Reality Rap f. Galactic Magnetar (Prod. by DJ Cattywampus)


In a testament to the reliable if rickety supply chain logistics tenuously connecting video-makers with skateshops, “Cherry” hardcopies now are safely installed upon brick and mortar shelves and therefore the real sport concerning Supreme’s not-quite-so-long-awaited inaugural offering can begin: guessing and tabulating what will ultimately become the video’s most-copped moves. Bucket hats, wrist casts and tucked-in beaters all are obvious contenders, as these must be. But of head-to-toe zoom-pans, Baker2G/Screw-mo interludes and the amorphous front-to-back montage-collage edit, a tantalizing prospect for aging pros who may wring more mileage from 38 seconds of footage by sprinkling it intermittently throughout a lengthier production, and potentially pulling another five seconds of screen time by tacking on a bailed flatground trick to the end of a line?

It is a dense movie. Toward the end of the video there is a clip that encapsulates the whole deal pretty well, wherein Tyshawn Jones and Nakel Smith, two amongst the new vanguard offered here by Supreme, chitchat briefly before Tyshawn Jones slides down his pants and bends over a Citi bike in pursuit of a clandestine whiz, while Nakel Smith runs, jumps on his board and gaps out to a beefy feeble grind, thereafter cheered from nearby benches by among others a pigtailed Alex Olson, apparently mid-cell phone call. Elsewhere the vid meanders through apartmentsful of idle kids, a fistfight, adolescent come-ons, an irate vagrant shouting and slapping himself repeatedly in the face and again Alex Olson, heated and manhandling an oldster who ignores a plea to scoot himself off a prized spot.

Alex Olson, who maintains one of industry’s more transparent pro regimes, recently broke down the episode and expressed some remorse, in what’s probably a reasonable manner for a subculture that is currently fumbling its way toward a place that has room for gay and transgender participants and even former rollerbladers. In some ways Olson’s Tumblr mea culpa was a far cry from the comparatively more sterilized walking-back statement that Nyjah Huston disseminated after his remarks that girls shouldn’t skate courted a certain amount of PC backlash. One could argue that for Alex Olson, who maintains his own sponsorship ties to international corporate concerns, the stakes were similar to whatever Nyjah Huston may have believed he faced, given that Alex Olson’s former Nike coworker Peter Hewitt was reportedly booted from his position for recounting a graphic and similarly un-PC poop scenario in an interview.

Dylan Rieder, who shares billing with Alex Olson to open the third act of ‘Cherry,’ ponders the conventional-wisdom concern with regard to ‘big’ companies’ intentions in skateboarding in an interview in this month’s TSM, namely, that said big companies may be fairweather profiteers that duck out the back door at the first sign of an early-90s style collapse:

”I appreciate everything Adidas and Nike do for skateboarding, and they pay some of these dudes really good money where they’ll be retiring off it, but how long is that going to last? They’re going to be in skateboarding until skateboarding is not cool anymore and then what is it?”

Alex Olson and “Cherry” impresario Bill Strobeck can speak from some experience here, given how Quiksilver’s abrupt exit from the skateboard-threads program freed both up to work on Supreme’s vid. The track record though suggests that the recent economic typhoon engulfing the industry has sunk more skateboarder-run ships, ranging from DVS’ bankruptcy, Es shoes’ apparent hibernation, the diminished status of players such as Adio, Ipath, Elwood, Vox, Circa, etc. (It can be debated elsewhere whether Gravis, whose skateboard footwear effort also is defunct, counts as an “independent” shoe outfit.)

Dylan Rieder’s shoe boss Keith Hufnagel, in a separate recent interview, ponders a more interesting question: Rather than exiting when times get tight, what if the big ones instead remain and consolidate their position, strengthening their hands for when economic sunrays again deign to shine on the biz and expanding their status as content/cultural gatekeepers?

“Yes, there are some pros these days that are able to make a great living off skateboarding, which is amazing, but it’s a sad day for skateboarding when skateboard footwear and the industry in general is becoming more and more controlled by these big corporate companies. The more accepted these big corporations become in skateboarding, the harder it is for the smaller, independent brands to compete and maintain a voice, which unfortunately results in the corporations having a large influence on the direction and shape of skateboarding.

…When skateboarders get kicked off teams for smoking weed, getting too drunk or just doing one stupid thing, then things have changed. With skateboarding becoming so commercialized, there are sacrifices to be made on both ends. The big companies have to realize what subculture they have gotten involved with and deal with everything that comes along with it. But skateboarding has also changed as it has become more mainstream. For better or for worse it’s just not what it was before. This discussion is for the older crew and maybe some of the young guys, but I don’t think most people care anymore or even understand.”

One could ponder whether Supreme, wielding its renowned reputation as a vibe-heavy tastemaker, played a meaningful part in Nike’s third and successful attempt to develop a “skate footprint,” paving the way for various of its multinational rivals to follow suit and wage blistering combat for shoe-wall real eatate and market shares? It’s debatable, similar in fashion to the true origin of time itself, but it’s interesting to look at the unvarnished street scenes afoot in “Cherry” from this perspective, especially since it isn’t like Supreme had to do a video, much less what will for sure be one of the great ones of the year that lingers over the raw and illegal, same as “Sabotage3,” the House video and so on.

Will “Cherry” inspire a shop-video dynasty in the pattern of the hallowed FTC vids? Has Bill Strobeck achieved the to-date pinnacle of HD skate videomaking? What cards may Anthony Pappalardo have yet up his sleeve? Who will be the first to lampoon the inset image with something like a grinning Fred Gall in place of Camille Row? Is Fucking Awesome off the hook as far as videos go for a minimum of four or five years?

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10 Responses to “Reality Rap f. Galactic Magnetar (Prod. by DJ Cattywampus)”

  1. Doug Says:

    It is interesting the way Nike used the Dunk as a way to co opt the hip hop/urban/new york skater. Before Nike was involved in skating, these sneakers had a certain amount of street credit. If Nike SB only made PRod style skate shoes, would anyone wait on a sidewalk all night? I doubt it.

    Also they started their team with the more underground guys. Supa, BA, Gino. People who had an image of Nike, but not necessarily the SB. But as soon as Nike had the chance, they sponsored street league. And now the kids they are sponsoring are Malto, who is sick, but a bit safe, and clones like Trevor Colden.

    Just some thoughts from the mind.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Good point about all the failed skate shoe companies, they leave skateboarders hanging out to dry as well. As far as Nike and Adidas, they make great shoes, and give skateboarders both young and old, well deserved careers (on the board and off). I don’t think they’ve kooked it toooo bad. Yes, it was messed up to drop Hewitt but there are countless skater owned companies have screwed over pros in the past. I mean, just look at the most recent epicly laterd with Vallely taking Eds money and kicking him off his own company. Skateboarding is not immune to underhanded business decisions.

  3. Berto Says:

    Genuine question: this isn’t the first place I’ve heard Nike quoted as attempting an infiltration three times; if the c. 1997-ish Bam and Jaya Bonderov/Wieden+Kennedy-helmed TV commercials/shoe models called things like the “Choad” that resembled 26 Redtreds or 2fish effort was the second, and the 2001 – present strike is the third, what was the first? Are you all just talking about when they used to send the Bones Brigade the first Jordan shoe?

  4. Kay Says:

    You can probably credit the big shoe companies for some of the emerging board companies.

    Polar’s doing deals with Cons. Skate Mental’s whole team is on Nike? Palace has Reebok. Bianca Chandon wouldn’t exist without Nike.

    So many pros leaving big name board companies to start a new brand. I can’t see that happening without big shoe sponsorships.

  5. John Voves (@christmasbeans) Says:

    @Berto the 2nd might be in reference to Savier footwear.

  6. details Says:

    not the point, but just wanted to point out that the “backlash” to Nyjah’s comment for the most part had little to do with being PC, and a lot to do with the fact that it was an ignorant, hurtful thing to say.

  7. tonecapone. Says:

    kastel,recs,nadia,vita,savier and genetic which had pat channita as a pro .anyone remember these short lived companies the last 2 being nike shoot offs from around 2002.

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