Words by Frozen in Carbonite
This year, the owners of my local bar revived an institution from The Before Times™: music trivia.
I call it music trivia, but it mostly consists of “name that tune” — the DJ plays 12 snippets (usually in a category like Eighties, Nineties, Songs about Beer ‘n Trucks) and you have to name the artist and title. Eighties is my shit; country my achilles heel. ANYWAY, this was the first time playing without drinking. Whenever I go to a bar, if they don’t have legit NA beers, I get a Red Bull and some appetizers because I feel like a dummy hanging out for hours and not spending any money. You pay for the experience. The ambience.
ANYWAY, I won ten bucks. I was psyched, but even more psyched at the end of the night when I saw the name the bartender entered for my tab.
See, this particular bartender, who looks kinda like Minka Kelly when she was on Friday Night Lights and probably has the nicest disposition of any woman in central Virginia, used to date one of the best skaters in town — before RVA became The Skate Mecca of the World™. So, we’d always talk about skating ‘n shit. But when I saw it in black and white, I was like “Dammit, that is who I am! Stripes on a tiger, baby!” Big self-esteem boost.
Just a skate dude, I suppose even if I don’t skate every damn day, or even every other day.
But nah, even if I haven’t skated in a while because of “work” or other horseshit, and I don’t feel like one in any given moment, that’s what I am. No denying it. Even if I #skatefromtimetotime.
ANYWAY, this year we detected a phenomenon in the zeitgeist: women killing it in the rap game like never before. So in the interest of switching things up for the thirteenth installment of this series: it’s Ladies’ Nite.
Lola Brooke f/ Latto & Yung Miami: “Don’t Play With It” (Remix) x Karim Callender’ Johnny’s Vid Part
[Part begins at 14:16]
NEW YORK IS FUCKIN’ BACK BABY! [seven consecutive Flex Bombs]
The thing that jumps out about this song is how aggro it is. Along the same lines, Limosine amateur Karim Callender delivered the last part in John Wilson’s Johnny’s Vid by beating up spots like they owed him money. Everyone knows Antonio’s The Greatest of All Time, but Callender broke out into the spotlight (whatever that means in this day and age) by pulling tricks that seem physically impossible, like the half cab manual drop (?!?) to back tail (!!), the backside 50/50 to nosegrind revert, and the frontside crooked grind to fakie, perfectly popped off a head-high electrical box. The kid skates juuuust on the edge of total catastrophe on some Cardiel shit. Like that one dude said in Epicly Later’d or some shit: the more out-of-control he appears, the more control he has.
Also shoutout the color coordination: yellow shirt with maize-stripe blazers, etc.
Ice Spice & Nicki Minaj: “Princess Diana” x Griffin Gass’ “Orca Card” part
In late April, Ms. Spice set off the summer by showing us why she’s the artist of the moment (was impossible to escape this song until like the beginning of July) and Mr. Gass showed us that he can do just about any ledge trick and mix in some #creative type shit.
Is Seattle a low-key bastion of Eurotech™? Gass’ approach to ledges and street transition echoes that of the usual suspects from Lyon, Paris, Prague, etc. Rick and Mike sure know how to pick ‘em. Oh yeah – Sam Smyth too.
With this part and the Lakai vid, the kid had a helluva summer.
Pro model shoe looks pretty dope, too – like some Filas or some shit.
Diddy f/ City Girls & Fabolous “Act Bad” x Leonardo Adrian & Thiago Neves’ Atemporal Part
[Part begins at 5:29]
A record that synergizes artists of the 90s, 00s, and modern times. The vibe that this song exists separate from the space-time continuum is echoed by the Brazilian vid, Atemporal, created by Pedro Biagio (the spine-twisting ledge trick guy) for Ratta Skateshop.
Specifically, Leonardo Adrian and Thiago Neves’ section escapes the clutches of time by combining grom footage with grown-ass ripping. Circles bro, life fuckin’ moves in circles. The part concludes with a flat gap 360 flip and a gap to backside nosebluntslide that bode well for these dudes’ futures.
Latto: “Put It On Da Floor Again” f/ Cardi B x Wes Kremer’s “SK8MAFIA” Part
[Part begins at 21:17]
“BEEN BALLIN SO DAM HARD COULDA WENT TO L.S.U.”
…or, in the case of living legend Wes Kremer, S.D.S.U. When Kawhi Leonard was on the team.
ANYWAY, Kremer appears rejuvenated, as if he has been ripped out some plastic, and has abandoned the rocks (full disclosure: there are a couple rocks; you know the vibes) down by the pier for more familiar spot genres of stairs, ledges, and street transitions. Having long ago transitioned into Julien Stranger Jedi Master territory, it’s as if Wes got bored with regular skating and films stuff like a backside 180 benihaha or a casual darkslide in a line.
Along those lines, switch tre / switch 360 shove-it at Le Dome is CRAZY. All to the first track off 19 Naughty III.
By the way, Treach is good as fuck at rapping and maybe the most underrated rapper ever – don’t recall seeing him on any of those Twitter rap lists that are shitty on purpose in order to drive engagement. The time has come to end this anti-New Jersey media bias.
Lily-Rose Depp: “World-Class Sinner / I’m A Freak” x Matt Militano’s Veil Part
An evergreen sentiment, for sure. The signature song from The Idol, the show that fuckin’ powered the start of the summer. My entre’ into the world of Tedros and “the family” came through the usual Twitter rigamarole when a slew of memes pop up and I have to reverse-engineer their origin, which in this case was The Idol – mostly Abel’s insanely over-the-top portrayal of what can be described as Charles Manson x Prince, or some shit. I thought the show was sick, though – until the last episode when I felt embarrassed for everyone involved. Of course, both #televisiontwitter and #tvtwitter hammered the production relentlessly.
I’ll tell ya, everyone on Twitter has their doctorate in TV-watching. To those people I say: What – you think you’re better than me?
ANYWAY, Militano’s part from Zach Sayles’ Veil production comes off like the signature part of a cybernetically-engineered Philadelphia super-skater, able to handle Muni ledgework, progressive cellar door musings, and wallride insanity with equal aplomb. The Depp track pairs well with the preponderance of night footage therein.
Sexxy Red: “Pound Town,” “SkeeYee” & “Hellcats SRT’s” x Dick Rizzo’s Quasi Simulation, Bronze Bronze TV Channel 56 8/17/23, and Huf FOREVER Parts
[Part begins at 5:47]
[Part begins at 0:38]
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What do St. Louis rapper Sexxy Red and New York professional skateboarder Dick Rizzo have in common? They both had productive-as-fuck summers. The opening stanza of “Pound Town” achieved instant notoriety and evolved into a rallying cry of sorts. The way I see it, it’s the latest evolution of the Luke Campbell school of absurdist humor. Furthermore, not even Shakespeare himself could construct multi-layered wordplay like “I’m from St. Louis / say he like my arch.”
Along the same lines, Dick Rizzo’s street skating reflects the latest evolution of the Bob Puleo school of frontside (switch and regular) ledge techniques and esoteric pivot variations on street transition. However, he’ll throw in some tech shit like the switch kickflip noseslide or switch 360 flip to fakie across a channel for the fuck of it. Including his opening part (best lead-off man since Dykstra in ‘86) in the Huf vid, the kid had three according-to-Hoyle street parts in two months or some shit. Will this propel him into S.O.T.Y. contention? Only the winter and Skateboarding Oscar Season™ will tell…
ALSO: Nicole Hause’s “Gassed Up” part, Mason Silva’s “Take A Lap” part, Hélas’ “Milano” edit, Nikolai Piambo’s part from WKND’s JIT, and Antonio’s part in Johnny’s Vid, but everyone knows he’s the best anyway.