(Plus their guest verse in a rap song counterparts.)
As America’s premier inventions, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that both rap and skateboarding have similarities. For example, guest verses on rap songs and guest tricks in parts virtually operate in the same exact way: they start careers, they rejuvenate careers, give way to friendly competition on the same spot/beat, and sometimes, they simply provide material for the nerds to nerd out over.
…and yes, this is maybe the nerdiest thing ever posted on this website.
Putting your team on is the most hip-hop shit you could do in any realm of life, even if it often results in bankruptcy. We dug through the rich dual histories of putting other dudes on your song, and other dudes in your video part, seeking comparisons whenever they were applicable. This is rather Transworld video heavy because they embraced the power of the cameo far more than other institutions. Think of them as the Hypnotize Camp or Wu-Tang of skate videos…or something.
15. Jay-Son in Stevie Williams’ “Chocolate Tour” Part (1999) ~ Any guy from the block who hopped on a song only to never be heard rapping on a publicly-released platform ever again
Something lost in the decline of plaza skateboarding is that the non-pro locals rarely get a chance to shine. Watch the old Eastern Exposure montages and keep track of how many names you never heard from again, outside of Love-related coverage. Sometimes, those names made it into the big company videos for a bit of local color, and this one always stood out in particular.
Here is also a prime example of the guest trick’s frequent curse, in which it is camouflaged too well; most people assume this was a Stevie nollie inward heel.
14. Poncho Moler in Tim O’Connor’s Third Eye View Part (1998) ~ Bushwick Bill on Kool G Rap’s “Two to the Head”
Two legends in their respective games, who made a mark despite height-related odds. Both managed to always have a sense of humor about it, often seeking material via pop culture references e.g. “Say hello to my little friend!” = “I’m Bushwick Bill but call me Chucky.”
13. Jimmy Boyes in Geoff Rowley’s Extremely Sorry Part
As gnarly as Jimmy Boyes’ two-story roll-in is, it is definitely not hip-hop. Maybe it’s the equivalent of that Slayer “Reign in Blood” mash-up from Lil’ Jon’s second album?
In an unprecedented gesture, Rowley went the distance of informing the audience that a guest trick had just occurred by writing his guest’s name across his arms. Also not hip-hop, but nice of him nonetheless.
12. Steven Cales in Keenan Milton’s Chocolate Tour Part (1999) ~ Cam’ron on Beanie Sigel’s “Wanted”
“I did my whole album on bail.”
Given Cales’ well-documented legal troubles, it’s feasible that his nollie flip over the Flushing grate was filmed while he was out on bail.
(No, it’s not a Keenan fakie flip.)
11. Joey Pepper in Rob Welsh’s Free Your Mind Part (2003) ~ Cappadonna on Ghostface’s “Winter Warz”
Unlike many of his nine colleagues, Cappadonna never had a definitive album. Joey Pepper never really had that *one* part (Get Familiar was cool though.) But if you compiled their best moments, the track records look pretty good: The Expedition remix = “’97 Mentality” + “Milk This Cow” + “Slang Editorial.”
Free Your Mind was as close as anyone has ever come to stealing the show from New England’s marquee skater, the same way that “Winter Warz” technically belongs to Cappadonna by the time he raps his faux phone number.
10. Ricky Oyola in Josh Kalis’ Photosynthesis Part ~ Jay-Z on Nas’ “Black Republicans”
Comparing Ricky Oyola to Jay-Z is…insane, at least from a fiscal perspective. Kalis and Ricky / Nas and Jay existed in the same sphere of influence for many years, defining their craft for a generation of understudys, but never collaborating together. They only came to acknowledge each other when the beef popped off.
Even if things had settled down by the new millennium, Ricky’s ass-shot 360 flip (AWS’ forgotten legacy!) at Love was the beef getting squashed on record.
9. Quim Cardona in Tim O’Connor’s Eastern Exposure 3 Part (1996) ~ Redman on The Artifacts’ “Comin’ thru Ya’ Fuckin’ Block”
Jersey connections go hand-in-hand.
It’s also pretty easy to picture Redman wearing a way cooler shirt than Tame One when this song was recorded. Quim’s shirt game is sick here.
8. Javier Nunez in Stevie Williams DC Video Part (2003) ~ Pusha T on Birdman’s “What Happened to That Boy”
Much like the Neptunes set the tone for “urban” airwaves in the early 2000s, the #fashions displayed by Kalis, Wenning and Stevie in the DC Video would govern the way urban-tinged skaters presented themselves for years to come. And nothing comes closer to an “ox blood colored Porsche” in the skateboard world than Javier Nunez’s airbrushed City Stars pants (size 44, obvs), and his extravagantly technical picnic table trick.
7. Tom Penny in Arto Saari’s Sorry Part (2002) ~ Andre 3000 on UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem”
These guys both share a trait in their mid-career illusiveness. They wouldn’t pop up unless something weird accompanied that appearance. In Dre’s case, it’s the complete lack of drums for a straight minute. In Penny’s, it’s a concussion-induced haze at the start of Arto’s part.
Either way, a Penny cameo circa 2002 wasn’t far off from getting a post-Speakerboxx Andre 3000 guest verse on your album.
6. Gino Iannucci in Jason Dill’s Skate More Part (2002) ~ GZA on Raekwon’s “Guillotine (Swordz)”
Can’t imagine Gino would want to get compared to any rapper besides the GZA.
5. Eric Koston in Chico Brenes’ New World Order Part (1993) ~ Nas on Main Source’s “Live at the BBQ”
It’s not that Chico’s part or Fatal/Large Professor’s verses weren’t *good*, it’s just that in the context of the respective part/song, Koston/Nas existed on such a higher plane than anyone surrounding them. Hence a two-decade-plus career soon after each one was released…
And for further analogy, Falling Down is the Illmatic to his New World Order tricks’ “Live at the BBQ.”
4. EMB Posse in Mike Carroll’s Questionable Part (1992) ~ Casual & Souls of Mischief on Del’s “Burnt”
Spot-anchored posse parts are becoming a relic, much in the way that modern rappers’ egos have eradicated the relevance of the true, bunch-of-dudes-drunk-‘n-high-in-a-studio-together posse cut. So no, DJ Khaled e-mailing a beat to Wayne, Ross and Drake every April doesn’t count.
This is the greatest “posse part” focused around a single spot in skate video history. It’s impossible to pick just one cameo. They knew what they were doing when they threw “Burnt” on.
3. Stevie Williams in Josh Kalis’ Sixth Sense Part (1996) ~ Snoop Dogg on Dr. Dre’s “Nothing But a G Thang”
Stevie’s first real grown-up part was the road to one of the most illustrious street-skating careers still going, complete with plenty of business ventures on the side. Snoop didn’t have too bad of a life after his “Nothing But a G Thang” verse either. Kalis was only beginning to reach his peak, much in the way that Dre did with The Chronic in 1992, and served as a perfect platform to put someone else on.
2. Scott Johnston in Mike Carroll’s Modus Operandi Part (2000) ~ AZ on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch”
Leave the “With one rap got rich off of ‘Life’s a Bitch’” narrative out of it. S.J. and Carroll were both legends by the time Modus came out.
However, Johnston has always been a bit more of a low-key, AZ-esque cult favorite, rather than holding the “literally everyone’s favorite skater” distinction that Carroll does (and Nas does for people who didn’t fuck with the Roc.) But as far as this part is concerned — which a lot of people consider Carroll’s best — Scott Johnston might’ve stole the entire show with the 180 switch crook, sorta how the sole guest appearance on Illmatic stands as one of its brightest moments.
1. Marcus McBride in Henry Sanchez’s Sight Unseen Part (2001) ~ Any Bun B verse released while Pimp C was in jail
Putting Bun B on your song (particularly around 1999-2005) meant that you were ceding ownership over it. No rapper holds the distinction of stealing the show as a guest the same way Bun does. Turning the focus away from a Henry Sanchez comeback part seemed virtually impossible when Sight Unseen dropped, but each trick over the Pier 7 blocks was a turn in Marcus’ direction.
It’s not *not* his part.
Honorable Mention: Rodrigo TX in Javier Sarmiento’s Sk8Mafia Video part ~ Prodigy on LL Cool J’s “I Shot Ya”
Thanks to Eric from Chrome Ball, Sweet Waste, Jack Sabback and Lurker Lou for their assistance.