Posts Tagged ‘Gucci Mane’

Who’s Smiling In The Great COVID19 Footage Drought Of 2020?

March 22, 2020

“Country boy a tourist, say he looking for a brick,” Gucci Mane softly rasped in late 2017, spinning a crime tale of feast turned to famine on his ‘El Gato: The Human Glacier’ project. In between threatening to burn down rivals’ marijuana crops and sticking up for the Steve Harvey suit, Gucci counseled all would-be cocaine magnates on one of the several secrets to his own (past?) successes: keeping a side supply stashed to draw upon when your competitors’ plugs run dry, allowing Gucci Mane not only to continue peddling drugs in a thinly supplied market, but to charge a premium to boot. It is a story much like Aesop’s fable of the hardworking, pragmatic ant and the flamboyant, cocaine-addicted grasshopper, except in Gucci’s version the ant is an iced-out lion and it did not come out on Def Jux.

Today, as the global coronavirus pandemic reconfigures human and animal societies, it is again time to ponder Gucci Mane’s words. Indeed, time is all mankind has now, in an age of boredom and worried waiting. Instagram, the skateboarding industry’s outsourced hypnosis engine, sputters and coughs on limited fuel. Municipal and statewide lockdowns in the US and Europe have upended the long-running ‘Skateboarding Is Not A Crime’ conceit; with businesses and schools closed across continents and cities deserted, the question is now whether a spot can be skated, but should it? The athletic equipment manufacturers that are pro skateboarders’ most powerful employers have aligned with public health authorities and independent companies in a species-wide call to stay indoors and curb potential infection, inventing hashtag campaigns and video challenges to bide the time and sate the daily lust for ‘likes’ and follower maintenance.

Just like Gucci Mane’s secret bricks and pounds, the end result is pause pushed on the 24-7 content crush, a rain delay on the global, never-ending demo all had until recently taken for granted. COVID19-chancing renegade missions aside, today there exists a finite supply of footage that pros, ams, filmers, brand managers and TMs and bros now must determine how best to sprinkle and disperse as movement and sociable restrictions grow steadily more intense, and any endpoint uncertain. Just as sports TV channels dip into ‘classic matches’ and commentators regurgitate and eat their own punditry again and again, so do skateboarding’s content brokers and programming avengers have their own choices to make. With filming missions cancelled and even throwaway park clips now a limited commodity amid shelter-in-place orders, the wizened ants and ‘El Gatos’ who banked footage and resisted those tingly ‘for tha Gram’ urges shall be revealed; flakey, unhappy grasshoppers soon shall go wanting, forced to fall back on virus-themed #TBT variations and pontificating on road trips past, in between propping up their phone for off-the-couch flatground clips.

Has Thrashermagazine.com already implemented a wartime video-rationing programme designed to stretch its supply of releases to cover a widening coronavirus-driven gap in new productions? Will companies readying full-lengths increasingly carve them into single parts to dribble out over time, so as to command more homebound and content-starved eyeballs? Since it’s been about 3 months since his last one, does Mark Suciu already got a couple parts filmed and ready to go? If the COVID19 virus mutates and returns and forces further quarantines and social isolation, will the pressure on board companies, hardgoods distributors and independent contracting pros grow to such an extent that footage comes to be hoarded up and traded for exorbitant sums of toilet paper, pasta and ammunition? Should everybody just watch Justin Albert’s excellent ‘Flora’ vid over and over again?

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 5 – Ryan Nix ‘The Good Life’

June 18, 2017

From the dungeons of the dearly-missed Joe Perrin’s body of work comes this snapshot in time of Ryan Nix, after his seven-minute Bootleg 3000 opener but before he went full Spring Breakers, where his skating was peaking. This ender part in Westside’s seminal ‘Good Life’ vid cribs some musical supervision from the Blind section in ‘Trilogy’ for the deeply Floridian Ryan Nix to push some heavy frontside noseslides, ride out a window-rattling switch 360 flip, and step to celebrated spots across Philadelphia and other eastern seaboard locales; did anybody else hit that Boston gap to rail besides PJ Ladd? Whereas much is made of the current ‘anything goes’ era in terms of tricks and approach, in the five-panel heyday of 2006, Ryan Nix put out there a part with both a switch varial flip and a street switch stalefish.

But He Never Had A Drinking Problem!

October 9, 2010

Handled a shoe deal, drug problem and semi-graceful growth from handrail am to finesse pro and still looks like he’s 15, Dylan Rieder’s VBS quadrilogy paints him as a still-young man now on a mission — personally thought his “MF” part held up well enough as a sophomore come-down from the blockbusting done in the Transworld vid, but suppose this really only goes to show how far off my perceptions are from the front-line realities of action-sportoids such as Mark Oblow and others who have front row seats to eyeball melting impossibles*. The Gravis mini-movie didn’t strike me so much as anybody pinnacling but more like this kid gathering his strength, re-setting the bar for what may come next with a lot of moves that seemed sort of founded on the Heath Kirchart-sized gap in the AWS ranks (tall bar b/s tailslide, rooftop ollie, head-high hip frontside flip). The focus on power/altitude over technical-ness seems like a conscious choice that makes sense in terms of retrenching for the next five years of Dylan-dom, but when it comes to tying it all together what would’ve sweeted up the pot would’ve been a couple reminders that this is the kid who switch bigspin flipped that blue stairway after blazing through the bowls in “Time To Shine.”

That’s quibbling though and Dylan Rieder, with this Gravis video, has for the moment outstripped the trappings of his little shit days, his heart-throb cheekbones and personal dark period to win over even the tut-tuttin’est messageboarders, now roundly seen as having recorded one of the better video parts to be seen this year. More interesting is what he aims to do with his hard-won political capital — Barack Obama blew his on health care reform, Jamie Thomas resurrected the street grab, Peter Smolik cleared the table and built for himself an empire of waxed ledge combos. Dylan Rieder is a style guy though, both on-deck and off, and his tastes sometimes run toward the retro which maybe explains his apparent decision to use his platform as a starting point for reclaiming the once-rebellious “McSqueeb” hairstyle, used by young men in the late 80s/early 90s to help invent the Madonna and save mankind from robot-wrought apocalypse. This ‘blog site’ may settle for more switch bigspin flips and another angle of that impossible over the contest barrier.

*BTW, the one over the New York bench ought to jockey with Satva Leung’s maybe-maybe not flip in “Welcome To Hell” for all-time sleight of foot mirages

Stevie Williams: Feels Nothing For You, Enjoys Southern Rock

April 9, 2010


How do you like me now?

Beyond a masterful switch heelflipper and dodger of Ivory Spring as a youth in Philadelphia, Stevie Williams is an entrepreneur. Similar to business leaders including Howard Hughes, H. Ross Perot and Scrooge McDuck, William’s singular vision, expressed through cartoonish t-shirts and deadstock Reeboks, has made him by definition a man apart — different from the rest of us whose ventures are limited to the occasional sale of a gently used deck or running confused blog sites.

So it comes as little surprise to find that Stevie Williams’ odyssey into the skateboard business zone has left him feeling adrift, bereft of role models and disconnected from his fellow man. More interesting is that, possibly due to his taking up residence in Atlanta, he has found solace in southern-fried radio anthems. All three revelations are contained within the new Daewon TWS where he offers up these “Last Words” among others:

LAST Person You Looked Up To:
I don’t look up to people too much anymore.

LAST Time You Felt Empathy For Someone Else:
I don’t really feel empathetic no more.

LAST Song You Listened To:
“Closer” by Kings Of Leon.

Kings of Leon play southern and blues influenced songs that have caught on in the U.K. But owing to his new home in the seat of the peach-tree state and certified outsider status, you have to imagine that Stevie Williams eventually will (or maybe already has begun to) gravitate toward the brawny stadium-swagger of Toby Keith. A rough-around-the-edges maverick who plays by his own rules and isn’t afraid to show it, Keith and Williams are startlingly similar. According to a pretty long Wikipedia page, Toby Keith also found his calling at a young age, grew up on the outskirts of society* and is almost 50 (even though Stevie Williams is 30 he sometimes seems a lot older/wiser). Sample this Toby Keith lyric if you would.

It ain’t no thang, I already know how it feels
Same ol’ pain, a different deal
So if it looks like rain, I’m gonna let it rain
‘Cause I know , it ain’t no thang

Another Toby Keith song here:

The implications for the DGK video in my opinion are far-ranging and out of focus but worth pondering, at length, in darkened bars while being haunted by memories past. But as long as a man has a cold beer, a few companions and a healthy sense of self, it’s hard to keep him down. See below video clip for ultimate reference.

*Oklahoma FYI

Is Real the smartest skateboard company?

September 20, 2008

No Boondoggle, but what is: Real put on Davis Torgerson.