World News: Traditionally, a life of violence and crime has been the biggest threat to LA’s west coast gangsters. But now a new disease is ravaging this community, showing a new kind of ‘disrespect’ that can’t so easily be settled by a ‘toe-to-toe’, a ‘drive-by’ or even an ‘ice-cream gangbang’.
Gang-sign arthritis, or G.A.S, comes from years of ‘throwing gang-signs’ – the twisting of one’s fingers to denote group or geographical origin – and is literally crippling the Crips, the Bloods, the Latin Kings and indeed all those criminal organisations with the longevity to boast a membership well into their forties and even fifties.
Striking without warning, the condition freezes the sufferer’s fingers in painful and contorted discomfort which makes it quite impossible to perform simple tasks, like rolling a blunt, or stripping down a Glock.
Ever since Snoop Doggy Dogg admitted that he too was a sufferer and checked into the Fo’Schnizzle Rehabilitation Home For Elderly Thugs and Whatnot, the public at large have been alerted to the condition. Today however, the reports of the first study to analyse the health of ageing gang members confirms that G.A.S is ‘an epidemic’.
“We reckon on 60-70% of all gangster over 40 will suffer from the disease,” says project leader, and former Public Enemy, Professor Griff. “The problems is not just the pain or loss of motor skills, the problem is that fingers contorted in this way can provoke a violent reaction from other gangsters, misreading the affected fingers as a ‘sign’.
K-nut, a member of the Crips for 30 years, explains: “Yo, for real I be like wanting to say with my hands, ‘yo, I is from West LA, n’a mean?’ but yo, since I stepped on the GAS, I be actually saying some shit like ‘yo, I’m from Kidderminster, England, can you help me with this self-assessment tax form?’ I mean the shit is confusing, you feel me? Niggas be cold buggin’.”