Black Dave Talks Rap, Skating, and Basel 2013
Hip-hop and rap are seven years removed from Lupe Fiasco's "Kick, Push," the song that might've truly introduced skateboarding to the genre's mainstream, even though the effect probably wasn't as sweeping as it was when Lil Wayne donned some Vans and skinny jeans.
Today, there's Black Dave, a 21-year-old Bronx native and Harlem resident who's been skateboarding for 11 years and rapping for two, gaining as much notoriety for ollies and kickflips while on the Zoo York Tour as he has for his recent mixtape, Black Bart.
With a performance at The Jambox showcase this weekend for Art Basel Miami Beach week, Black Dave spoke with Crossfade about being an amateur skater, what he keeps in his back pocket, the best Nike Dunk release, and other stuff. He even asked us a question.
Crossfade: Why do you consider yourself an amateur skater after doing it for 11 years?
Black Dave: Being an amateur skater is almost like a rank yourself into. It starts just learning how to skate, getting a sponsor, which people consider is being a flow skater when a company just flowing you boards. And then once you get on the company and then sign some sore of contract, then you are an amateur skater. But then pro is when you have your own name on the board, which I haven't yet.
If you were to go pro what would that mean with rap?
I mean, the goal is, at the end of the day, just to be great at everything I do. I've done skateboarding for 11 years, and I've been making music for two. But music's always been in my blood.
What city or county has amazed you the most while you were on the Zoo York Tour?
Pretty much, being on the Zoo York Tour, South America was insane. That was the most insane place I've ever been to. Everything you loked at was like a postcard. The kids out there, they didn't have anything. They had real beat-up boards, raggedy clothes, and then they saw us and all they wanted to do was skate and wild with us. They knew who we were and all that. That was definitely an eye-opener.
There's not one specific place that took your breath away?
I'd say Santiago, Chile. And actually Buenos Aires, Argentina was huge. That was dope. Because that was more like urban, you know? Like, more grimy Argentina.
People were protesting throughout the streets everyday, and there's a lot of graffiti. We all felt like we were back in New York on the other side of the world. So, I felt almost at home there.
When I was going some of your interviews easily the majority of the questions have been skating questions. They have to be getting old by now or are they still ok to ask?
I mean, skating, it's not about getting old. I've learned new things everyday. This year has probably been one of the most successful for my skateboarding. My whole life is something we could keep going on about. It's not really that it gets old, but definitely I think when I do interviews with music sites or blogs they don't really have a lot of skaters come through actually or any. So when they ask me it's almost like they're finding out for the first time. I may put them on to something that they might know about. So I don't knock it. It's all what it is. It's all a part of me.
OK. No more skate questions.
What is money to you?
Money is not shit. Money is not shit, man. I wrote a song about it, and people, when they see the title of the song and they hear the chorus, they're like, "What does he mean? I'm working for money right now." Money is what everybody - it turns everybody almost against each other. What we really want is success, and what we really want is to get our names out there. And I think if you can do that without money it's even more respectful. I've seen people come in the game, get their first little bit shine of money and then just change right there. It's not really about money. Every single dollar I've made from a show I've invested back into myself. Music videos, mixing songs, you know what I'm saying? It's just knowledge. Money ain't shit.