The city is an ice rink right now, making it as good of a time as any to revisit the remaining stack of magazines in company storage. Strength ran this article in 1999, back when a concept as vague as “black skateboarders!” was substantial enough to build an issue around. Thanks to Alex Dymond for submitting this one to the archive.
The article doesn’t have the cult status that Big Brother‘s “Black Issue” does, but every fringe skate publication from back then was more-or-less playing catch up with Big Brother throughout their lifespan anyway. It has a cool narrative by Neftalie Williams about growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts, loving something then thought-to-be for “blonde-haired kids from California,” seeing Ray Barbee’s Public Domain part for the first time, etc. (Does anyone know where that Neil Blender quote re: “rap music is the worst thing to happen to skateboarding” is from, or if it was taken out of context?) There are some shots of New York names in there, though much of the photos aren’t particularly incredible. No Chrome Ball-level scanmanship here, sorry.
“Show us your girl and get outfitted by Quiksilver” :|
One of two native New Yorkers on Zoo York’s skate program has a six-page interview in the latest issue of The Skateboard Mag (A.V.E. cover), thus graduating from past “check out” status. He discusses frequent usage of the word “brolick,” though does not address other oft-used catchphrases like “mad bodied” and “o.d.” Photographs by Brian Kelley and Sean Cronan at some atypical New York spots. Kevin hasn’t been down since day one, but he’s been down since the first “End of Summer” clip (probably the 7th one overall), which was pretty damn near day one. It’s good to see him getting some proper shine on a national platform.
We’ve been working on a re-edit of this dude’s past few years of footage, but that’s coming along slower than expected. In any event, watch his part in Solo Jazz (8:16 mark.) If you’ve burnt a figurative hole through that video from repeated viewings, his all-midtown segment in the 2010 Christmas clip has always been an office favorite.
You already know we riding with #TeamKev in this beef.
Transworld has a new issue out, so it should be safe to scan this feature from their previous one for those who did not get a chance to grab a physical copy.
The article ran in conjunction with a great month-long web series on the Transworld site. “NYC Rising” implies that the city is “on the come up,” but when you think about it, the California-based skate media has always labeled New York / the east as this blooming entity that will one day reach the mountain top. It’s a nice way of veiling the harsh truth: “California [mostly] produces way better skaters than you.” New York is permanently rising but never surpassing — not unlike what Jay-Z told Memphis Bleek for many, many years. Bleek never took over (even though Jay-Z committed one of history’s greatest crimes by supplying him with one of the best Premier beats ever…) and New York will never rise past California as far as skateboarding is concerned.
…but whatever, their bars close at 1:30.
As the rise continues, the article interviews a grip of dudes who were around for the first wave of the east being “on the come up” (Ryan Hickey, Peter Bici, Jeff Pang, etc.), alongside some photos of the current individuals doing the rising. A great blend of nostalgia and today’s skaters that you see at Tompkins.
We may have missed Black History Month, but we finally tracked down a copy of the famous Big Brother “Black Issue” from 1995. Big thanks to Sweet Waste and his closet full of skate memorabilia hoardings (dude has multiple pairs of Mike Carroll Vans still in the original box, not even in his size, among a great many other things.)
Big Brother prefaced this issue by reassuring readers that they were in fact, not racist in any way, and that the production of the issue was “basically just to show how many black skaters there are out there ripping.” From a regional standpoint, the issue is significant because of the “Black Skaters of NYC” section by Dimitry Elyashkevich at the end, which features our good friend Andre Page’s first photograph in a skate magazine. A lot of the dudes in the article don’t skate anymore, but he sure as hell still rips. Beyond that, there is a main section full of nineties cult heroes, reviews for blaxploitation films, and um, interviews with Ras Kass.
P.S. The Skatepark of Tampa site is streaming Tampa Pro all weekend, so you can tune in live, where ever you are. Check the schedule. Have a good weekend.
Once The Chrome Ball Incident came around and monopolized the scanner-based skate site game, posts of old magazine scans became somewhat unnecessary. That’s why there hasn’t been one since November 2010. But after watching those R.B. Umali “Shoot All Skaters” episodes, it’s hard not to get nostalgic for more nineties east coast images, so we dug into a stack of old magazines to look for things that the internet’s leading skate magazine scanners have yet to unearth. Special thanks goes to Alex Dymond, as he donated the stack of mags depicted above, which included an October 1998 copy of The Source (ATCQ break-up issue.)
The following five interviews are from Fridge, which was an occasionally free magazine from the late-nineties. Its content was maybe 40% skateboarding (often east coast-centric), 20% snowboarding, 35% music, and 5% other stuff. It’s amazing that just ten years ago, people actually put money into *printing* magazines based on somewhat inconsistent interests. There was somehow an audience for a magazine that would interview Keith Hufnagel and Larry Holmes, provide a guide to shitty craft beers and snowboard boots, and review Less Than Jake, Björk and M.O.P. albums alongside one another all in the same issue (which, by the way, literally had a clown on the cover.) Nowadays, if you want to talk about, say, skateboarding, the Knicks, Atlanta rap, a concrete baseball diamond in the East Village, and a bunch of rich girl hangouts on the westside of Manhattan in one place, you pay $10 for a domain name and start a website.
Police Informer Blogspot R.I.P. Shout to the Skate.ly ad archive. All images are enlargeable.