Not an easy verb to translate and put into English form.
From age old Rifa has been incorporated into the Chicano Varrio structure . .
Used in both graffiti and street jargon . .
For many Varrios it is an integral part of their name . .
And for most others Rifa becomes of optional use . .
El Sereno Rifa, Varrio Alpine Rifa, East LA Rifa, Barrio Elmwood Rifa . .
Those are just a but a few of the Varrios in which Rifa
is an integral part of their “official name” . .
In essence “all Varrios” can add Rifa to their placasos . .
Much in the same way that all Varrios can opt to add and use the
V/B for Varrio/Barrio . .
But only a handful officially incorporate Rifa into their official name.
What does Rifa mean?
Where does it come from?
Why is it used by all Varrios?
Where it comes from is easy . .
It comes from the Spanish language . .
It is not a Calo slang word . .
And it was not invented by Chicanos.
It was adopted by the Chicano world . .
And incorporated into it’s gang jargon . .
But it was already in use by the average Mexican . .
In particular when a physical dispute was involved . .
And that is because Rifa comes from the verb “RIFAR” . .
RIFAR means “to quarrel” and “to fight” . .
In Mexicanisms . .
A vato can say for instance “YO ME LA RIFO”
Which loosely translates as . .
“I’LL DARE TO” or “I’LL GET DOWN” . .
With the added implication of being down for
anything or against anyone, anytime and any place!
The same application can be said of its plural form . .
“SE LA RIFAN” or “RIFAN” (Roll the dice & Fuck 1t!) . .
Or as some in the Chicano world are most familiar with
~> “RIFAMOS” . .
To which the addition of ~> “CONTROLAMOS” makes it . .
~> in a sense “complete”.
=RIFAMOS Y CONTROLAMOS=
~> We’re in the mix . .
~> We’re down for anything . .
~> We roll the dice . .
~> We don’t give a fuck . .
~> And we control!
Why the “roll the dice?
Because Rifa also means “Raffle” . .
But Raffle in the underworld form application of . .
~> not knowing the outcome but takes the risk and plays!
A gamble . .
A Russian roulette you might say.
Roll the bullet chamber and pull the trigger . .
All the above mentioned and the like . .
All which plays a part in the Chicano world . .
. . is what gives Rifa its “universal meaning” . .
Therefore everyone can claim it . .
Not just A Varrio . . But all the Varrios . .
Not just An Individual . . But all the Individuals!
Rifa can be plural or singular . .
It can be used in the context of the Varrio . .
Or it can be used in the context of an individual(s) Life . .
Hence the reason why you can see it written . .
Next to or under a Varrio’s name/initials . .
Or under an individual(s) name who may or may not
~> claim a Varrio.
For it is “not” exclusive to the gang world!
Rifa is used with or without affiliation or reference
to the street gang world “anywhere!
This is something that has become somewhat lost in the
Chicano world . .
But one that “still” lives on in the Mexican Side.
In the Chicano world Rifa lost some of its original meaning . .
And morphed into the present times understanding . .
And application of “RULES” ~> as in governs!
An erroneous concept which got crossed with the other . .
Oldenly used but long lost . .
“RIGE” or “RIJA” . .
From the Spanish “REGLA” . .
To Rule and “To Manage” . .
“To Control” and “To be out in force”
“To go by” and “Be guided by”
Rules and Regulations per say!
An indication of how the Varrio was to live by . .
~> and by extension its membership!
Even to this day . .
Some Homeboys can still be heard making mention of . .
“REGLAS” or “RIJAS” in reference to the . .
“unwritten rules” that govern the Varrio and The Life!
Regla (Rules) or Rije (Governs) in essence was substituted by Rifa . .
And Rifa now carries the same applications of Rules and Governs!
And so it is understood today by the many . .
Nevertheless . .
Rifa original meaning in the Varrio and prior history . .
~> is non-other than “RUMBLE” !!!
DOG TOWN RUMBLES!
HAPPY VALLEY RUMBLES!
BIG HAZARD RUMBLES!
FROG TOWN RUMBLES!
LIL VALLEY RUMBLES!
WHITE FENCE RUMBLES!
They’re in the mix!
They roll the dice and play!
They’re down for anything!
They don’t give a fuck!
Exclamation at the end . .
Same exclamation you used to see in many placasos . .
Right next to a Varrios initials . .
Same one that goes unnoticed by many today . .
The same exclamation which served as decoration and shaded . .
But one that gave insight to the . .
~> “WAR POWERS” of “RIFA!
MI VARRIO RIFA Y QUE?
MY HOOD IS DOWN FOR IT AND WHAT OF?
RIFAMOS Y CONTROLAMOS!
WE RULE AND WE CONTROL!
= MI VARRIO RIFA ="MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS WORTH IT"