Toko Tasi, a Hawaiian-born and Long Beach-raised musician who wrote and sang in a reggae style and worked with Sublime and Slightly Stoopid, was gunned down outside a Long Beach bar late Saturday, according to authorities.
Long Beach police say some kind of dispute may have happened between the 45-year-old and an unknown man before Tasi was shot around 11:40 p.m. along Willow Street near Eucalyptus Avenue. The gunman was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
Cops and paramedics tried to save the victim, but he died at the scene.
The coroner’s office had not yet identified Tasi as the victim, pending notification of family, but friends identified him to the Long Beach Post, and tributes and remembrances are being posted on social media, including in the comments to this YouTube video:
Former Weekly editor Nick Schou posted this on Facebook:
Tasi turns up in former Weekly music editor Nate Jackson’s 2014 interview with Miguel Happoldt, the founder of Sublime’s label Skunk Records. Happoldt used the occasion to clear up misconceptions about the labels talent.
“As far as the acts that I personally said ‘This is who I’m backing,’ it’s very limited,” said the personal friend of Sublime’s late, great frontman, Brad Nowell. “It was the Ziggens, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Juice Bros, Philieano, Toko Tase, Paulie Nugent and he has another project called the Burn Unit. Those are the records where I woke up in the morning and said ‘I gotta put these records out, the public has to hear this.’”
Born Asofaatasi Malaki, Tasi leaves behind a daughter, Lilly, who he called “Bubbles,” according to the Post.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.