Not that he didn’t deserve it, but the August 2009 TSM kiss-off from Dave Swift to skateboarding’s confused, painful mess of a Jereme Rogers*, now rap music’s confused painful mess of a JR, to me falls into the day late/dollar short category. Swift’s point stands, of course — the whole idea behind a magazine is to hold good skate-boarding to the light and enjoy its stoke-a-riffic sparkle — but if you want to get serious about it, lil Jereme’s nonsense has been occupying precious space in the grand pages of our world for some time now, and the best magazines also mark the cultural milestones along the way, so why not a bookend to this absurd and glorious journey that Jereme Rogers has taken us on for the last seven years? As Swift himself notes, Bucky’s pool will be there forever and ever, but I would personally like to take these particular blog characters to urge each and every budding collector type to buy a copy of this magazine… imagine if Gator had penned a retirement letter, or Chris Gentry, or even Bastien Salabanzi, powerfully deluded each and every one. (Kindly insert your Andy Mac and Brian Emmers jokes here.) JR’s “retirement” is the latest tattooed milemarker to these strange times in which we travel.
To get the full read on where JR is coming from, you really do have to listen to the meandering, eight-minute suite “Goodbye Skateboarding,” the ender-ender on his new “This Shouldn’t Be a Mixtape, Mixtape” mixtape; you can download it for free, as he was telling his friends Puff Daddy and Dwayne Carter on Tweeter just yesterday. A more succinct version, no doubt riddled with spelling errors and text-message abbreviations, will run in the Skateboard Mag August issue, where Jereme Rogers lays out his case: a child prodigy Little League pitcher, he gave it all up to become a regional tween gymnastics champion**, which he threw away to live on the cold streets of Boston as a 13-year-old skateboard phenom grinding to make a place for himself in this cold cold world. Or something. Eli Reed was there, according to the song.
The point (if you believe all this) is that JR understands you need to have some skin in the game, so he’s going all-in to pursue his new passion, and since nearly everyone was wondering, his friends and/or associates did indeed try and warn him multiple times that this might just be a fantastically horrible idea. But, JR deflects doubts with hater-proof armor and is willing to go back to couch-surfing to make PMP music a reality. As a stalwart fan of horrible rap music and the possessor of Jereme Rogers’ not-a-mixtape, I feel I can attest that blinding and irrational self-confidence is definitely an asset when you’re trying to think up cool words to rhyme. The other being style/swagger/whatever the kids call it nowadays, and to a lesser extent maybe skill, which are all pretty subjective things and which I personally feel Jereme Rogers has in spades, but my judgment is poor.
If I were to lay a bet with Swift, it would be that JR will be back on the pages of TSM within three years shaping his comeback to skating, with any combination of illegal file-sharing, nefarious business partners and general haterism to blame for the untimely demise of PMP music. In the meantime I feel like we’ve struck the ultimate deal, since we get to observe JR, the tattoo-collecting, God-fearing whisper-rapping spectacle, without having to sacrifice valuable magazine space and video footage on his safety-arm landings. Plus we have all those fond Jereme memories to look back on. Remember when Koston and those dudes stole his plane ticket and he giggled about having to ride a train across Europe, flatground kickflipping all the way there? Also, this:
Best of luck in the rap game Jereme! Your friends at Boil the Ocean
*Apologies to the Gryffon
**Hopefully young JR doesn’t run afoul of Jay-Z and become the next contestant on that summer jam screen