Four fingers are used to make the Westside gang sign, and the middle and ring fingers are crossed to make a stylized “W” with one hand. The thumb folds in toward the palm, making the back of the hand look like the letter W.
Since the W has been in rap music videos since the late 1980s, it has become a well-known symbol in Los Angeles. Tupac Shakur made the symbol well-known by using it in his photos and songs about the Westside. After a lot of work was done on the building in 2011, artist JR painted a four-story-tall Westside sign on the east wall of the historic Bristol Apartments in Los Angeles. The building was built in 1906.