There are a couple skateboarders who have grown synonymous with skating to songs by a recurring artist: Geoff Rowley to Motörhead, Pat Duffy to Primus, Danny Way and Colin McKay to Metallica, Bam to H.I.M. (lol). Given how influential some of those parts were, the artist’s music grew tethered to the skater’s career. Some only had to skate to one in order to carry the tune as their theme song (Appleyard to Placebo, Tony T. to Mötley Crüe, Jahmal to Gil-Scott Heron come to mind here.)
*EDIT: Somebody had to email my dumbass to remind me of Gino and Wu-Tang. D’oh.
The more classic Mobb Deep songs got a decent amount of burn (pun intended hehehehehehe) in earlyissuesof 411, just as many of the aforementioned names skated to more canonized songs by their respective music spirit animals. With the exception of “Keep It Thoro” — some of the most quotable three minutes that exist in rap — Rodrigo didn’t skate to the set Mobb Deep canon. He skated to songs that were released in outtakes compilations (“My Priorities” in éSpecial), Prodigy features on fuckin’ Boogz Boogetz songs (Gold Goons), and even sample sources to Prodigy songs (see the second half of his Parental Advisory part.)
Prodigy couldn’t ask for a greater spokesperson to carry his music’s legacy in skateboarding. R.I.P.
It has been just over a year since Philadelphia destroyed history’s most serendipitous intersection of skateboarding and public space — a place people risked losing appendages to skate one last time. We carried plenty of fresh wounds into 2017, so picking at Love Park’s irreversible end serves no purpose beyond masochism. With there still being a surplus of footage from the Sabotage dudes et al. (who were actually the main masochistic outlet for Loveclosureanniversarycoverage), it’s easy to forget that it has already been a year.
Memory Screen coincidentally uploaded this collection of Kalis clips from Love today (though they left out my favorite five seconds of a skate video maybe ever.) Much like people in our age group only know Embarcadero from THPS and scholarly types pointing us in the direction of old Carroll footage, every generation from hereon-out will know Love through images and stories. There isn’t an abridged version of the spot to go back to and mentally fill in the blanks — like the Banks after the planters and benches were installed, or Southbank after it was cut in half. As the park dawns closer to its new reality as a grassy crack colony, its original form drifts further into clips like these. You’d think all associated images had been committed to firm memory by now, but I actually have no idea where the clip of the switch front blunt / switch backside flip line is from, nor do I think I have ever seen it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Shout out Edmund Bacon. You deserve a bronze statue at a sick spot in a city that’s not as stubborn as Philadelphia.
Shawty Lo died in a car crash early yesterday morning. No, Lo has no place in the canon of skate video music supervision. In fact, he’s exactly the sort of artist whose music geriatric skater types will insist you are using “ironically” in YouTube comments.
Quartersnacks has often utilized a #musicsupervision approach akin to a video like Trilogy: a 1996 video full of songs released in 1996, mirroring what the people involved in making it were actually listening to during the time. For that same reason, there has always been a special joy in major videos using songs that soundtracked a summer, or helped us power through a winter. I had an ear-to-ear smile on my face the second I heard the “I Love It” beat at the start of Biebel’s Fully Flared section for the first time. Even in those middle school years when RJD2 was cool, there was something validating about hearing it in Mosaic.
That same joy of skate videos using songs that pushpin memories into your mind doesn’t exist anymore. A mixtape will come out, and by the end of the week, there are three Insta clips to songs off it, and at least one new video in your YouTube subscription feed using the same tune for a trip clip. Nobody is going to skate to “Brocolli” in a major video next year, and if someone does, who cares.
It was the the start of 2008, and Jeezy hadn’t released an album in over a year. This was when he was at the height of his powers — the most effective motivational speaker on a desperate planet approaching a recession, and in need of a spark. To hold us over, he dropped Ice Cream Man Part 2, which included the remix to Shawty Lo’s “Dey Know.” The regular version was everywhere at that point: the horns were infectious, and the initial beat drop is the sonic equivalent of when the ball swishes through the hoop for the win at the buzzer. The remix gave it a second life, soundtracking every skate trip car ride that spring, and essential at the parties that we were able to sneak into.
Most skaters in 2008 didn’t take the Trilogy soundtracking approach. They’d rather edit to a Big L song, or a remix of a Big L song, or a remix of a remix of a Big L song remixed by a guy who specializes in remixing Big L songs. Someone skating to “Dey Know” in the year it peaked would’ve been massive; it’s the perfect fit for the second part of a video. In 2009, it would’ve been cool. Nobody skated to it until 2013.
Theotis’ part in the Shake Junt video isn’t particularly seminal or even well-edited. It looks like they slapped it together with what they had, but it’s the only thing I remember from that video. It made me remember those spring night drives to skate the Bridgeport ledges, and those nights skating midtown with the “Dey Know” remix on the iPod. Hearing those horns over any sort of skating gave me the same feeling of first hearing “I Love It” in Biebel’s part, even if Theotis’ part in the chicken bone video was nowhere near the generation-defining event Lakai’s was.
There hasn’t been as profound of a moment for one of those songs that encapsulates an entire season in much the same way since — probably because they only muffle under skate noises from iPhone speakers now, 60 seconds at a time.
Throughout the VHS and DVD skate video era, the brunt of the work put into the few New York full-lengths that existed was at the helm of New Jerseyians, Long Islanders and ex-pats.
Then, Flipmode came along — a crew of virtually sponsorless (unless you’re counting Shut or Official flow) Queens kids who grew up skating the Forrest Park Bandshell and Flushing Meadows Park. They became the first group of dominantly-actually-from-a-New-York-City-borough kids to make a rewatchable, hour-long skate video.
On this day, exactly ten years ago, Suck My Flipmode A.K.A. Flipmode 3: The First Flipmode Video (the first two had low circulation on VHS tapes among friends) premiered on the screen in front of Supreme. In 2006, a skatepark meant either Mullaly’s, Riverside, Owl’s Head or recycled plastic ramps under the Manhattan Bridge. The Banks were still semi skateable. iPhones didn’t exist, and everyone found out about the premiere on Myspace. YouTube was in its first year of existence, and Official New York was on the way out. New York was also far from occupying its current day status as the second home of the skate industry, April thru September.
Skateboarding in New York, up until that point, was a grown-ups only club. You could tag along on their sessions if they liked you, but you never truly belonged. Their footage would either get hoarded, sent out to video mags, or if lucky, end up in the few full-length artifacts from the era (those ABC videos, Lurkers 1 & 2…that’s about it.) The average age in Flipmode was ~17-18, and it exceeded the natives-only litmus test unlike any of those other videos. It also helped that it got co-signs from those same older guys, as New York still had a lingering us-v.s.-them line drawn between our generation, and the generation of dudes who were around for all the shit from the 90s that people today still *ahhhh* over.
It might be forgotten in a sea of solo jazz cups now, but it was a truly a watershed moment for below-drinking-age skateboarding in New York — an initial building block in the brick maze Windows 95 screensaver empire known as Bronze 56k.
Thank you Peter. Thank you Jimmy Marketti, Billy, X, Leo, Joseph, Ryan O’Donnell, Drippy, Pedro, and Derrick — by the way, my post got over 800 likes. What’s up with the comeback part?
Maybe I’ve been spending too much time around the the Vert God, but it’s becoming tough to deny the switch hardflip’s increased value among the social media skateboard landscape. We’re entering a post-Ryan Gallant/post-Matt Miller world, meaning people are no longer ashamed to whip out their non-flipping hardflips in public. Imperfect hardflips of the less-than-Gallant variety have entered the playful realm of “dad tricks.” There’s charm to their imperfection.
And what better lo-def, rickety flatground switch hardflip to go down in the un-storied history of the trick, than in fashion time traveler Wade Desarmo’s first-ever part, which was released the same year as ATCQ‘s last album. It’s almost unfair dude ended up being the only Canadian to crack the 2012 #phatstylez master list — seeing as how he had a H.G Wells G-Wagon to predict the 6XL Umbro jersey + bucket hat look fifteen years before it would adorn undersized caucasians who skateboard in the New York metropolitan area.