Posts Tagged ‘Kader Sylla’

Breakups 2 Makeups

September 22, 2019

This week’s most entertaining spectator sport took place inside Manhattan’s Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, where Tekashi 6ix9ine snitched with wild abandon upon his former Nine Trey Blood gang affiliates, other rappers, and also himself. In the ‘Goodfellas’ narrative of 6ix9ine’s unlikely rise from restaurant employee to rainbow-haired viral shouter, it was a faster-than-expected arrival at the penultimate, pointy-fingered courtroom scene, but probably well suited to 6ix9ine’s speed-of-social media career arc, not to mention the attention spans of ‘kids these days.’

Are there takeaways or extrapolations toward skateboarding beyond the pop shove-it reference in 6ix9ine’s 2018 barker ‘Gummo’? Well, as 6ix9ine bid goodbye to his former gang pals with several days of heavyweight tattling and lawyers pontificated upon ‘stanzas’ of his songs, the longer-running and more wholesome partnership between Andrew Reynolds and Emerica concurrently drew to an end — a different yet no less seismic breakup that even a year ago seemed at once inevitable and unthinkable, unless you were up on all those earlier Adidas rumors.

For those keeping score at home, Kader Sylla was born, learned to walk, was spotted by Reynolds, turned pro and backside noseblunted the Muni bench within the span of Andrew Reynolds’ 20-year Emerica sponsorship. This was multiples longer than the couple years 6ix9ine and Nine Trey spent mutually exploiting one another, and likely more lucrative in both monetary and cultural senses: Andrew Reynolds headlined ‘This is Skateboarding’ and ‘Stay Gold,’ helped define multiple eras and Emerica itself, immortalizing stretch denim and green filters along with handrails and big jumps, and selling boatloads of footwear. Few pros have been more closely entwined with a shoe supplier. Three of Google’s top ten suggested Emerica searches involve Reynolds, both share the letters ‘E’ and ‘R’ and ‘A’ in their names*, the company continues to have dozens of his products for sale, and didn’t they cut him an equity stake after denying Eric Koston’s similar demand before losing him to Lakai?

For these reasons and others, Andrew Reynolds’ Emerica departure has birthed much moisty-eyed reminiscing and a vague sense of sadness for days past, viewed through emerald-coloured glasses. And perhaps rightfully so, but what’s being mourned? Wistful feels for Andrew Reynolds’ decades on the Sole Tech payroll remind how, as the years get reeled in and healthy livin helps careers sprawl across multiple decades, skateboarding maybe ain’t so much different than the industry’s rivals-turned-idols, major league sports, where legacies are lionized, jerseys retired, and extensive commemorative marketing campaigns marshaled. It’s also worth pondering, as the dissolution of Andrew Reynolds’ and Emerica’s long-running economic relationship stirs the loins and emotions of various devotees, how ‘the culture’ remains heavily tethered to the mutualized interests of both hard- and softgood manufacturers and their independent contractors.

While busily telling on his illegal gang affiliates in court last week, 6ix9ine described his own deal with Nine Trey:

Q. As a member of Nine Trey what responsibilities, if any, did you have?
A. Just keep making hits and be the financial support for the gang.

Q. And what, if anything, did you get from Nine Trey?
A. I would say my career.

In the final analysis, was Andrew Reynold’s 20-year run with Emerica substantially different? In this blog web site’s belaboured metaphor, is Andrew Reynolds 6ix9ine, or really Nine Trey? Could Emerica’s classy IG goodbye to Reynolds be a lesson for Plan B, which offered a hamhanded sendoff to Brazilian dynamo Leticia Bufoni by way of a photo of a second-place win with some chatbot-level pleasantries? Could all the 6ix9ine/Nine Trey hurt feelings, federal charges and personal stress for Jim Jones have been avoided if 6ix9ine and his friends could have gazed into some digitally social** crystal ball to witness, in advance, how Andrew Reynolds and Emerica handled their parting, while also peeping a Vans-clad Reynolds ripping in the Lotties vid? If 6ix9ine got an early look at Nick Michel’s Lotties footage would he have spilled the beans on the Slap board?

*Spelling out ‘Era,’ a well knowed Vans pro model shoe, possibly foreshadowing his eventual footwear landing pad?
**Or socially digital

Jamie Foy Is The 90-10 King

May 26, 2019

These days, tricks need to do more. Executing barrel rolls, 180-degree denominated rotations and combinations thereof long ago ceased to be enough. In our bristly and perspirating time, tricks are called upon to be vehicles — grinding, sliding platforms upon which a body can place other tricks, greater distance, more kinks, personal brands, and, for those heedful of Rob Dyrdek’s sensible advice, luxury automobile lease payments.

Such is the role for certain tricks that years ago became too basic to regularly inspire on their own — the boardslide, the 50-50 grind, the backside noseslide. The recent dad trick renaissance aside, these maneuveurs now occupy a building-block role similar to the wide and flat Lego pieces upon which any number of castles, moon bases or Disney-licensed models can and must be constructed. While the noseslide has segued into a nostalgia piece and the boardslide has undergone some brutal grafting-on of other tricks to ‘stay relevant,’ their forms by and large have remained the same. Less so with the 50-50, which as we shall see has gradually mutated into nearly an entirely different trick altogether, so as to go deeper, farther and sometimes, to a different time/space entirely.

The year was 1992, Instagram had yet to be innovated, and Pat Duffy was the Terminator in plaid flannel; upon initial viewing, his double-kink 50-50 grind down the handrail towards the end initially struck some as unbelievable camera trickery. But upon chin-strokeful lookings back, the trick is fairly textbook in its execution, a hint of toe-side pinch on the mount, leveled out between the trucks for the rest of the descent. Jamie Thomas, top street-style skateboarder and late-1990s inheritor of the House 50-50, made them truly so in ‘Welcome to Hell’ — sailing one down the big Brooklyn Banks rail, the noted tail-tap ride-out on the long flat bar, and leaning slightly backside through the final 20-stair. But similar to the industry empire-building that was to come, Jamie Thomas also hints toward the utilitarian evolution the 50-50 itself would undergo over the next decades, skewing the rail between the toe-side of his front truck and the heel side of his rear truck in the bump-to-bar 50-50 transfer.

Twenty something years later, robots drive our semi trucks, the biggest Nas in the music biz is a country-western singer, and the 50-50 is a different creature. You can still find the ‘classic editions,’ but it’s just as common to find the post-Y2K, hybrid-ready variant: the 90/10, or 10/90, in which the rail is jammed nearly crossways between the front and back trucks for improved positioning for the next kink, or the flip trick out, or the final 20 feet. In our bionic age, the main requirement no longer is just getting to the bottom, the people require more.

It should come as no surprise that the lead 90-10 practitioner is Jamie Foy, the ‘pinch god’ knowed for popping out of frontside crooked grinds higher than lesser ones can ollie. For Jamie Foy, the 90-10 is the preferred landing position for once-unthinkables like kickflipping onto a round and ‘skateproofed’ bar. With the 90-10, he can hop onto a round kinker and very soon pop a shove-it out, relax atop a cutty triple set while eyeing the sidewalk ride-off to come, or navigate the gentleman’s curve of yet another overlong and kinked round rail.

Like all worthwhile paydirt in skateboarding’s great intellectual property pile, the 90-10 rapidly has drawn eager prospectors well on their way toward mining it out. The skate industry’s little bro made good Kader Sylla is a convert, as is Creature’s heathen warlord Kevin Baekkel. Jamie Foy’s SOTY predecessor Kyle Walker uses a long 90-10 to reposition at the tail end of his ‘Spinning Away’ helicopter factory before riding away clean.

Will the 90-10, practical but aesthetically sort of off-putting, clear the way for a renaissance of ‘true’ 50-50s, similar to what Brian Wenning’s mid-block pop-outs did for the backside nosegrind? Is the 90-10 made easier through truck wear on similarly pinch-ready tricks, such as the crooked grinds that dig out what Ted Barrow has termed the ‘crook nook’? Is the increasingly technical nature and rising danger quotient of modern 90-10-related tricks antithetical to the more mellow, soul-carving world envisioned by the probable Ipath-skating hippies whose loose trucks style opened the way for first the pinch and then the 90-10 itself?