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Remembering Tolse STP IFK

Story by Cisco CBS

50mm staff writer

TOLSE was able to see spaces of the city that most people never even
acknowledged, and he was able to hit spots that most writers in LA hadn't
reached before. While writers in Hollywood and LA were getting the attention,
TOLSE was 12-years-old, bombing the Valley all by himself. He was
informed by the school of WISK, SER, CHAKA, SLEEZ, TRIAX and GESO.
TOLSE could be seen on freeway heavens, rooftops, and billboards all over
the Valley and eventually all over LA.

Always on the hunt for landmarks, he liked getting up for the kids in his
neighborhood and his friends who liked to see one of their own getting some
of the attention. He used to sing “Time of the Season” by The Zombies when
he was happy with a spot he just caught. It was always funny to see a long,
lanky, Peruvian with slicked-back hair, a little black birth mark in his eye, and
a can of Krylon Ultra Flat Black singing British ‘60s psychedelic rock in the
middle of the night on the streets of Panorama City.

In social situations he was quiet; not because he thought he had
something over on other people, but because he was shy. With his friends he
was always playful, something that some of today’s tough-guy writers
seemed to have lost. TOLSE had fun living the life of a bomber. He started
writing VES while at Madison Junior High in North Hollywood in 1988. All
down Sherman Way you could see his streak tags. By ninth grade CASE got
him into Artists In CRIME (AIC), a crew from the Van Nuys/North Hollywood
area. He started piecing with MERGE from KIDS MOBBING KRAZY (KMK),
practicing at the Woodman Yard along side CELTIC, SMURF, MASTER UTI,

In 1989-90, CASE and I got him into THE UNDER GROUND KINGS
(TUGK) with LERIC and BET, his two best friends. TOLSE bombed the East
valley with TUGK for a few years. He would spend all day at LERIC and
BET’s house planning that night’s mission. We were young, so hitting the
main boulevards of North Hollywood was a feat to us. LERIC lived in
RADFORD STREET’s hood, so TOLSE had to get by them before worrying
about the CRASH unit. We all looked up to TOLSE. He was our age, but none
of us could do what he did in terms of style and getting up. In the early ‘90s
we moved to Panorama City/ Pacoima. He lived in the projects, so he spent
most of the time at my apartment a few blocks to the south. In 1991 we both
got into MADE YOU LOOK (MYL) and dropped TUGK for a few months. I
think the rivalry between some of us, and dealing with new levels of fame
divided us for a minute.

In 1992, TOLSE really started to get his name known in the graffiti
world. He dropped MYL and USC for STP and CR. Now that he was a
teenager he started making his way over to HOLLYWOOD with BRUNO and
PALE (STP). He was impressed with what MEAR CBS, SLICK and HEX were
doing, but all he wanted to do was bomb. He had been hitting bigger spots
with PALE but it wasn’t until he met OILER and DECLINE (COI) that he really
started getting recognition from writers all over the city. After hitting some
spots with his new friends, he got into INTERSTATE FREEWAY KILLERS
(IFK). But something always brought him back to the projects of the Valley.

He taught me how to do letters, but I could never do them as good as
he showed me. He taught us all how to rack, but he never got caught. He
taught us how to flare with a Snap cap, but we would usually screw-up. He
showed us how to get over a fence and on to a roof, but we usually just
stayed on the street looking out for him as he hit us up. When it comes to
TOLSE there is no reason to romanticize the dead, he really was as good a
bomber, climber, writer, racker, and friend as the stories make him out to be.
When he started gang-banging with SAN FER in the 1994, he put graffiti to
the side. The life that gangsters live by got the better of him and he was shot
in the head and killed in San Fernando in late 1998.

The last time I saw TOLSE was in early 1998 standing outside of LA
VALLEY COLLEGE. He told me he was going to take some classes and stop
gang-banging. He also said he wanted to hit a few spots with me as ‘TSEK’
so he wouldn’t get me crossed out by his enemies. I told him he would do just
as good in the classroom as he did on the streets, and I would be honored
even to be crossed out next to TOLSE.

Posted 07.4.05 by Unit

50mm poll...

What is more important to the longevity of graffiti?
Unity amongst all writers.
Low pro spots-keeping it under the radar.
Going all out and bankrupting the system.

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