Posts Tagged ‘swag’

Kids

December 17, 2012

knox

Billions of burgers flipped by McDonald’s Corp., five decades’ worth of James Bond movies and the estimated $100 million net worth of Wayne “Mr. Entertainment” Newton bear witness to how consistency and a reliable product can command a loyal clientele and lucrative following, if not adoring devotion and the occasional soiled thong hurled upon a pockmarked Las Vegas stage. Jeron Wilson, Chico Brenes and Mike Carroll seem to understand that there is and likely always will be an audience for specialized heelflips, nollie heelflips and backside smith grinds, even while those such as Gino Iannucci and Anthony Pappalardo can’t seem to bring themselves to keep playing the hits year in and out.

Whereas technology setpieces of “Pretty Sweet” invested heavily in the wow factor, DGK’s full-length debut, arriving after a series of mixtape-like one-offs and features like Kayo’s “It’s Official,” offers few surprises. A DGK customer knows what he’s paying for — although the “Chocolate Tour” as reimagined by Harmony Korine storyline here heaps disdain upon paying for what otherwise can be racked or heisted — and Stevie Williams & co seem to have put years of work into delivering this, an overlong, guest-heavy, ready-made blockbuster willing to elbow aside wimpier videos for a spot as the successor to, if not the culmination of, vids such as “20-Shot Sequence,” “Tantrum,” “2nd To None,” “Ryde or Die Vol. 1″ and “Street Cinema.” When 2 Chainz comes on here it is more earnest than when used by dudes hopping bars in Queens wearing twill trousers.

For an hour, DGK’s “Parental Advisory” glories in loudmouth rap music, camouflage pants*, gunfire, cameos from skate-rap touchstones such as Kareem Campbell, Fabian Alomar, Steven Cales, DMX and Beanie Siegel, shoplifting, loose-fit denim, shiny chains and hat-tags fluttering in the breeze, wife beaters, small wheels, graffiti, and some jack moves. For those paying attention there are references to the Menace intro in “Trilogy,” the Bones Brigade in “Police Academy” and even a much-beloved pre-Slap message board pro-skater-dies meme.

No one will look to this video to register on the ATV meter but in the trick department DGK too delivers as promised: Josh Kalis and Stevie Williams skate Love Park; Josh Kalis unloads his monster 360 flip and Stevie Williams cracks some switch heelflips. Wade Desarmo, one of those Canadians who maybe fell a little too far in love with tall tees over the past decade, stacks heavy-lidded picnic-table tech including a hazed-out hardflip backside 5-0 and an alley-oop frontside flip that ranks among the best in a year when Andrew Reynolds put out a video. Marcus McBride turns in a full section that ought to make any pro with a board out for longer than 10 years sit up and prepare an excuse and Rodrigo TX, who has quietly been on a non-stop hustle these past five years, loudly reps the defunct Es shoes company and snaps a terrific looking switch kickflip over a rail. Some of these newer kids with all the “D” names blurred for me, but Keelan Dadd has poise and good runs like the one with the switch kickflip frontside boardslide. Lenny Rivas, who made a serious run at Knox Godoy status himself, has gone grown man and turns a couple new helicopters onto the handrails. My vote for best-dressed dude in the skate game Jack Curtin comes through late in the vid and wrecks shop with some incomprehensible tricks like a switch shove-it 5-0 on a rail up against a wall and his hairball switch backside lipslide down the Clipper ledge.

Probably there always will be like-minded dudes out there doing it like Brandon Biebel but the clarity of purpose Stevie Williams puts to “Parental Advisory” sometimes makes it seem like he’s carrying a whole subset of the 1990s on his back here — nods given to all these little-seen skaters and rappers, a lengthy skater-on-skater-crime narrative that picks up where the Menace video that would never come left off in “Trilogy,” even going so far earlier this year as to deliver a Fabian Alomar part time-capsuled in from 1996, and then achieving the seemingly impossible by getting Kareem Campbell to commit to a skate project**. Coming out a month after “Pretty Sweet” secured DGK an underdog status they probably relish, and the fact that every dude on the team managed to turn in more or less a full section can be read as an endorsement of any number of those motivational platitudes embroidered onto DGK baseball hats, but it’s probably too much to ask this company to cop to now-certified overachiever status.

*of several persuasions
**no knock on the work that went into that song but the Crailtap dudes might’ve just happened to catch him at the store

And With Creature’s Sort-Of Update Of The Osiris G-Bag, Things Have Finally Come Full Circle

May 15, 2012

In the years before 2pac died, Norcal soothsayer E-40 occasionally spoke on the importance of timing, while rapping on open mics about industry hype. Fifteen years later everything and nothing has changed as we regard a landscape strewn about with the corpses of hard- and soft-goods brands loved and not, as well as passing specters that sometimes resemble our self-respect, long ago put in shallow graves by the energy drink dollar. The refugees of this once-noble subculture have naturally sought to subsist by eating our own collective tail, giving rise to a new/old breed of 80s ramp revivalists who represent a more innocent time via tattoos, stripey socks and macrobrew-scented breath.

When Creature rose from the dead a few years ago it had all the trappings of classic period Romero zombieism, an organic and fairly gnarly reflection of the times versus some cheesy wink-and-nudge job like that rewrite of “Pride and Prejudice” or the relaunch of Vision Street Wear*. Here you had some guys with a legit claim to the ramp dog way of life, driving around in a hearse, throwing vert jams, putting out graphics with a lot of monsters and urinating in public** versus some of the later, more hamfisted attempts to capture the Anti-Hero wave, like shoehorning bowl kids onto your picnic table/handrail squad.

Recent developments however suggest that longtime Creature mastermind Darren Navarette may have cooked too long in the sun of San Diego, a region of Southern California sometimes blamed for poisoning the autumn years of the 1990s with bulky rave footwear and tasteless technical tricks. Among the glowing product reviews posted at Skatedaily.net is a recent item highlighting Creature’s “Black Box cooler”, a toteable refrigeration unit the size of a sixpack that also offers speakers and a hookup for an Ipod or other digital music device. Fans of “the Storm” will immediately be transposed backward in time toward an era when the Federalz enlivened several sessions via the notorious Osiris G-Bag, which you may or may not know has evolved through the years recently into a unit known as the “Megatron” that earned its own review, and from a Canadian.

The pic on the Skatedaily review features a Van Halen album presumably blasting, but the use of an Ipod gives the came away. Can one credibly cool a sub-$5 sixer within this product? Will Peter Smolik, flush with Blitz cash flow and emboldened by Rob Dyrdek’s recent dealmaking, attempt to merge Sk8Mafia with Creature? Will the Federalz speak on the controversy on an upcoming mixtape? Would Hell Rell endorse this thing? Does this speaker-cooler-box represent a risk of serious eye injury because beers or soda could be shaken up to dangerous levels by heavy bass vibrations from the tunes?

*BTW, when is somebody going to float the idea of bringing back Prime?
**I’m assuming

Bastien Salabanzi Does Not See Eye To Eye With Elderly Lotto Winners But As Far As We Can Tell Has Not Yet Taken Any Wild Animals Captive For Celebration Purposes

April 26, 2012

On the evening of March 30, Merle and Pat Butler of Red Bud, IL embarked upon the dropping of a certain brand of lifestyle hammer that in certain ways has never before been seen. After hitting a record lotto jackpot, they kept their heads down and stayed on the proverbial grind for nearly three weeks before stepping forward to acknowledge their lifestyle hammer of $110 million that has made them “rich forever,” in the parlance of Maybach Music Group. In purely lotto terms, this was the equivalent of Geoff Rowley segueing into a modest flatground line after completing his Clipper assault and briefly praising the Lord.

The behaviour exhibited by the lucky retirees stands in sharp contrast to other rapidly enriched persons including footballer Chad Johnson, whose urge to share his exuberance upon scoring points has occasionally included unique collabs with other species.

“On the highway, I hit a deer,” Johnson said Tuesday, insisting he was serious and that the animal wasn’t hurt. “I kept him. He’s at home in the garage. I’m going to use him for the celebration this weekend. He’s a prop. They might suspend me for the last game, but I think this one is worth it.”

France’s Bastien Salabanzi has not divulged capturing live animals for the purposes of hyping supporters, but he has staked out ground as among skateboarding’s biggest believers in one’s self and in the past has openly expressed himself in front of a live arena audience. Like Greg Lutzka’s happily snapping fingers and Bob Burnquist’s tears of joy, Bastien Salabanzi’s penthouse quarters on cloud nine have left a bad taste in the mouths of some and occasionally drawn fire from others.

ESPN: Why do you get so much grief for doing that?
BS: It’s skateboarding. The cool attitude is to do the gnarliest thing and make it look like you do it every morning on the way to go get the bread at the store, like the trick is completely normal.

I don’t really care. I don’t want to be someone else. It makes me happy when I land something. But I can understand from an outside point of view, maybe from someone who liked to watch skateboarding but never really did it hard they cannot relate to that kind of behavior. For example, a lot of people talk about John McEnroe, that the guy is insane and he goes mental on the court but at the same time people agree that he was one of the best that has ever played. I’m sure he doesn’t care his reputation is to be completely crazy. What he cares about is the number of tournaments he’s won.

Skateboarding’s rejection of big upping one’s self is rooted in a historic aversion to the sort of chest-beating that characterized the mainstream sports kids were supposed to be pursuing in the 80s and 90s when the sheen of televised vert contests began to recede. The country wasn’t trying to care about Jovontae Turner doing 360 flips and nollie nose manuals and generally dudes weren’t fooling themselves. All this stuff was going on in parking lots and around back of some department stores, and if you knew you knew, etc.

Is this mode of thinking outdated when our $15 million man Rob Dyrdek is finally getting around to starring in some tossed-off show he pitched to MTV five years ago and decks regularly outsell Louisville Sluggers? Have we become so coldhearted as to begrudge Billy Marks a moment of euphoria at the big Wilshire handrail? Did Forrest Edwards transcend the self-cheering debate when he cooly explained that his go-to tricks are “not gay”? Do yall realize this posting has incorporated so far three ESPN web-links?

It used to be humbler times, when a trick-namer such as Tony Hawk was gluing plies together by hand in the back of his Lexus as he stayed one step ahead of repo men and sought to put food on the table, or when bros were hopping fences to get at wealthier folks’ lightly used pools. Bastien Salabanzi recently skated a private park to try and qualify for a contest series where he could pocket some $1 million, and the idea of hiding his double-cabellarial flipping light under a bushel seems to strike him as outlandish.

What do you put the importance on?
At the end of the day I don’t want to be remembered as a cocky lunatic. I started skating in 1994. Today I watched the 12 minutes of footage from when I was a little kid and that’s when I was having so much fun and not caring about no industry or sponsors. I was just having fun and loving skating. That’s how I want to skate, to have fun and skating the way I want to skate like when I was 13.

I’m happy with the road I took and the way things happened; I don’t regret anything. But I do understand the people that find my behavior too much, at the same time I don’t care. I’m 26, I learned and I’ve evolved and think different. When I see my behavior at a contest from years ago I laugh so hard and think, “Wow, I was a little bit crazy.”

What Does This New Mystery Clip Tell Us About The State Of The Galaxy?

March 31, 2010

Surely we live in tumultuous times. Obama is drilling for crude oil on the high seas, Conan O’Brien is unemployed and bearded, cats and dogs living together, and now this, color in the new Mystery Tom Asta clip. The Detroit Rock City-themed company was maybe due for some type of reboot after the high-profile departures of Crockett and Murphy, both making no bones about the fact that for them personally the bloom had gone off the monotone dipped decks. But color? Perhaps the face-ripping aliens from V already have infiltrated the Blackbox headquarters and peacefully convened an emergency brand management meeting, so jarring is the shift.

But was it inevitable. I’ve actually been sort of kind of anticipating this step since the early months of the Zero sister co, when it became apparent that black and white would be the way forward ad/graphic/video-wise for the time being, mostly because the whole thing recalled how inevitable it seemed when DC’s famed B&W ad campaign in the late 1990s eventually shifted into the rainbow realm. (DC of course now pursuing again a black/white/red scheme in their newer magazine ads.) On a similar note the recent wander through Emerica’s advertising archive revealed that they’ve been running the green theme for 13 years now, give or take, so maybe they pull a U-turn and do red for the, er, “Stay Gold” video. Disorganized ramblings aside Mystery’s hot crayola injection is pulled off well via the space-age technology that lets them color that one flatbar Berra yellow*, for instance, and Asta’s actual tricks are not shabby either – the bigspin backside tailslide flip-out works way better on video than in internet text form and for my money that bench/two-stair spot has enormous potential for cool tricks until somebody inevitably gets the idea to do something up it (which I guess may already have happened…)

*We would also accept Andy MacDonald T-shirt yellow


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