It seems that whenever Jereme Rogers releases one of his “rap songs,” conventional skateboard media outlets continue to grant him exposure. These videos usually draw the ire of those nostalgic for the Coliseum era, when Jereme was switch flipping stairs to Buena Vista Social Club. Even non-skate related circles have given his frequent masterworks of second hand embarrassment some contemplation. We’re all guilty of (well, not Quartersnacks…not until this post anyway) offering Jereme airtime, instead of ignoring him in hopes that he would simply disappear or get committed. He, like many other inadequate rappers, subscribes to the fallacy that equates having “haters” to success. The only way we could win is by not paying attention.
However, his recent rap videos and audition tapes for a potential sequel to Whiteboyz are not the first instances of skateboarders attempting to mesh themselves with the mystic world of rap music. The following is a (cautionary) guide to the occasional rap video skate part, and why it has typically been a bad idea, long before Jereme Rogers made us wonder if he bumped his head too hard when he fell off the mattress in Wonderful Horrible Life.
Pat Washington & Henry Sanchez — Got Gold?
Rappers: P.W. Esquire & Henry Sanchez
Gold’s 2002 VHS offering suffered (benefited?) from the early-2000s, late-bling era, which was one of rap’s last years of gratuitous prosperity. Got Gold had everything: a faux-widescreen format paying tribute to Hype Williams, at least three freestyles as intros to parts, Scarface and Dolemite cut-ins, and plenty of white guys in big pants skating Pier 7. P.W. Esquire and Henry Sanchez’s section was the only portion of the video set entirely to their own musical creation, and it is performed while walking around San Francisco with a boom-box. Their lyrics insist that their sponsors are sources of rap-mogul-like wealth, much like regular rappers claim to “get rich off cocaine” and/or their state’s Department of Corrections. Henry’s style is dependent on various white rapper hallmarks — rhyming a bunch of clunky, big words (acrobatical, baratical, imaginable, infathomable, magical, etc….please keep in mind that only two of these are real words), wild arm gestures, and generally not making sense (but not in the cool, Ghostface way of not making sense.)
Best / Worst Line: Something about waffles, falafels, and throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. So, Henry’s verse might culminate into some sort of pro-Palestinian metaphor.
Peter Smolik — Guilty
Rapper: Tha Fedaralz
In the long-awaited sequel to Fulfill the Dream, Smolik skated to what might be the worst song ever recorded. The rap video portion of the part is structured around a fugitive theme, and intercuts skating with his “soldiers” chilling on a bunch of rocks, and watching skate videos on a couch while hiding out in some sort of bunker. Even though Tha Fedaralz are government employees, they seem uninformed about recent American history, as the video cuts to a photo of the September 11th attacks when the lyrics mention “nuclear warfare.” Someone should tell those guys that no nuclear weapons were used in that attack. (On second thought, maybe they’re former government employees, and now on the run because they have inside info.)
If you ask 99.9% of people to name a rapper from San Diego, they wouldn’t be able to. That’s definitely a good thing.
Best / Worst Line: It’s between “N*gga yousa dirty rat…yeah, leaving droppings in the lab” and “I’m so pissed, snatching mics so fast, you leave with a broke wrist.”
Montage — Mixtape 2
Rapper: Harold Hunter
P.W. Esquire and Harold Hunter have some overlaps in subject matter, as they both rap about their popularity in Japan. Otherwise, there are many differences, namely in that Harold’s “Ditty Bop” is a great song, and a Myspace classic. The majority of New York skateboarders had it as their default song once Myspace introduced an embedded music feature in 2005. The same cannot be said for any other songs on this list.
Best / Worst Line: “You like a tofu crab cake, you half fake.”
Darren Harper — Get Familiar
Rapper: Dre Black
Honestly, if there is one person who can get away with having a rap video skate part, it’s Darren Harper. And if B.E.T. Uncut (R.I.P.), Worldstar, or any other “urban” institution that showcases low budget productions played skate videos, this would get premier treatment. Set to strong suggestions of “holding your straps tight,” and peppered with many staples of cost efficient rap videos (shots of jewelry purchases, rims, dice games, etc.), D. Streets manages to reach newfound heights from his switch stance. Considering this is the least ridiculous rap and skateboarding combination, the finished product comes off as appropriate.
Best / Worst Line: There isn’t anything particularly memorable or objectionable in the song. Keep the straps tight.
The Black Ninja – NEAT
Rapper: The Black Ninja
This part transcends expectations of most rap video skate parts. While skate-rappers often engage their hobby in lyrics as an afterthought, (thus focusing on non-skate related rapper things, like rims and weed) he embraces the act of skateboarding, and puts it at the forefront of this effective skate/rap hybrid, by providing honest commentary on the part’s tricks in autotune. Concept wise, this is genuinely one of the most creative things that someone has done with a video part. The only gripe is that his lyrics do not tackle the subject of why his clothes, shoes, wheels, laces, etc. are almost always lime green. That’s a pretty weird choice for a favorite color. The boardshorts are cool though.
Best / Worst Line: “Time for the switch wallride, turn around, push twice, do a wallride 180, I’m almost naked.”