Posts Tagged ‘Young Jeezy’

We Fly These Asphalt Yachts On City Streets, Pain In Our Souls, We’re Eating

April 28, 2014

happy_jeezy

“Recession over!” arose the jubilant cry across American streets and by-ways these past days, as consumers cheered on trucks, trains and cargo ships plumped with exportable goods, steady gains in housing values and now, the most recent leading indicator: yung Trevor Colden, wearer of the beanie and holder of the 2011 Tampa Am belt, discussed emptying his savings account, to the tune of $15,000, for the pleasure of leaving Mystery ASAP for the presumably greener* pastures of Brad Staba’s Skate Mental imprint.

Trevor Colden offered his account of the career-minded balling in a Thrasher website interview shortly after a similarly themed Instagram posting set off questions about his spendthrift approach to contract management.

The graphic that people are probably talking about the most was the one with the check. What was that all about?
That check is the check I had to pay to buy my way out of my contract with Mystery.

So you had a contract and wanted to get out early to switch to Skate Mental?
Yeah, I tried to call Jamie a couple of times and he didn’t answer. I talked to Bobier and he knew the situation and they were going to find a way to solve it. Long story short, there was no way he was going to let me out of the contract, no matter what. He was asking people for a lot of money and they weren’t going to give it to him so I went ahead and said, “Fuck, he’s not going to let me out of my contract, I’ve got $15,000 in the bank.” He was asking for double that. So I called him and told him, “Hey, I know you’re really mad at me right now. I just really want to make some changes. I can offer you $15,000. That’s all I have. I’ll come down there tomorrow and give you a check.” He said, “Yes, I graciously accept your offer. I’ll have Bobier meet up with you.” Then I started thinking, “Fuck, that’s a lot of money! Taxes are right around the corner! Shit!” So I called him back and offered him $10,000. That was still more money than he owed me in my contract. I was hoping he’d go for it. But nope, he wasn’t down. So I went down there the next day and gave Bobier the check.

Computer bash files worldwide can testify to the numerous keystrokes and characters deployed on either side of this heated matter in the days since, though Jamie Thomas’ side remains untold. Was Trevor Colden, into whom Black Box/Mystery presumably had invested valuable U.S. dollars, time and transport fuel over the course of his amateur rise, now looking to play fast and loose with legal terms to which he had agreed in the not so distant past? Did Jamie Thomas, who recently touched on the hardgood industry’s struggles in his own Thrasher interview, play needless corporate hardball with a youngster who apparently really really didn’t want to represent Mystery any longer? Is Skate Mental, which one might reasonably assume would pick up part of the tab for this kind of personnel wheeling and/or dealing, grinning through Doritos-yellowed teeth at all this? Absent details on guarantees, prepaid incentives and otherwise, does the math described above make sense?

Such questions invariably amount to little more than smoke and mirrors obstructing the real debate here, which as ever must harken back to that one other time period when America was emerging from a recession and war in the Middle East, Nas was preparing to release an album called “Illmatic” and a person with the last name of Hawk was performing pressure flips: the early 1990s. In the matter of Trevor Colden and his $15,000 check, is the true question not “who was more Rocco?”

Steve Rocco’s daring feats of team-raiding, fueled in turns by rampant money-throwing and sheer gusto, remain the stuff of slurred legend and at times serious documentary filmmaking. Gazing out upon the Pacific from his opulent trailer home, the gold fronts of Steve Rocco’s inner Bryan “Baby” Williams no doubt would have cracked a smile at the thought of a kid nonchalantly cutting a check to take his destiny into his own hands, and then plastering it across the bottom of one of his debut pro models (even if Trevor Colden’s dealmaking remains decidedly amateur-level). Or, Ipad in hand, might Steve Rocco have half-smiled and nodded in the general vicinity of San Diego, recognizing the real in a company holding a itchy-footed teamrider to terms that both had agreed, while sending a signal regarding expectations to other riders future and present, and providing a roadmap to other company owners contemplating their own next moves when top-drawer talent, if Trevor Colden should so be called, abruptly announces its intention to fly the company coop?

How much, if any, of the previously-quoted dollar figure represented Trevor Colden’s footage for his Skate Mental debut part? Are the excellent frontside noseslide, backside smith grind backside 180 and switch backside tailslide line offset entirely by an ill-conceived choice involving skinny camos and colourful socks? Would pro-level negotiator Rob Dyrdek have counseled Trevor Colden to instead ride out his contract til the end, to avoid burning bridges and potentially to help stoke a broader bidding war for his frontside k-grinds? Relatedly, is Alien Workshop thousands of dollars richer in hamburgers and hair grease now that John Fitzgerald and Donovon Piscopo are off the team, as suggested by the AWS website?

*Correct, a weed leaf joke

Graveyard Chamber

November 7, 2011

There’s any number of things that pretty much guarantee (eventually) a blog posting in this blog space, including but not limited to skateboarders throwing away lucrative sponsorship deals in favor of paying Don Cannon American dollars to shout slogans on a 75-minute mixtape, switch backside noseblunt slides, and various situations involving Fred Gall, moving vehicles and open containers. Another has been Jake Johnson skate footage, even recycled, it shines like a diamond-studded DVS logo pendant: the imitable Quartersnacks has fused a couple youtube clips’ worth of 3-4 year old video, some of which I’d seen, some not — like the couple runs near the end of the second clip incorporating some 180s up and down a median curb that zoomed me back to the one all those Zoo York/World guys used to skate with the turned-over trash can (or not, as the case may have been). That and the kickflip f/s tailslide in the first clip. Quartersnacks claims to be sitting on a long-form interview with Jake Johnson which will probably be worth reading. He seems to have come up with a healthy baked-in sense of disillusionment which tends to complement East Coast skating and his off-the-grid movements are refreshing paired up against Twitter shouting matches between kids and pros closing in on 40. Pulling for the rumored Alien promo with Gilbert Crockett or at least some Gravis one-off to come next year, which will go some way towards offsetting the European sovereign debt crisis and the bad feelings that will come when AT&T Mobility steals all of Boost Mobile’s best riders.

Thug Motivation

February 28, 2010


Let’s get it

The latest in a grand tradition of blurring the line between pro and regular old bro, the imperatively titled “Yougottagetthat!” may be best represented by its “Bob & Bobby” section, which finds a slimmer-than-usual-looking Worrest switch backside noseblunting alongside the husky section shopper yet very agile switch b/s kickflipper Bob Reynolds, while Bun-B describes various ways of hiding drugs in your car before you sell them off. It’s not a terrifically serious video (though there will probably be some hurt feelings in the Blackbox camp as the credits roll and Jamie Thomas is mysteriously left off certain thank-you lists), but the stacking of some good shop-vid level tricks alongside the work of paid professionals such as Dan Murphy and Mike Peterson suggests a good-faith effort to document the vital and vigorous North Carolinian scene, fueled as it is by canned beer and Cam’ron. You can tell they’re easygoing because so many Nike shoes and Consolidated boards are peacefully coexisting.

Opening act and heir to the Colt Cannon throne of alliterating proto-names Conor Champion straddles this line, positioned as he is for breakout hot-shoe status thanks to a can-do attitude and close working relationship with frontside crooked grinds, both regulars and switch. This dude gets off some crazy moves, including a buried switch feeble grind on a handrail, makes DC shoes look good and has this one line that ends with a b/s smith grind down a modest rail and is sorta reminiscent of a mid-90s LA playground romp. The SPOT website suggests that he’s currently trying his luck with the flow vortex that is the Crailtap camp, so hopefully he’s put a moratorium on attaining recognized status over there before moving on to other pastures, since it would be a shame to see this dude’s tricks slip too far into obscurity.

Mike Peterson and Kyle Berard, two blue-collar bowl types who I don’t follow too closely, both have nice sections and Berard (think it’s Berard) gets hairy on the coping with a switch hurricane grind that is kind of a “wow” move, since it follows right after a regular one. Young Alien Gilbert Crockett does his thing with the swooping launches and cat-footed landings, noseblunting this tall ledge and catching a lofty frontside shove-it. Brett Abramsky, co-director with Reynolds, casts a big 360 flip into a smoothly paved hill at what looks like a scarily fun speed, and kind of resembles Cliche’s Javier Mendizabal.

Past-and-perhaps-present NC transplant Dan Murphy anchors, advertising up front his switch to the magic F and unloading a lot of his Mystery deck footage in the process. Solid is the word that most often comes to mind with regards to this dude’s footage but he’ll occasionally throw in an eyebrow-raiser like the long switch frontside blunt in this section, or the textbook-edition nollie backside flip down some blocks that serve to remind he may not be the knuckle-dragging gap jumper his college keg-party background suggests to some of us. Although it was nice to see that mega-rail jump pop up here as well as in that internet clip a few months back. One thing about Dan Murphy is that he seems to work hard for his tricks and it’s nice to see a dude on the Nike payroll willing to suit up in gloves, a hat and hooded sweatshirt for the purposes of rounding out a section in his friends’ vid.

The Skateboard Mag put up a remix edition of this part the other day but it doesn’t quite measure up to the original, which boasts one of three good songs off the Clipse album — you can and should consider buying this DVD off the fellows who made it as it features talented dudes taking themselves none too seriously and two (count em) songs with Cam’ron.

Debut of the Dazzler

September 10, 2009

marquisshades
“Yeah, whatever. I masturbate.”

Mystique is an amorphous, squishy thing, much like a color-changing cuttlefish or the nature of life itself. Yet if you can only attain it, the door stands open to early retirement, coasting on lifestyle ads and occasional blog photo appearances, minimal footage obligations if any and the giddy thrill of knowing that somewhere out there, an internet forum post is being crafted: “when is ___ gonna put out another part” translates to higher board sales than “does anybody know what’s up with ___ lately?” with both ranking above “anybody remember ___?” or the dreaded “___ denied parole again LOL”

Of course it is easier to establish said mystique if you’re some typa well-known 90s-bred style wizard (Iannucci, Stranger), a flagrant breaker of state or federal laws (Roy, Case) or generalized misfit weirdo (Martin, Alv). Far tougher if you’re some middling front-blunt-to-5-0er in black shoes w/white soles without bulimia or a nose tattoo.

Worse yet, you are a young flow-bro on the come-up in an age of instant judgment and sentencing via YouTube: message boards pore over the minutiae of park footage trick selection, SPoT profiles are tracked for sponsor switches and the Berrics transforms today’s pre-fab park hero into tomorrow’s factory-direct wunderkind. So basically by the time kids “go am”* they’re generally vets by the internet exposure benchmark.

Emerica’s Marquis Preston is one of these increasingly rare exceptions**, with a relatively small number of photos prior to this month’s Paul Rodriguez TSM appearance and paltry seconds’ worth of footage scattered across contest, demo and “Stay Gold” clips – the intro to his magazine interview directs people to this six-second clip as a starting point and it’s a slog from there, but indications are that some of the anticipation may be justified. Foot swag through the roof, as the fella says, there’s a few more tricks here on the off chance you haven’t seen all this shit already.

He gives a fairly good interview too:

So everybody had this funny idea to get porno mags from the liquor store. I got myself a mag and seen this hot-ass woman in it. She was seriously stuck in my head for hours. Like, I couldn’t even skate around without thinking about doing her or just being with her. So I decided to go rub one off in the van while everybody was skating. And it did the trick.

Jeff said you soiled one of Braydon’s mags?
Braydon had his own mag and I had mine. He seen my mag and he was like “oh, who got this one?” I was like “Oh shit.” I didn’t say it out loud but I already knew it was mine. I knew I fucking jacked off in it. I busted on her. I just wanted to wait for him to see for himself. So he was just looking through it and was like “What the fuck? No!” I was like “Hell yeah.”

*an actual expression I guess
**Ishod Wair may be nominated as another

Active Ride Shop Attacks Bankruptcy Monster With +30 Sword of Discounts

March 26, 2009


Free shoelace belt, schadenfreude included with every order

Wherefore art thou, Active Erica lifestyle spin-off brand? Dark whispers surround the retail business these days and while the cynical among us may chuckle at the tumbling same-store comparisons of megamall corpo-goons, the Chapter 11 filing of Active Ride Shop, despite its generic clothing line and often clue-deprived layabout employees, hits a bit closer to home as a skateboarder-established business that has maintained at least one foot in the legit skateboard sphere, even while riding the web/mailorder blimp to untold riches during the boom years.

Ah yes. The boom years, when Brian Wenning leased a Bentley, filming video parts on American soil was tres gauche and a spacious suburban California home was just a shoe deal/zero-down mortgage away. In many ways it was a simpler time, free of the heated and conflicted emotions that troubled us in the aftermath of the Osiris video (embodied by the Aftermath Tour, and to a lesser extent Aftermath Records). My memory is not what it used to be, but I remember it more or less exactly like this.

What does a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing mean for Active? Jeff Harbaugh, an action sports industry consultant who I can imagine sporting a goatee, explains in 1500 or so words over at TWS Business. Now I’m no lawyer, though I served as an understudy for this kid who played one in a poorly received junior high play, but I will attempt the same feat in 150 words: Basically Active has four months to get their shit together, conferring with legal wizards and big suppliers (read: skateboard distributors) to figure out how best to keep the crazy blimp afloat, as in the current climate you can imagine no skate company is especially eager to see a major buyer of hard and soft goods snuff it.

(Only 57 words! Note, the remaining unused words I have divided into several tranches according to their relative risk, packaged as securities and sold the lot off to investment banks, where noisy professionals are already at work structuring complex debt instruments around them – a plan assured to reward everyone handsomely and forever.)

There have been convincing arguments made to separate Active out from the likes of Zumiez*, PacSun and even famed Steve Rocco flip-job CCS, but the fact remains that on-premises miniramps or not, those semi-monthly catalogs and website saw Active eat off the plate of many a local skateboard shop, in the US and elsewhere, who haven’t had an easy ride either. I can’t say if Active is more or less worthy as far as “giving back to skating,” whatever that means in 2009, but I suppose the coming months will determine whether it’s worthy as a commercial enterprise. You would imagine that it is, though maybe in slimmed-down form. (There is an easy Active Erica joke in there somewhere for those who seek it.) If not, we’ll survive, yeah, but I can’t imagine things will be looking too hot for other entities on the brink of the abyss.

Regardless, people losing jobs is scary and not funny even when the economy isn’t in the toilet. Unless you’re one of those reptilian demons who works for AIG and bathes in kitten blood during your spare time. Because those guys are the total blurst.

*By the way, TWSB’s Josh Hunter earns a gold star for slogging through the Zumiez 10K filing