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Ink Imitates Music

By Marcelina Santiago • May 10th, 2008 • Category: 'Sup Wit Dat Tat?

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Almost every day, people come up to Gabriel Toscano and comment on the tattoo on his neck. Some people love it. Others ask why he did it. Some worry about him getting a job after college.

The inkwork features two sticks pounding away at a snare drum with music notes flowing around Toscano’s neck. The silver spike through his lower lip adds to the effect.

Exhibiting an image of drums is natural for the broad-shouldered, 5-foot, 6-inch, 21-year-old drummer from Bayside, Queens.

“Nothing else is going to impact me more than music and drums,” Toscano said. “Nothing has ever hit me harder than music.”

Toscano likes productions that feature drums such as the Blue Man Group and Stomp!
Toscano likes productions that feature drums such as the Blue Man Group and Stomp!

Toscano has been playing the drums for almost 10 years, appearing on notable city stages in Manhattan. With his former band, It’s a F—— Catastrophe, he has played CBGBs, Irving Plaza, the Knitting Factory, and the Continental.

Other body art testifying to his love of music is a black-and-blue vintage microphone on his right forearm, featuring a face screwed up in a scream. That is going to grow into a full arm sleeve honoring three things Toscano loves the most: music, his home borough of Queens, and NYC. A major feature will be a vintage 7 train. This subway line unites his beloved borough of Queens with NYC. It’s such a bargain, he notes.

 

“There is nothing better than paying two dollars for the 7 train into Manhattan,” said Toscano.

Growing up just a short train ride away from Manhattan has had a real impact on Toscano’s style and his love of music. St. Mark’s Place, for example, has been a constant source of inspiration.

“I love how you’ll find [people of] all types of ethnic backgrounds with all different types of style,” he said.

Recently, Toscano launched his own music production company, Global Traxxx, which features aspiring rappers and vocalists from Queens.

As for how his tattoos will affect his employment prospects after college, that is not something Toscano worries about.

He believes that not accepting someone because of a tattoo is archaic and just plain stupid.

“That’s like not accepting people because of a deformity,” said Toscano, who maintains his tattoos are just another part of his body. “I’m still the same person I was but with ink on my neck.”

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Marcelina Santiago is a 21-year-old Hunter College student from Bayside, Queens. She is currently double majoring in Media Studies and Creative Writing as well as interning for Karen Hunter at Karen Hunter Publishing. She is an avid reader and a Salsa/Mambo dancer. One day she hopes to write for a major New York City newspaper.
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