered by a New York brain. I take great pride in speaking my mind, so that’s fine with me. If a guy friend were to ask me “Why is it so hard to get women in L.A. to give you the time of day?” I would have to answer: All the dudes that hit on her right before you did. Most men proceed to use the same lines they must have used in high school to win attention... not so much. I think most girls that live in L.A. all start out really sweet. In the beginning we believe things guys tell us, then after a while, you learn and you just don’t put up with any bullshit. For lack of a better term, you don’t play.
I know it sounds like something your mom would say but BE YOURSELF!! Nothing is more awful than watching someone make an ass out of themselves. Confidence is everything. You can have all the money in the world, looks and the biggest um…bleep in the world, but if you don’t have confidence what is it all for? Girls in L.A. get hit on all damn day long and no most of the time it isn’t flattering... it’s annoying. And it’s even worse when the poor guy is being a creepy jerk. It’s like you can smell it on him when he comes up to you trying to get in your pants. Sometimes I wonder if they even really want to use the number they are trying so hard to get, or if it is just a kind of a sport model hunting thing guys do out here? After a while you stop being polite and start not even making eye contact, and you don’t even want to hear it. Then you get labeled as kind of a bitch, but oh well. You know what? I am slightly a bitch, and a bit of a brat. I know what I want, and if it isn’t you, I will stop you dead in your tracks. I feel
Bra and Panty set by H&M
it is better to be honest. In fact once all that nonsense is out of the way, I have made some really cool guy friends. On the same note, if you are what I want then you will very much know it. Most of my guy friends say that girls in L.A. are nothing but a pain in the ass. I guess I would have to agree, lol!!! I like to think of it as knowing what you want and wanting someone that you respect. It’s hard to respect someone that acts like a creep, uses some line on you and just wants to get down your pants dude. I take pride in being slightly bitchy, and a bit bratty. It’s better than being a bimbo and dating any fool that walks through the door. Men should act like men. Keep in mind being a man isn’t the same as being a bossy macho creep. I veto a lot of men for just being bitchy themselves. At least girls act like bitches because we¹re girls, we wear high heels...if you wear high heels you can bitch. Guys who act like bitches, do you need a pillow to bite? It’s really annoying.
L.A. thing to do. Then I got a little older, and I just don’t give a shit. I had to learn how to be myself too, just like everyone else. I think this is why I’m not into fake people. I have 700 numbers in my phone, but I only have three best girlfriends. Lauren, Caroline and Mercedes are my best bitches. So we have gone over how to get attention from an “L.A. Woman” but now let’s have a lesson in knowing when to walk away.
Social circles in this town are odd to say the least. Most guys I know say they don’t want to date girls in this town. I think L.A. women are a little more aggressive. But the culture of L.A. is you’re either predator or prey, and who the hell WANTS to be prey?!
For instance, this guy I had gone on one date with asked me out again and I said, “No, thank you.” He just kept calling so I told him, listen, I am dating someone now, and he told me, “I ain’t trippin’ on that tho.” I don¹t care if you aren’t tripping on that, I already said “no” and you are saying that you don’t care. Well.. I care! That’s insulting. Take a hint. I’m a lady, and I don’t like people who talk to me that way. He thinks he was being cute, but I found it insulting. Sometimes boys are just boys, I know, but stuff like that ruins it for all the other guys out there that are cool. The worst is when you see me coming from across the room, and all you can think of is “Damn!” I mean really, that’s all you can come up with? The most stupid things get said to me, like when the trash guy tries to give me the look and says, “What’s up?” Yeah you look real sexy in that trash suit. (Side note: my trash dude isn’t hot. So if you are actually a sexy trash dude the girls should be whistling at you, not you at them.)
I used to spend a lot of time worrying what other people thought about me when I was younger. That’s a very
Or some sloppy drugged-out guy at a party with bad breath that won’t leave you alone, or even worse, the guys
There is nothing more attractive than a man that has earned respect. Respect and class are things you can’t buy. I want someone who is confident and intelligent. If one is lacking, I back off right away.
Top by TYSA, Skinny Jeans by Kova & T
who don’t think you will not notice their hand on your ass. Ugh!!! If I want to date you, you will know, because we will be dating. I don’t like being hunted and I’m sure most girls don’t. The guy that gets my attention is the person that is polite, acts like a human being in front of me, and then walks away. There’s an old saying in show business, “always leave them wanting more.” That goes the same for dating. Many guys come up to girls all the time and get in their face; if you do that we are going to put you in that category with everyone else. It’s always the person that just walks away, it’s the best thing you can do. Guys, think about the girl that was a good girl but you couldn’t deal with her for some reason. Why? Because she was always up your ass! Newsflash: chicks think the same way.
Dating in L.A. is hard. The competition is huge and the dating pool is, well, it is what it is. I was single for awhile and it was amazing, I really enjoyed it because I got to see what was out there and sometimes it sucks. I’m not the easiest girl to be with, so I’m not talking shit. I think sometimes people look at the picture and think it is going to be sunshine and roses and giggles all the time, that’s definitely not how it is. I have my ups and downs just like anyone else. If you are looking for some little Barbie to date, that’s definitely not me, and in return I don’t want to date a Ken doll. I want to date an actual person who I can respect and have a conversation with. And by the way, the guy that I am dating now, he’s not in the entertainment industry. He does math for a living, all day. Now that’s hot.
Jen in the Lopez driver.
Mark Welsh photo coalheadwear.com
Words OG Lepke Artwork Various Incarcerated Artists Courtesy of SA Studios The California prison system is filled with artistic individuals. You got everything going on in there; it’s a big yard with a bunch of artistic motherfuckers in there. You got people that know how to make wine a certain way; they know how to brew pruno, so everyone has their own skill. It’s an art with everything they do. You got dudes that are artists in tattooing, making paños, drawing on envelopes. I know some guys that will get brand new sheets, and sew them into shorts, and walk around with white shorts made out of sheets. There’s always somebody in there that has a skill of how to do something. I know one white boy that knows how to make cheese. He’ll make you a block of cheese out of milk. When you’re in jail, there ain’t nothing to do but sit up all day. All you got is time to think about how to get over and do something next, or do whatever you want to do. So that’s when the artistic abilities start to flourish and come out in each individual in its own certain way. Envelopes These envelopes are all done with pencil, and the work here is real detailed. Usually in prison art you will notice certain themes and images that continuously emerge. There are always bars, because it’s coming from jail. There’s always a fine woman, and there’s a sad dude and then a happy dude - because this could be the man that’s looking out for his woman while he is doing time. That’s why you always see two dudes and one woman in the picture, the man always has a thinking in his heart that his woman might be out there with that cat they call Sancho – the man that’s with your woman while you’re gone. You also see the Aztec warrior, represented as an eagle, which is a tradition for the South Side homies to follow these Aztec traditions. Any time you see an eagle or a jaguar, that
represents the ranks of the soldiers, because they do practice this stuff on the yard. They study it to a tee; it’s a mandatory study if you are a Sureno. That’s why the majority of these are coming the way you see them. There is a lot of ancient heritage involved in this. You might see this imagery in tattoos: you have a jaguar warrior, you have the sacred shield which only warriors and true soldiers put on their body. So not anybody can get certain tattoos; this would be a very heavy tattoo, you can get questioned for this if you put it on your body in state prison in California, especially if you’re a newcomer. Basically a tattoo like this would be put on the dude that’s put work in, that’s been in the system half his life. It wouldn’t be just a regular off the run tattoo that you see on a normal person.
Photos Amanda Lopez
Tumblers These are done with a pin that is sharpened down on the concrete to a real fine point, almost like a sewing needle. You could get a regular pin, but you have to melt it real close. I’ve seen people use the staple from a book. Anything that will hold inside the plastic of a pen, you melt it into the plastic to hold it in place, and you can use it as a pick. You get someone to draw a pattern. They don’t use a lot of patterns from magazines. You get an artist to draw it, that’s why most of these things are drawn from scratch.
You then put the pattern on the inside of the cup, you can hold it in place with a sock. After you have your pattern in place, you pick it into the cup. Once you’re done, you have to rub a lot of cigarette ashes into the cup. You can also rub shoe polish. These were done on Tupperware cups. They don’t do these no more because they don’t sell this type of cup in the penitentiary no more. They got a new vendor. The new cups are called ‘Hard Times’ cups.
Paños These are called paños, they are a little bit harder to get because they take more time. Basically these are collages all over it. Paños are something that are done, it could be anything, basically these artists put whatever they feel. A lot of these will have some jail imagery in them, but will also have some freedom. This is a variety of things and this has to do with freedom, streets, women and culture. The dude took
his time and did this. This is all skill; you can’t use a pattern. This is just all ink from a ball point pen. This art coming out of the jail, it’s already a significant sign of the people incarcerated because this is the only place things like these get done. You don’t see nobody out here doing paños, unless they’re on the East Side and they’re still in that mode. This
is something that somebody would share with friends. These weren’t on the market too much. The dude wouldn’t make a bunch of these and put them out for sale. You’d have to go translate what you wanted, and there’s a whole ritual to getting this. The dude might put you on hold for a little while; he’s not in a hurry to do this. These are done to make the time go by. All these reflect on culture and on the streets. The majority of people who make
these are from southern L.A., and they do have dudes who are bad at it. You knew who the paños man was, you had to get on the list, let him know, and he would hook you up. These you have to look out for the homeboy from your heart. You got to dig deep, because it takes a lot of time. And sometimes homies know you are getting released, so they give you one for a going home present.
Photos EribetroOriol.com & EstevanOriol.com
Interview by Mike Daley Photos EstevanOriol.com Frank151 caught up with LA County Coroner Dr. Carrillo in order to learn more about life after death in this exclusive report from the coroner. Frank151: Can you explain how you entered the profession of pathology? Dr. Carrillo: Sure, I’ve always been interested in dead things, things that grossed people out…bugs…and science. As a kid I always liked these things, and then one day I saw a show called Quincy. Once I saw that I was like “that’s it!” The job sort of had everything I always like to do, and you sort of have to be a little strange to be in this profession, so usually I like to be alone. It was perfect. I got to work by myself. I could play with the dead…be sort of a mad scientist, doctor-type person. There is also a lot of drawing involved, especially when you have to diagram wounds and things like that. Decomp bodies have a lot of bugs, so you need to know a little bit about insects…so I was like that’s perfect! Once I saw that show, pretty much my life was mapped out. So all I had to do was jump through the hoops to get here. F151: Does everyone who dies necessarily go through your office? Dr. C: No, only when there is a question of the cause, when a person is unidentified, whenever someone dies in a hospital within 24 hours of arriving or 24 hours after surgery, whenever
there’s a question of foul play, for example if a person is found dead at home with no witnesses. Then there are special circumstances like people who are mentally ill or who have been taken care of in long-term facilities, all those are required by the state to see if proper care was given… anyone who dies in prison and suicides. F151: Could you regale us with one or two of the more unusual deaths you’ve encountered during your time in the LA Coroner’s office? Dr. C: As soon as you finish your pathology training, which is in boardcertified anatomic pathology, you do a one-year forensic pathology fellowship. When you do that you have a senior pathologist assigned to you to go over your cases for your first year; after that you’re on your own. It was maybe a few months after I was on my own, when I got the case of a dismembered body. It was shortly after New Year’s Day, and it consisted of the lower torso with the left thigh and the right thigh present, sort of cut off right above the hips, one left leg, and that was it. It was found in a recycling center, as the workers were taking out the trash they identified this thing which didn’t
look like a bottle or glass container…it looked like a human body. Of course, it was a weekend and one of my first dismembered bodies. There was no one around to help, so I did what I thought was correct and I took photographs and cut off the margins of the skin, wherever there appeared to be a cut. I identified a fracture of the separate part of the lower leg. The leg also had a foot attached to it and that foot had a sort of overriding middle toe…and that was pretty much it, there was no cause of death on this body. Its parts were obviously dismembered, but there were no obvious stab wounds or gun shot wounds; the cuts themselves appeared post-mortem. It turns out that a guy was reported missing, and he was a professor at UCLA. There was a long standing feud between this person and another relative, who happened to own a butcher shop. On the night in question, supposedly, an alarm went off at the butcher shop, early in the morning, but there was no investigation. No one went out to the scene. The person was identified by that overriding toe.
This person didn’t show up to work, they went to this person’s house and found the shoe and opened it up…and in all his left shoes there was this bump in the shoe that corresponded to his overriding toe. Further investigation later identified him. That was a very strange case. F151: Have you ever seen any deaths due to auto-erotic asphyxiation? Dr. C: I would say I’ve had about two of these cases. They’re strange in the fact that they always seem to fit the textbook description of it. They’re males, they’ve had these elaborate ligature set-ups, pornography is present, usually in the back-room or garage where no one can see them. The act of asphyxiation heightens the gratification, but you don’t want to die so they have all these elaborate systems where you can release yourself, but unfortunately sometimes they carry it too far. They push it further and further every time, until finally they lose consciousness and end up hanging there.
F151: How do you unwind from a day at the office? Dr. C: I have three kids, so I usually have fun playing with them. Happy hours come in handy. You know, have a nightcap with my fellow workers and talk about the day. Fortunately or unfortunately, since this is a niche job, not too many people do this, so I get a lot of requests for interviews, presentations. No one listens to me at home, so I’ll talk. I also have a part-time job as a professor of forensic pathology at Cal State Los Angeles. I’m also a medical consultant for NBC studios. The specific program is Crossing Jordan and this is our sixth-year. So that takes up a lot of time.
F151: Does being surrounded by death all the time affect your outlook on life? Dr. C: It does in a way you wouldn’t expect. You see a lot of sudden death. You see people driving to the store and they get sideswiped and die, walking down the street and a bullet hits them in the head, someone’s at work and they just drop dead. A lot of these people are extremely healthy or in extremely poor health, and they all seem to die in the same way. So for me, I let my children do a lot of things that maybe I shouldn’t let them do things that other parents seem to gasp at. I let them climb on things…because the deaths that I see are usually inflicted;
someone beats them up, touches them, it’s usually from abuse. Another thing I see, kids get run over a lot by their parents with the car backing up. When it comes to children and cars, I’m very careful. When it comes to just playing around, I let ‘em do whatever. I try to live my life to the fullest. I’m not the healthiest individual. I like to watch a lot of TV and try to avoid physical activity at all costs, because probably in the end it’s not going to matter. F151: Do you have any preference on how you’d like to go out? Dr. C: I know I don’t want to drown, and I don’t want to go in a fire. Those are things I find would be horrific
deaths. Since most of LA living is in the car, I’m probably going to die in a car accident. In a sudden traumatic burst of flames that’s going to give me five minutes of glory, as it will be some spot on a traffic report. That’s how I see myself going out; not an old man, sitting there, thinking about how my life was. It’s going to be quick and it’s going to be sudden. F151: Do you have a favorite food spot in Los Angeles? Dr. C: Pink’s Hot Dogs.
Caffe del Sol Rich and complex with flavors of praline, caramel and dark chocolate. 170
For Chapter 29 of the Frank Book, Editor-in-Chief Frank Green cliqued up with Los Angeles native sons Mister Cartoon & Estevan Oriol of Soul...
Published on Feb 16, 2012
For Chapter 29 of the Frank Book, Editor-in-Chief Frank Green cliqued up with Los Angeles native sons Mister Cartoon & Estevan Oriol of Soul...