ON THE COVER JOSHUA WARD PHOTOS PROVIDED BY UPSON REFLECTIONS
t h g i N 8 sK
JRENARD PUBLISHING ROLLER
15 short stories told by author, J. Renard Johnson that provide a glimpse into his life in Chicago as he navigates his youth in Chicago's intense gang culture.
THAT NEUTRON 4.7/5
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PHOTO BY ERIK REID
Featured Skater/DJ DJ Brian "Killa B"
Featured Skater Cardell Thomas
Featured Skater/Producer Anthony 'Antidote 'Curie
On the Cover
My academy came at a time where my style of skating was being popularized and everyone wanted to learn it. People would ask me to teach and so being a police officer full-time, I labeled it as “the academy” because in my field the academy is a place you go to get all the training and necessary tools you need before entering the field. It's the same with skating . The academy is the environment. When you cross the threshold at skate towne you are in the academy You have been a part of the Atlanta skate scene for sometime. What makes Atlanta's skate scene unique? Atlanta is the Mecca of roller skating . Everybody is from everywhere . You get the best of all worlds . North, south , east and west; Young and old; White and black. You literally have to play like a national session everywhere you play.
Thanks for taking time out to interview with Sk8nightmag. You are one of my favorite Skate DJs in the Atlanta area and one of the most popular skate DJs in the country. You are also an amazing skater. Can you talk about how you got into skating? My parents were roller skaters! Father is from Brooklyn and mother originally from Columbia South Carolina. They took me to the rink and I was In love from that day. How did your skate DJ career begin? I’ve always been a Dj playing and having fun. I went from Djing matinee sessions to Skate-A-Thon in 2005 and Big Bob gave me a 15 minute set. That turned into nearly 15 years as a national roller skating DJ. You have been a featured DJ at Sk8-A-Thon for more than a decade. How has this experience impacted you as a DJ and Skater? Skathon is the biggest skate event on the planet. I can never thank Ms Joi , Big Bob and my parents enough. It has brought me life long friends, connections and world wide recognition Can you tell us about the Killa B academy? How did this idea come about?
What advice do you have for up and coming skaters and DJs? My advice would be to take your time and trust the process. Make connections and cherish them. Love what you do and don’t ever let it feel like a job. Love it!
FEATURED SKATER Thanks for taking time out to interview with Sk8nightmag. You are a veteran and legend in the skate game and well known around the country. But for newer skaters who maybe unfamiliar with you, can you talk about how you got involved in skating?
My first time on skates was a Sunday afternoon on the 13th of November in 1966. The next day was my birthday, so my mom took me as an early present to Empire Rollerdrome in Brooklyn. I loved it immediately!! I went every chance I got until my family moved to St. Albans, Queens In 1977. On the last weekend in August of 1978, St. Albans Roller Rink opened up 8 blocks from my house. I witnessed a large number of adults skating for the first time, because the grand opening weekend was for all ages and I had only attended family sessions prior. I was so inspired that I returned the next night for the adult session, and the security guard let me in even though I was only 15. I haven’t been off my skates longer than two weeks in the 41 years plus since!! You told us that skating saved your life. Can you share that experience with our readers? NYC was rough in the areas I frequented growing up. I was heavily involved in sports, and I excelled scholastically, but skating kept me off the streets six nights a week. Almost everyone I knew in the neighborhoods was catching cases, caskets, and children. Drugs, crime, and violence were everyday realities. Nearly every morning I heard about the casualties of the streets who were friends and neighbors; I know I was spared because I was in the rink during prime time for negativity. I also got to meet and get to know the folks who became my teachers, trainers, mentors, supporters, protectors, and the role models. I emulated and patterned myself after them. The held me accountable, and allowed me the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop into a leader. I’m forever grateful!! You’ve skated all-around the world. Is there any particular skate scene/city that stands out among your experiences? I have been to well over 100 rinks during my skate journey, and the four rinks that comprise my Mt. Rushmore are Laces, Empire, The Roxy, and Skate Key. NJ will always get props from me as being the TRUTH with the trains and trios from the Twin Cities days until today. But the city that blew me away was Chicago. The energy, passion, and culture was second to none!! The skate scene I first experienced there over 30 years ago was super hard core and unparalleled anywhere. Detroit has managed to remain consistent in preserving the elegance and flair exhibited by practitioners of their style. The striding I experienced in the “Jungle”in Ohio in the early nineties was nothing if not pure FUNK. I’ve been to 43 of our 50 states on my eights, and the embarrassment of riches in regards to choices of where to skate in the Greater Atlanta Metro Region is absolutely under appreciated by many skaters rolling here today. What advice would you offer to new skaters that aspire to be great at skating?
MY ADVICE TO ANYONE JUST GETTING STARTED WOULD BE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO SEE WHAT STYLE OF SKATING APPEALS TO YOU MOST, INVEST IN GOOD EQUIPMENT, SEEK OUT THE HAPPY AND HELPFUL PEOPLE, BE OPEN MINDED ABOUT LEARNING, AND BE PATIENT. THIS THING WE LOVE CALLED SKATING REQUIRES TIME AND EFFORT, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE PROCESS”. YOU CAN’T CHEAT THE GRIND. BUT YOU CAN ENJOY THE JOURNEY!!
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CHRISTAL YANCEY NASHVILLE TN PHOTO CREDIT: KENNEDI WELLMAN/ALEXIS STARK
I’ve roller skated all my life, but I officially got into the whole rink scene around 2005. I was skipping school with some friends at the rink and saw a group of roller skaters practicing cool moves and concepts, and from there it was a wrap. I found myself buying some crappy stock Chicagos and rolling twice a week. Sk8NightMag: You are one of the skaters in a classic JB skate video called “Pure JB Skating.” How does a skater outside of Chicago end up being a featured skater in one of the most classic JB skate videos online? What’s the story behind the creation of this video? Awwww MAN! you could probably write a Oscar winning movie about the journey leading up to that video, but in short I was skating with those two for a few years,. DJ and I were roommates and partner in music production. Syd had a big video art project for one of her classes at Spellman and the rest is history. Sk8NightMag: Can you talk about your life outside of skating? What are some of your other hobbies? I’ve been an instrumentalist and musician since the age of 10. I play about 5 instruments one being the alto sax which I played for Florida A&M. I’m a former competitive fighting game player. I was actually on a TV show that aired on direct TV. I got there by being top 6 in the world at a fighting Game called doa... and was considered one of the best chun li players in the world for street fighter 4. After school and gaming, I was on a contract doing music for Capcom which led to me singing a few intros on their events and landing a small artist deal. Which I’m still currently on now. I’ve recently taken an interest in competitive handgun shooting also. But when the cape is off, I’m just a AAA supervisor lol Sk8NightMag: Why hasn’t the JB Style grown more in Atlanta over the last decade? What do you think it would take to grow the style?
For JB to grow in Atlanta it would first take unity among the JB skaters in Atlanta to unite as a whole or at-least as some type of unit, crew or no crew. Then it takes proper direction from the veterans in the community. Sk8NightMag: What advice do you have for up and coming skaters interested in learning the JB style of skating? Find a proper instructor who is either from Chicago or who has learned EXTENSIVELY from a GOOD Chicago skater, which very hard to find. Some good music at the right tempo and a good set of noise blocker earbuds.
JB Skater Cardell Thomas
Sk8NightMag: Thanks for taking time out to interview with Sk8 Night Mag. You are a well-known JB skater in the Atlanta area (and beyond) and my personal skate coach. However, for those who maybe unfamiliar with your journey, can you tell us how you got into skating?
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Sk8NightMag: Thanks for taking time out to interview with us. You are one of my favorite skate music producers. Can you tell us how you got involved with producing skate tracks? Thanks for the interview opportunity in Sk8nightnigtmag! I think what you're doing is great. I appreciate the compliment. I never thought that anyone would consider me to be one of their favorite skate music producers. I first start producing music back in 2000. In fact, my first beats were made on a Playstation video game, MTV Music Generator. From there, the joy of making music just stuck with me. Then I moved on to computer-based production on Fruity Loops and walked away from it all to start learning how to play the drums. As for skate music, I'm still fairly new. I've only been making skate music for the last year or so but I've always been inspired by guys like Keezo Kane, T-Rell, B Dash and Shaprostyle. I really enjoy your beats as well. I actually think that our styles are similar.
You are based in the Phoenix area. Can you tell us a little about that skate scene and predominant skate style? I moved from Chicago in Phoenix in 2007. The skate scene was very different from what it is now. There was no legitimate adult skate scene and no national skate party. In 2010, my brother (DJ Selectah SLAM) and Niecy decided to form The Toe Stoppas to host roller skating events. We submitted a proposal to the rink about how we would promote it to build a crowd. We've been hosting the weekly adult night as 3rd party group ever since and we crowds of 200+ every Sunday. We've also added more team members and brought a National Skate Party, "SK8CATION", to the city which is approaching its 10th Annual. Because most of the skaters here are from other major cities (L.A., Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Cleveland, Atlanta, Philly, etc.), Phoenix doesn't have a predominant skate style. Because of that, my brother makes sure that the music accommodates all styles and all regions. That's part of the reason why the weekly adult night has been so successful.
Who are some skate music producers that inspire you? Keezo Kane definitely has to be at the top. He's ultimately responsible for kicking off the JB Skate Beats movement. T-Rell and Shapro are two of my favorites because their beats are so smooth much like yours. I tend to gravitate towards the soulful stuff instead of the aggressive skate tracks. But, I'm inspired by a lot of the producers. B Dash has classics! So does Tim Jonz, CJ, Dame-o, Donte, Premier and PA Hicks. I like a lot of the up-and-coming producers as well such as Naz, Mansah, DJ Pooh, and DJ McAfee. Everybody has some dope stuff!
Currently we are all dealing with the fallout from Covid-19. How do you this will impact the skate scene moving forward? I think the Covid-19 Pandemic is a very unfortunate situation. Many people have gotten sick and a lot of people have died, including skaters. I like to consider myself a realist and an opportunist. I think it's going to be hard for many skating rinks to recover from this, especially the small mom-and pop rinks. Even the huge corporations will be heavily impacted by this. I think we might see some rink closures. In fact, a couple of rinks have already closed their doors permanently as a result of this. We're starting to see more skaters go to "alternative venues" like tennis courts and basketball courts which is free. A few months prior to Covid-19, I released a podcast episode discussing how alternative venues are the future of roller skating. We're experiencing that right now! When this is all over, I think skaters will be very happy to get back together and roller skate with each other like one big family. We'll have an even greater appreciation for the culture.
How can people support you? People can support me by following The Toe Stoppas (IG), SK8CATION (FB) and AntidoteTrax (Bandcamp).
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DARRIN JOHNSON & DEWAYNE GOODLOW PHOTO CREDIT: LENNY GILMORE
Featured Skater Jay Beewitz
Featured Skater Joshua Ward
AK from Skates' Out
JOSHUAWARD Sk8NightMag: Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. We are honored to featured you. You are a world-renown skater based in the Atlanta area. For those who may be unfamiliar with your journey, can you tell us about your skating background?
Joshua: I started skating about 10 years ago when I lived in Denver CO. I was invited by a few friends to try it out. At first I was hesitant but I grew more and more comfortable with it as I continued to do it. Skating was an activity that I really felt a connection with. It was therapeutic and challenging. This allowed me to give unwavering attention to this art.
Photos provided by Upson Reflections
Sk8NightMag: Where are some of your favorite rinks to skate at in Atlanta and beyond?
Joshua: In Atlanta, I mainly skate at Golden Glide, Cascade, Sparkles, All-American, Skate Towne, and Skate-A-Long. These are good rinks with good floors and various sessions. I mainly go to the Adult nights at these rinks. When I’m back home in LA, I go to World On Wheels or even Venice Beach. When I’m in Denver, I go to Skate City in Meadow Wood. When I’m in Jersey, I go back to Millennium Skate World in Camden. All of these rinks were my home rinks at one point in time and they all contributed to my style and vibe today. I love all of these rinks.. Sk8NightMag: What's the most interesting thing about you outside of skating?
Joshua: Outside of skating, I’m staying pretty busy at work. I work at a Collision Center as an Inspector. I preform all of the quality control inspections for a shop that produces 1.25 million dollars in repairs a month. I am also preparing to go back to school to finish out my degree to become a professional pilot. This has been one of my aspirations since I was a kid and I gotta make it happen. Sk8NightMag: What words of encouragement do you have for up and coming skaters trying to be great like you?
TO ANYONE JUST STARTING OUT DON’T GET DISCOURAGED JUST KEEP GOING. SOMEONE WILL RECOGNIZE YOU AND WILL TAKE YOU UNDER THEIR WING. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AND I’M SURE EVERY SKATER HAS A SIMILAR STORY. Photos provided by Upson Reflections
NI KKI GARLAND Sk8NightMag: Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. We are honored to feature you. For those who maybe unfamiliar with your journey can you tell us how you got into skating?
Sk8NightMag: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of roller skating? Nikki: I am an educator, philosopher, who holds a doctoral degree; I am a business owner; author; and I am currently working on developing a platform to fight against disproportionality within the educational and the judicial systems. So, in the professional world, I am Dr. Garland, looking to make an impactful contribution to the development of the African-American community, and other communities alike.
Sk8NightMag: What advice do you have for up and coming skaters trying to progress their skating?
Nikki: Five years ago, I attended a few family day skate sessions, and fell in love with skating immediately. I didn't know anything about skating besides rolling forwards and backwards, but I loved the energy. I was in awe when I saw adults practicing so many different moves and styles. I was determined to learn everything. Fortunately for me, the skaters were friendly and quick to take me under their wing. They told me I learn quickly. A few months later, I was told about adult skate sessions, then traveling and skate parties, and the rest is history.
Sk8NightMag: What has contributed most to the development of your skating abilities? Nikki: Passion for skating, having fun with it, being determined to get the rhythm of certain steps or moves right while rolling, and staying focused has contributed the most to the development of my skating abilities.Â
Sk8NightMag: Can you talk about any skate groups you have skated with? How have these experiences impacted you as a skater? Nikki: I am a member of ATL Squad. My brothers of ATL Squad--Mikeal Collins (Mr. Man), Shawnra Dillard, DJ Dex, Antwan Warner--have taught me to be more aggressive about skating, to not just skate but perform with style and have a good time. I also enjoy skating with The Hearts--Skate Fantacee, Anointed Yvonne , and Trina Sutton.Â The Hearts was a skate sisterhood, where we had fun rolling together, we kept it fun, and sexy with class lol. Both groups taught me to keep skating about skating, and that being family, not just skaters, provides a bigger experience.
Nikki: The more you practice, the quicker your body will figure out the rhythm to doing certain moves. Everyone moves differently and has their own style; once someone teaches you a move, it is ok to make it your own, do it the way you feel most comfortable.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY NAJETE AND FLORIAN LONDON UK
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY AALIYAH WARREN FOUNTAIN VALLEY CA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY SKY AND SIDNEE DALLAS TX
Jay beewitz Sk8NightMag: We saw you a Joi’s Sk8-A-Thon this past summer. Where are some of your favorite places to travel and skate? Jay: Many skaters know that my wife and I both love Atlanta. It is a great city, and a one-of-a-kind place for roller skating and for me, it's the current capital of roller skating. In Europe: The Skate Love Barcelona Festival. Europe’s largest skate party. I’m honored to be part of the organization team. Sk8NightMag: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of roller skating? Jay : I’m vice-chairman of an artistic skating club. Beyond and outside of roller skating, I understand this as a support to my neighborhood and providing girls a safe space for self-development and empowerment. Sk8NightMag: What advice do you have for up and coming skaters trying to progress and become great? Sk8NightMag: Thanks for taking time out to interview with us. We are honored to feature you. You are a very well known skater based in Berlin, Germany. For those who are unfamiliar with your journey, can you talk about how you got into skating? Jay: I'm lucky to have grown up in the heyday of roller skating. Even without the internet, Bill Butler was a well-known skater in Germany the only translation of his book “Jammin’” was published in German in 1979. I met Bill at his autograph session in a bookstore. The book provided us the approach and motivation. In addition, we had the advantage, that the U.S. Armed Forces troops were stationed in Germany. They taught us how to skate and keep the beat. The most impressive part was watching the guys skate hard in combat boots and going fast to the tune called “Planet Rock” in the local rink near Frankfurt. I instantly knew “I wanted that!”. So, thank you to all the skaters who served in Germany back then. Sk8NightMag: What has contributed most to the development of your skating abilities? Jay: During the years I practiced a variety of roller skating disciplines, from skating in halfpipes up to artistic roller skating. My love for roller rinks and the African-American style skating culture persisted. Therefore the past 10 years, I have been able to travel frequently to the US and experience the regional skating styles. As a result, I have added more to my proficiency than the decades before.
Jay: Taking your time is the secret. Don’t put yourself under pressure. Focus on your own pathway and don't try to measure up against others in social media.
AN INTERVIEW WITH
MANASSEH "MANSAH" BOWLES Sk8NightMag: Thank you for taking time out to do this interview. We are honored to feature you. Where did your interest in skate music come from? Mannasseh: My interest came about two years ago when I started really digging into the JB skate world and discovered that there was a whole genre of music for the style. Later down the road, I realized there were a lot of exclusive JB tracks that I really had no way of getting, so I thought one day, "Why not make my own?" In addition, when I seen DJ Pooh of my area getting into it, it really motivated me to jump into it head first. Sk8NightMag: What are some of your favorite skate tracks that you have produced? Mannasseh: Oh man, this is a tough one. I love all my tracks but if I had to name my absolute favorites, there's 5 in particular that I never get tired of. 1) "My Love is Unlimited" 2) "Who's the super cool producer" 3) "Never gon stop steppin with you girl" 4) "Stash The Skates" 5) "Mysterious Lil Thang" Sk8NightMag: Congrats on releasing your newest project. What areas did you focus on improving most between your first project and your latest release?
Mannasseh: Much appreciated man! One of the main areas I focused on was mixing and balancing instruments. My first tape, while it was my first tape, was a bit sloppy in the mixing and EQ department. I made sure my audio didnâ€™t clip. Another area I focused on was making this a tape with actual songs that one can JB/Snap/Jam/Freestyle skate to. So I had to really research and listen to style mixes, skate edit songs, kick patterns, timing, BPM, etc. to truly understand what made each style song different from one another. I wanted to be able to call my a song a JB track or a Snap track with confidence.
My advice to anyone who aspires to make skate music is, don't be afraid to do it. Just jump in and get ya feet wet, don't be afraid to ask questions to producers who've been in the game for awhile.
AN INTERVIEW WITH
FROM SKATES' OUT
Sk8NightMag: Thank you for taking time out to interview with our project. We are honored to feature you. A lot of people don’t know this but you are my first skate instructor. I took roller skating classes at your Skate’s out classes in the Atlanta area. What inspired you to launched this project? AK: Yes! It’s been journey since Nov. 2009. My first classes were youth lessons at Sparkles of Gwinnett. Within 6 Months, I had a lot of adults that wanted to sign up and that’s when we transitioned into doing adult & youth lessons. It’s been rewarding to coach someone into doing something they were initially afraid of. It’s a great experience to be a part of. And now I have two great coaches (my sons) coach LA & coach Ke’Yon beside me making history and things are easier for me and Skates’ Out! My sons were some of my first students so they've been doing this a long time.
Sk8NightMag: For those who may not know your history, can you talk about how you got involved in skating back in Ohio?
I moved to Atlanta in 2004 because from the mid 90’s, I
AK: One day at the age of 12, I went skating at the Skate World Of
always drove down here from
Kettering in Dayton, Ohio with my brother and friends. The first time I
Ohio to attend Sk8-A-Thon. I
stepped on the skate floor, I couldn't skate at all. I kept falling, so
went back home to Ohio and told
something told me to slow down and I'd have control of myself. That’s
my wife Natasha that we needed
where I connected the mental with the physical parts of skating. I learned how to skate by teaching myself these techniques. I’ve been teaching every beginner skater these same techniques for the last 10 years. I continued to skate every Sunday catching the bus just to skate all the way through high school. I lost my mom in 1998 and the wheels on my skates have been on there since 1998. Those wheels came from my mom’s skates. It’s because of my skates, I use the name Skates’ Out. The front part of my skate has big holes in the toe area due to my Dayton, Ohio stride skate style.
Sk8NightMag: So many people I know want to learn how to skate but they are afraid. As a regular instructor of new skaters, what is your biggest challenge in helping new skaters overcome this fear? AK: You have to show a new skater that they can trust you by relaxing their anxiety. You have to open up their will to learn because most of them are coming to you with a lot of fear. You have to break through and get their attention. Once they trust you, you can bring their fear levels down and build their confidence up. For the record, I don’t view myself as an Instructor, I view myself as a coach. When you hear the word coach, you think of sports and I have been a successful sports coach before and won awards. A coach pushes you to fulfill your potential, while teaching you the mechanics, but it’s the students who push their limits to learn more, if the coaching is effective.
to move to Atlanta. I saw a vision for our family in Atlanta.
JBX PRESIDENT DEWAYNE GOODLOW
Sk8NightMag: Thanks for taking time out to interview with Sk8 Night Mag. We are honored to feature you. For those who maybe unfamiliar with your personal skate journey, can you tell us how you got into skating? Dewayne: Thank you for asking. My skate journey started in 1976 when I was about 3. I lived 3 blocks from Markham roller rink, where my brother worked and my mother skated. In those days everyone skated. And Markham was one of the most popular rinks in the Chicago area. I was at the skating rink every chance I got, and while most of the people I grew up with stopped skating, I never gave it up. Sk8NightMag: What has contributed most to the development of your skating abilities? Dewayne: I think the thing that contributed most to my development was surrounding myself with skaters who were better than me. The skaters I looked up to most were
people I didn't know that well but I wanted to emulate them. When I had the idea for what I wanted JBX to be, I approached them all and kind of pitched my vision to them. Miraculously, they all agreed to give it a shot. Surrounded by what I considered the best of the best I had to step my game up. I was skating 6 days a week, making up routines in my head, and writing them down to try when I got to the rink. I was lucky enough to have a partner who was able to learn the things I knew and teach me some things that I didn't know how to do. We pushed each other. After a while people started to take notice. Sk8NightMag: Can you talk about your history and your role with JBX? What makes JBX unique compared to other skater crews? Dewayne: I touched on it slightly in the last question, but JBX came about because in 2001 a friend of mine suggested I meet him at a party in Palatine IL. I had never been out of
the city to skate let alone seen skaters from other states. My girlfriend (Pam) and I went and we saw all these skate clubs and different styles from skaters across the country. I was blown away. There was a skate contest that Pam and I entered and won. We were approached by Desi and Nikki from skategroove.com and they suggested we come to Atlanta for Skate-A-Thon. We decided to go and JBX was born. It was my baby, but I never wanted it to be about me. It was always about our style, music, and city. I wanted other cities to be as impressed with Chicago skaters as I was with them. After Skate-A-Thon, we were hooked and began traveling regularly. I think JBX is unique because at the time in Chicago there weren't ANY skate clubs. There were crews who rolled together, but certainly not that large (14 members including 2 DJs) and not male and female skaters who could roll as a unit or split into smaller groups. There was no skill level required, you just had to be willing to work hard, travel and put up with me; which was no easy task since I wanted to so many things. Regarding our more recent history, as we got older, some of us started families, some of us dealt with health issues (myself included) and eventually we splintered. Arthritis and a bad back made it difficult for me to skate consistently and when I did I was limited. I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to be able to be ME anymore so I cut back to skating once every few months. I decided attend IR7 in 2017 and was shocked at how many young skaters I had never met not only knew me, but were happy to see me skating again. That motivated me to attend the Jivebiscuit reunion in Atlanta where, again, I wasn't prepared for the response from the skaters. All the love and fellowship was overwhelming. I met four young skaters from Atlanta and DC who impressed me for different reasons. I reached out to all of them on social media with the idea of recruiting them represent JBX nationally. This has evolved into the idea of bringing all members past and present back together for a reunion event in Chicago next April. The response has been amazing both from the members of JBX and the JB skating community as a whole. It's our goal to use this event to foster more fellowship within the JB culture. All Skaters will be welcome, but the weekend will be a tribute to JB skating, the music, and the city where it all started. Sk8NightMag: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of roller skating?
Dewayne: Me? Interesting? I'm not sure there's much to talk about. I'm a husband and a father. A skater and a stepper, but I think the thing that would surprise people who have seen me over the years is that I'm actually quite shy... until I put on those skates. I've always thought of "DeLow" as sort of a disguise I slipped on to adapt to the environment in the skating rink. I think most skaters see me as ultra serious when the reality is I'm kind of silly. I read comics, I enjoy anime, and I'm very rarely serious.
My best advice for young skaters is to work hard. That sounds clichĂŠ, but it's the truth. Few of us are blessed with the talent to do what we do well without putting in a lot of effort. Next, I would say don't be afraid to swallow your pride and approach the people you admire. You might be surprised by how willing they are to give you some pointers to help you get better.
PHOTOÂ CREDIT: JUAN GOODEN CASCHE JONES DAYTON OH
ISSUE THREE COVER PHOTO PHOTO CREDIT: BENNETT RAGLIN/GETTY IMAGES FEATURING LYNNA DAVIS NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Featured Skate DJ Jay Cordell
Featured Skate DJs DJ Tootz
Featured Skate DJ
Push "Skate Bae"
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BILL SCOTT COLUMBUS OH
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY DESHAWN CRANE COLUMBUS OH
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY TINA PIGGEEÂ DALLAS TX
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY DAVID LACOUR IRVING TX
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ALI EL NEW YORK
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY MELISSA MURDOCH UK BRISTOL
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY SAM TUCKER CALGARY ALBERTA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BATTINA CANÀAN LOS ANGELES CA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY GERALD GREEN SAN FRANCISCO CA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY MANASSEH BOWLES STAFFORD VA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY TRAVIS HORNE LONG BEACH CA
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY TERRELL WINSLOW DAYTON OH
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY TINA QUEENZ AKRON OH
SKATE MUSIC DJ
ot r P
Jay Cordell Sk8Night: What advice would you offer to someone that would like to be a skate DJ?
Sk8Night: Thanks for taking time out interview with us. We are honored to feature you. You are a well-known skate DJ in the Seattle area. Can you tell us about the skate events that you currently DJ? Jay: I currently DJ at several rinks weekly or monthly in the greater Seattle area. From my home rink in Everett to many others like Lynwood, Pattison’s West, Skate Tiffany’s and others for special events. Sk8Night: What makes your skate session unique? Jay: My sessions are unique because I play skate music made by producers, which was non-existent around here. I play everything from the west to the east coast. If you come to one of my sessions, there’s gonna be something for you, whether you’re an old head or a young cat. I’m constantly trying to build up my library with brand new tracks and really old records. If you come to one of my sessions you’re gonna know it’s DJ prototype in the booth. Sk8Night: What are some of your DJ goals for the near future? Jay: I would love the opportunity to play at any party I can around the world. I would love to see people wearing my shirts. Besides that, my goal is to have people wanting to hear me a second time, even if they have to wait a year for me to come back!
AS A DJ YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PLEASE EVERYONE WITH EVERY SONG, BUT THERE’S MORE THAN ONE SONG LEFT IN THE NIGHT TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY. ALSO, IF YOU DON’T GET OUT THERE ON SOME WHEELS EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, HOW ARE YOU GONNA KNOW WHAT’S UP?
PAUL PITCHFORD Sk8: Thank you for taking time out to do this interview with our magazine. We are honored to feature you. For those who may be unfamiliar with your journey can you talk about how you got into skating?
Paul: I started skating as a kid. Maybe around the age of 11. My church had a youth program that would frequently take us to gospel skate sessions. A few of my friends from the neighborhood skated and their family members skated as well. So they would take us to family sessions on the weekends to keep us out of trouble. I grew up skating at all the rinks across Chicago and suburbs. SK8: You are well known as the founder of JB Committee here in Atlanta. What prompted you to start this group?
Paul: JBC was initially a collective of skaters who loved the JB skate style and music. Stew Barks, a well-known skater, would always jokingly say "Da Committee is in the building!" whenever we (JB skaters) would link up at a session. The group took form when I realized that we had a genuine connection. And the energy amongst us was undeniable when we would roll together at any session. So it was a no-brainer for us to form the group. The interesting thing is JBC has a dual meaning. The JB Committee and Just Brothers of Christ. We are all God loving people and carry that torch to be impactful in out respective communities. SK8: Where do you currently reside and are you involved in your local skate scene?
Paul: I currently reside in Corpus Christi, TX and Chicago, IL. I commute back and forth as my schedule allows. Unfortunately, there isn’t a skate scene here in Corpus but there is in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas; so I attend regular sessions when I can. But you can always find me popping up in the A or in Chicago to get my fix. SK8: Who are some of your favorite skaters to watch?
Paul: I have a host of favorite skaters that I like to watch. My wife being one them who is also a well-known skater. All the members of JBC. Most of my favorite are skaters from Chicago who don't travel like Larry Broadnex, Twinn, BeBe, Mitzi, my cousin Lindell Payne, Antoin Slater, Rich City's own Buddy and DJ from the RichBoys... the list is long lol.
Sk8: What advice would you offer to someone trying to learn the JB style of skating who lives outside of Chicago?
For anyone who doesn't live in Chicago and wants to truly learn the craft, they have to fall in love with the music first. Watch youtube videos and try to grab that feeling on video before learning the moves. Link up with someone who skates the style and pick up what you can. But at some point along the journey, you have to go to Mecca (Chicago) and get blessed. You have to see it, touch it and feel it for JB to really get in your soul.
Featured Skater PUSH
SKATEBAE Sk8: Thanks for taking time out to do this interview with our magazine. We are honored to feature you. For those who may be unfamiliar with your skate journey, can you talk about how you got into skating?
Push: I skated as a kid whenever my school went on skate trips and sometimes on the weekends. I didn't start taking skating seriously until I was about 26 years old and my oldest daughter that was only 3 years old. She loved to skate, so every weekend I would take my daughter skating I noticed other people my age skating there and they had a lot of skills. That inspired me to practice to be more like them. Sk8: You have a very unique and smooth style of skating. Where does that come from?
Push: I guess my unique style of skating comes from living here in Atlanta. Atlanta seems to be a pretty big melting pot of people and cultures and that is why I feel like I picked up on different styles and put it all together into one. As far is my smoothness,, I just like to do things smooth. I'm pretty hard on myself until I get it right or until I'm happy with it. Sk8: You have done commercials for Apple as a featured skater. Can you talk about that experience?
Push: Oh wow, when I was a featured skater for Apple's Ipod commercial, I really didn't know what to expect. Dallas Austin approached me on a Sunday night at Cascade skating rink and asked me for my number. By Monday of the following week I was asked to meet up with a photographer in order to get short clips of my skating. After that I was told the following Wednesday night to get on a plane to California that Friday morning. I was picked up from the airport and taken to the studios the following day. We started working on the commercial and I remember having my skates on my feet for 14 hours. But all in all the experience was interesting. Sk8: You travel to skate at various events. Where are some of your favorite places to skate?
Push: Out of all the skating trips I have taken, two of my favorite places to go skating would have to be Skateland in Indianapolis and The Rink in Chicago. I just admire the styles in these two cities, they give me inspiration
MY ADVICE FOR A NEW SKATER WOULD BE TO GET YOURSELF A DECENT PAIR OF SKATES THAT FIT YOU WELL AND ARE COMFORTABLE. SKATE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND CREATE AS MUCH MUSCLE MEMORY AS YOU CAN.
An Interview with
Sk8Night: Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. We are honored to feature you. For those who may be unfamiliar with your journey, can you tell us how you got involved in skating?
Tootz: We got into roller skating almost 2 years ago in Memphis. We always wanted to skate, but growing up, our mom refused to buy us skates. We didn't wanna learn to skate on brownies (rentals). So when we got older and finally had time, we decided to get into it. Sk8Night: How did you'll get into skate DJing?
Tootz: We were actually kinda thrown into it. We have been DJing regular parties, club events, concerts and weddings for about 5 years. We are pretty well-known throughout the city back home in Memphis. When we started skating, other skaters suggested we start DJiing but we didn't want to, we only wanted to skate. It wasn't until we went to our first skate party, SkateAThon 2018 when the promoter, Joi Loftin, put us on the spot to DJ at the picnic along side “DJ Greg Nyce” and “Dee Jay Tranz.” Once that happened, we started getting booked to DJ skate events back home and quite naturally when we moved to ATL, we started getting booked to DJ some nights. Shoutout to Jemal Deverett. He has been working so hard to help us get booked here in Atlanta. Sk8Night: You have an interesting setup, both of you DJ. Can you talk about that approach as a team?
Tootz: Yes. So we try to incorporate creativity when we DJ and have fun. Big Toot is left handed and I (Lil Toot) am right handed. So I am usually on the left turntable and she is on the right. And we go back and forth through out the set. If not, I’m djing and while she MCs or vice versa. Sk8Night: Do you have any advice to the ladies that have an interest in DJing?
Tootz: To the ladies who want to become a skate DJ, we would just say do it and have fun. Skating is about fun and so is DJing.
WE TRY INCORPORATE CREATIVITY WHEN WE DJ AND HAVE FUN. BIG TOOT IS LEFT HANDED AND I (LIL TOOT) AM RIGHT HANDED. SO I AM USUALLY ON THE LEFT TURNTABLE AND SHE IS ON THE RIGHT. AND WE GO BACK AND FORTH THROUGH OUT THE SET. IF NOT, I’M DJING AND WHILE SHE MCS OR VICE VERSA.
AN INTERVIEW WITH CALVIN
Sk8: Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. We are honored to feature you. For those who may be unfamiliar with your journey, can you talk about the skate events that you currently DJ?
DJ Pooh: Currently I’m a featured DJ but before they closed our rink “Skateland Of Richmond” I DJ’d there for over 10 years., I had a once a month adult session and I DJ’d every Friday and Saturday for the teen nights which were sold out every weekend. Currently, I get booked to do various skate events whether it’s a main night feature or a party at a weekend skate convention. Sk8: What makes your skate session unique? DJ Pooh: Catering to every style that’s on the wooden floor makes me unique. I play new music that’s not played in the local rinks. I play skate music from local and out of state producers. One minute you maybe "slow walking," the next minute "snapping" then onto "Jb" and R&B and House. You never know with me, but everything I play is meant to touch all my different skaters. Sk8: What are some of your DJ goals for the near future? DJ Pooh: My Goal as a DJ is to headline a big arena whether it's for skating or an EDI festival. I just want to leave a legacy for the younger generation. Sk8: What advice do you have for aspiring DJs out there?
TO ANY UPCOMING DJ MY ADVICE TO YOU IS TO STAY HUMBLE AND YOU WILL ALWAYS WIN. ALWAYS TAKE SPARE TIME TO PERFECT YOUR CRAFT. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. LEARN YOUR MUSIC. LEARN ALL STYLES OF SKATING. NETWORK WITH DJS AND SKATE PRODUCERS. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CROWD.
PHOTO CREDIT: JUAN GOODEN FEATURING BEV & AISHA DAYTON OH
Featured Music Producer Na'jee "NAZ" Wilson
PHOTO BY JAMES THOMAS JB LUNATICS CHICAGO, IL
Tim "TJIB" Jones
Featured Skater LaToya McNabb
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY KEVIN BRYANT NEW YORK CITY
SKATE MUSIC PRODUCER
TIM JONES IN THE TJ: 5 years is too far out. I would say, there will be an evolution within a year. It's also a segregated genre of music which consists of beat-makers and producers. But I can see it evolving into something dope as long as folks have it in them to keep the integrity of the music. Let's face it. The sky is the limit! I just pray folks will think outside of the box. Where are your favorite cities to skate outside of your hometown? TJ: My favorite cities to skate outside of Chicago are: Atlanta and North Carolina (Hey Bridget). What advice do you have for any other up and coming producers?
1. INVEST IN A WEBSITE 2. USE ALL MUSIC PLATFORMS TO
Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. You are well known in the skate scene for your music production. Can you tell us how you got into making music for skaters?
PROMOTE AND SELL YOUR STUFF
TJ: I was skating at The Rink in Chicago on Saturday at the midnight ramble. I remember skating and thinking to myself that I hated a particular track that was being played. I didn't complain because it's not in my character. I've always been a doer. So as I was leaving, I told T-Rell to watch his ass (not saying that it was his track). I wanted to be the difference and create good skating music.
4. PUT THE WORK AND TIME INTO
Do you have a favorite skate track that you’ve produced? TJ: Of course. although my favorites are often times NEVER the skaters favorite. My favorite skate tracks are: 1st JB SKATE TRACK, 41, and Triumph. Who are some other skate producers that you enjoy listening to? TJ: Keezo, B-Dash, Shapro, T-Rell, and Dame-O Skate music is a relatively new genre of music and you are one of the pioneers. Where do you envision this genre 5 years from now.
3. ALLOW DJS TO USE YOUR MUSIC
PROMOTING YOURSELF 5. GO LIVE OFTEN TO SHOW YOUR PROCESS 6. SURVEY AND FIND OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WHAT DOESN’T 7. FIND A MENTOR IF YOU FEEL LOST 8. SUPPORT EVERYBODY ELSE!
Photo Credit: L. David Stewart, ASMP PPA, for Year 60
Photo Credit: L. David Stewart, ASMP PPA, for Year 60
FEATURED PHOTOS FROM JOI'S SKATE-A-THON 2019
Donyae Scott Houston, TX Photo Credit: Kelvin Holtzclaw
PHOTOS FROM JOI'S SKATE-A-THON 2019 ATLANTA, GA
Each One Teach One Skate Workshop Atlanta, GA
Submitted by Donyae Scott, Houston, TX
Charla Stewart Eric Alston Atlanta GA
Jazzmine Booker Richmond VA
Karen "Special K" Milwaukee WI,
Submitted by Patrina Y. Doughty
WE SKATE HSV FAMILY Huntsville AL
Submitted by DeOndray Redus Hunstville, AL
Photo Credit: L. David Stewart ASMP PPA, for Year 60
Â NAZ ON THE TRACK! INTERVIEW BY J RENARD
NA'JEE "NAZ" WILSON TAKES US ON HIS SKATE MUSIC JOURNEY!
Sk8: Where did your interest in skate music come from?
Sk8: Where do you envision the skate music scene in the next 5 years?
Naz: I’ve been skating since I was little and I have always had a thing for skate music . It was great listening to it as I grew up. Outside of the skate scene, my choose of music has always been influenced by producers such as J Dilla, 9th Wonder and Pete Rock. Their samples and production have always intrigued me. I wanted to make music and take that influence and bring it to the skate community. So I took my little experience from listening to my favorite producers and translated it into my skate production. Sk8: What are some of your favorite skate tracks that you have produced? Naz: My favorite track haven’t been released. I’m in the process of dropping a tape very soon which will feature it and many more. I have a few that I like, but if I had to name a song that has been heard, I personally like the songs I did for the producer battle. Those were fun to make and a song I made called degree that’s played here in Chicago. Sk8: Who are some of your favorite skate producers? Naz: I enjoy Fabo and DjCj. I enjoy that dark era they had going and I have plans for that. But I also enjoy B-Dash, Dame-O and Assassin. I’ve always like their style of production and I enjoy skating to it.
Nas: Well I’m one of the newer producers honestly and I’ve only been making music for about 4years. With that being said, I know a few other producers in my era that’s also dropping heat. 5 years from now, I feel that we will have a whole new generation of skate music and an evolution of what we make now. Sk8: Where do you enjoy skating besides Chicago? Naz: Georgia hands down. I always enjoy skating in Georgia. I have a few friends down there. Sk8: What advice do you have for new producers trying to break into the skate scene? Naz: As far as being heard, you have to communicate. This is the most I’ve been exposed and I wish I could’ve exposed myself a lot sooner. But networking IN TOWN AND OUT is important. You should also talk to other producers, do collaboration if you can or just chop it up in general. Iron sharpens iron. I still talk to my mentor to this day. Also, DEVELOP YOUR OWN SOUND.
WE ARE EVOLVING BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE THE SAME THING AS ANOTHER PRODUCER. OUR DIFFERENT IDEAS AND VIEWS OF MUSIC IS WHAT MAKES OUR SKATE GENRE UNIQUE.
SK8: Can you tell us about your background in roller skating? Well I started out like any other rental skater pretty much. Coming to the rink for the girls and trying to look cool. Then I saw some real talent and I just had to pick up the style.
SK8: What has contributed most to the development of your skating abilities? Outside of skating, I mentor children ages 6-15. Mainly I believe skating with my friends in blades taught me how to control my body, more than anything else. Going fast taught me how to judge which
throughout the summer but I do it as much as I can. Children definitely have a spot in my heart no matter if I know them or not. I’ll always lookout for them if they need me.
moves I could get away with. Once I put an actual skate style such as JB with that speed, I was halfway there.
SK8: Where are some of your favorite places to skate beside Arkansas? My favorite place outside of Arkansas would most definitely be Chicago. The energy is high. The music is out of this world and it’s not played at a fast pace. Also, the hospitality is always on point.
SK8: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of skating?
Take your time. Don’t be scared to touch the floor. Come practice on more than Sunday nights. Also don’t be worried about what others are doing. You’re gonna go through a phase where you feel goofy. We all have. But once you grind it out and you know how to feel the music, you’ll takeoff.
PHOTO SUBMMISSIONS FROM LAYLA MOORE (ORLANDO FL) DUFFIE TYNELL (WAUKEGAN IL)
AN INTERVIEW WITH LATOYA MCNABB INTERVIEW BY J. RENARD Sk8Night: Thank you for taking time out to interview with us. For those who may be unfamiliar with your journey, can you tell us how you got involved in skating? LaToya: I started skating in rollerblades outside when I was 7 years old. I started skating in rinks when I was 9 or 10 years old. I instantly fell in love with the craft and it became one of my favorite hobbies. Many of my family members also skated as well, so I picked it up from them. I skated in a couple of rinks like Sparkles in Riverdale (before it closed) and Golden Glide. But once Cascade opened in 2000, I skated there mainly because it was only a few minutes from my house. It was amazing to see
the popularity of the skate culture grow during those early years. When I was a teenager, I used to sneak into the adult sessions because I knew so many skaters, security guards, and managers They watched me grow up at Cascade and knew I wouldn't start any trouble. I think that's when I started to fall in love with skating. I would see the Atlanta skate crews doing their thing on floor, doing all of these crazy tricks with so much swag. It made me want to learn more and get better so I could join in. Sk8Night: What has contributed most to your roller skating skills?
LaToya: My determination to get better and not being afraid to mess up or fall. We all start as beginners in peanut butters (lol). The only way to better is by not being afraid to look awkward while learning and repetition. You have to keep trying until you reach your goal and become the skater you want to be. Sk8Night: Where are your favorite skate sessions in Atlanta and beyond? LaToya: My favorite sessions to skate in Atlanta are Cascade Wednesday nights, Golden Glide Friday nights, and Sparkles or Cascade Sunday nights. I don't really have a favorite rink, but I do like certain DJ's. My favorite places to skate outside of Atlanta are Kates in Charlotte (I love the rinks with the large fans) and Chicago because I have grown to love the JB style skating. Although, I still have a lot more rinks to visit since I didn't start traveling to skate until after I finished school. Sk8Night: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of skating? LaToya: The most interesting thing about me is I am a closet nerd. By now almost everyone that knows me in the skate world, knows that I'm a doctor, veterinarian to be exact. But they don't know that I am continuously pushing myself to become more educated in different subjects to better my future as well as my family and peers. I try to advocate for the black community because I know we have so much potential but some of us just haven't realized it yet. We are stronger together and we all should be helping one another succeed. Sk8Night: What advice to you have for skaters trying to be great like you?
THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE TO NEW SKATERS IS TO HAVE FUN. DON'T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE DRAMA OR ATTENTION SEEKING. BE YOURSELF, DON'T TRY TO BE ANYONE ELSE. SKATING IS A GREAT SOURCE OF STRESS RELIEF AND EXERCISE. AND WHEN DONE PROPERLY, IT CAN BETTER YOUR LIFE.
PHOTO BY JAMES THOMAS JB LUNATICS CHICAGO, IL
PHOTO BY DUFFIE TYNELL WAUKEGAN IL
Featured Music Producer "ItsYaBoy" Donte
Submitted by Kimsey Head Old School OG Rollers Columbus, OH
Terron "T-Stacks" Frank
William Hixon & Berri 'Blanco'
Alex Sellers of WE Sk8 HSV
ON THE COVER OF ISSUE ONE MORGAN GEE, VERONICA JOHNSON & DANISHA BAKER ALL8â€™S SKATE GROUP IN DAYTON, OH EVENT: IR9 IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS PHOTO CREDIT: FLORIDA SK8 PICS
HUNTSVILLE, AL INTERVIEW BY J. RENARD
Put in the work, find people who skate better than yourself and follow them around. Consistency is huge, if people see you working to get something time and time again, week after week, eventually they will help you. Currently you will see us at local parades, food truck events, local warehouses, downtown Huntsville, etc. We will promote the benefits of skating everywhere we can skate. It’s a lifetime passion, once a skater, always a skater. It’s a sport that you can enjoy at all stages of your life. SK8: You are known for your proficiency with JB style skating. Where did you learn and who are the most influential skaters who taught you?
PIONEERING THE HSV WE SK8 MOVEMENT SK8: You are one of the pioneers behind the skate movement in Huntsville, AL. Can you talk about your skate background and how you arrived in the Huntsville skate scene? I received my first taste of the adult skate scene in DC. I had some pretty amazing skate mentors up in DC, who taught me that discipline and hard work on the wood pays off. If you want to be a good skater you have to skate A LOT. I accepted a job change and moved to Huntsville in 2008 from DC. I came to HSV with the same mentality and almost immediately met some like minded individuals here who also loved to skate and wanted to be better so we linked up and started skating together. That’s when we started my group Talented Tenth, from WEB Dubois’s philosophy that it only takes 1 out of 10 “exceptional men” to lead and effect positive change. Our founding principle is that as black men we have a responsibility to handle our business first, then if time permits, we skate. All the brothers in TT hold their own in the skate world and in the real world. Presently, I am an engineering manager at the Boeing Company and my coworkers are still surprised when I mention that I travel the country to roller skate. So after a couple of years of TT rolling together, we ran into a lot of people who not only enjoyed watching us skate but also wanted to know how they could help promote skating in Huntsville. Based on that feedback we created the We Skate Huntsville movement and the Huntsville Skate Nation. We left it open ended in case other cities also wanted to identify with the skate nation movement in the future i.e. Atlanta Skate Nation etc…
I appreciate that statement; however I will state that I consider myself a skater who knows some JB. But it’s really hard for me to detach the style from the city of Chicago, of which I am not a native. On the other hand, I certainly have eaten a lot of JB pills and was trained by some of the best in the game. When I moved to DC, a very accomplished JB skater by the name of Pooh (JB Elite) lived there and he had a cult like following. I remember my first time seeing him at the rink; he had a train around 8 skaters deep following his every move. It was quite intimidating, but eventually I just got in the back of the line and tried to keep up with what he was teaching and went home to practice, practice, practice. My first real skate teacher was one of the people who also learned JB from Pooh. His position was in the front. His name was Ricky and he spent a lot of time teaching me the fundamentals of the JB style, which was challenging because I was also learning to skate at the same time. Ricky was my guy until I left DC and then I linked up with other JB skaters who were in range: DJ of the Rich Boyz (when he moved to Atlanta for a bit), Paul of JB Committee (from Chicago) and DK who worked with me when I was taking frequent trips to skate at Rich City in Chicago on Friday nights. Lastly, another JB Elite member named Don moved to Nashville and I was able to learn a lot from him. SK8: What advice do you have for up and coming skaters that are frustrated by the process of trying to become great? Stop trying to be great, just have fun. I have been on the adult skate scene for 12 years and have seen hundreds of amazing skaters. I can count the ones who are being paid to skate on a few fingers. That tells me this is a hobby for 99% of the people who skate. Enjoy your hobby. Of course put in the work, find people who skate better than yourself and follow them around. Consistency is huge, if people see you working to get something time and time again, week after week, eventually they will help you.
Teron T-Stacks Frank
SK8: Can you tell us about your background in roller skating? Also, who has inspired you along the way? I got into skating at the age of 12. I was really inspired at the age of 16 by some of the older skaters while I was working at a rink called Plaza Skate Center in Portsmouth, VA. I skated there until it closed that same year. The OG skaters inspired me to skate and get better. They still inspire me!
SK8: Where are some of your favorite places to skate in Atlanta and beyond? My favorite rink skate at is Cascade and particular session would be the Wednesday night session. Outside of Atlanta, The Chino Skate Express in California on Sunday night!
SK8: What is the most interesting thing about you outside of skating? The most interesting thing about me outside of skating is my love for fashion and the latest fashion trends. I like different, bold, and daring fashion trends.
SK8: What advice do you have for all the up and coming skaters out there? My advice for up and coming skaters would be to practice. Also, have respect for the culture and the craft. Do your homework on your current skate style and its origins. Lastly, respect the people who paved the way for you... simple as that.
THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT ME OUTSIDE OF SKATING IS MY LOVE FOR FASHION AND THE LATEST FASHION TRENDS. I LIKE DIFFERENT, BOLD, AND DARING FASHION TRENDS.
IT'SYABOY DONTE Interview by J. Renard
Sk8: Where are your favorite cities to skate outside of your hometown? My favorite cities to skate in outside of Charlotte NC would have to be Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, and somewhere in Virginia lol.
Sk8: Thanks for taking time to do this interview with us. You are well known in the skate scene for your music production. Can you briefly tell us how you got into making music for skaters? I was already into music production before I started skating. One of the guys in my skate group suggested that I make a skate track for our group. Once people heard it, they liked it and wanted more. I started thinking maybe I could do it on a national level. The rest is history.
Sk8: Do you have a favorite skate track that you’ve produced? That's a tough one since I have so many. But my favorite skate track would have to be "Snappin Makes The World Go Round” and "Carta.”
Sk8: Who are some other producers that you enjoy? Other producers I enjoy listening to are Dame-O, he’s one of my favorites. And the OG’s Keezo, Sha Pro Style, Tim Jones, and T Rell. As far as, my generation goes CJ , P@hix, and Reggie “Premiere” Brown. But honestly I try to keep up with everyone's music because they all got some heat!
Sk8: Skate music is a relatively new genre of music and you are one of the pioneers. Where do you envision this genre being 5 years from now? Thanks, I envision skate music growing on a much bigger scale in the next 5 years with the addition of hot new producers from different states. Also the growth of universal skate music that every style can skate too. It would also be great to be able to download and purchase skate music on more major platforms.
Sk8: What advice do you have for any other up and coming producers trying to get their music heard in the skate scene? My advice for up and coming producers is to be personable and network. Reach out to DJ's and form relationships, without them you won't be heard. Secondly, just make music and don't be afraid to put it out there. You never know which one is gonna put you on the map. And don't try to sound like anyone else, just be yourself and do it for the love of skating not for the fame.
SK8: What is the best way for people to support your music? The best way to support my music is to purchase from my bandcamp page, but also to talk about it to your friends and local DJ’s. Also reach out and let me know you appreciate it because I definitely appreciate the love!
My advice for up and coming producers is to be personable and network. Reach out to DJ's and form relationships, without them you won't be heard
Submitted by Kozmik Niecy Detroit MI
Submitted by Donte Clyburn Charlotte, NC
Submitted by Kozmik Niecy Detroit MI
Submitted by Xavier Sweeney Hunstville, AL
Submitted by JoVan Chambers Richmond, VA
Submitted by Submitted by Dunbar Zeroni Washington, DC
Kozmik Niecy Detroit MI
Submitted by Kam Dorsette London, UK
Submitted by Donyae Scott, Houston, TX
Submitted by PhoneicaÂ Hampton
Wesley Baldwin Atlanta, GA
Submitted by Patrina Y. Doughty Hunstville, AL
Submitted by DeOndray Redus Hunstville, AL
Submitted by Patrina Y. Doughty Hunstville, AL
Submitted by Thomas Holcombe Atlanta, GA
Submitted by Alex Sellers Huntsville, AL
Submitted by Terrence Clarke Venice Beach, CA
Submitted by Darrius Johnson Hunstville, AL
Submitted by Bridget Renae Hunstville, AL
Submitted by McDaniel B Frreshh Los Angelos, CA
Dunbar Zeroni Washington, DC
Chloe Seyres Montreal Canada Photo Credit: Julie Bruhier
William Berri 'Blanco' Hixon discuss their skate journey, inspiration and skate sponsorship!
Sk8: Thanks for taking time out to do this interview with our new magazine. We are honored to feature you. For those who may be unfamiliar with your skate journey, can you talk about how you got into skating?
William: My 1st style of skating was Chicago JB. I did that for 10 years and I just fell in love with the music and culture. My introduction to jammin' technique came from Bill Butler. This enhanced what already had inside me: to skate with pure finesse. My obsession was to have complete control of my body with finesse at any speed, any direction, and any given time regardless of the music. Berri: At age 9 in New York City, my mother went to meet someone near this Skating Rink in Manhattan. The rink was upstairs and she took me there as a punishment. Oops! I gravitated to the whole scene (the ambiance, the music, and the fashion). I became a regular at Skate Key in the Bronx, NY. Since then I've been planning my life entirely around My Skate Lyfe. It sounds crazy but it's true. It started with the fashion. I noticed all the women wearing jeans. None of the ladies were looking like ladies. So here I come, skating in cute skirts, dresses and stockings at age 14.
Don’t let anyone tell you that having a skate life is just a dream. Your dreams are your reality! If it's a hobby then this message ain't for you. If you want more, stay focused, quiet the noise around you and keep believing in your dreams. Sk8: How did you'll meet? Berri: I was living in Baltimore MD and one day literally I said, "I'm out, I'm moving to Atlanta." Shortly after moving, I spoke to Mr. Bill Butler over the phone and I was in his skate class the next day. Mr. Butler paired William and I together as his 1st Pair team. We practiced a lot until one day I said "Hey don’t like me, I'm not the likeable kind, I'm just your Sk8 partner." Yea right. William Hixon not only became my skate partner, he became my husband, co-worker and best friend. William: I met Strawberry Perez at Bill Butler' Class and we have been inseparable ever since, 4 years now and counting. Sk8: Becoming a sponsored skater is quite an accomplishment. Can you tell us a little about the process of attaining sponsorship?
William: Me and Mrs Footwork are the only rhythm and dance roller skating team in the world sponsored by Skates US. Our sponsorship came out of nowhere. We were at SkateA-Thon and Mr. David Ripp approached us and said he would like to see us in his skates. He handed me a card and I gave him a call the following day. He eventually offered us a sponsorship for pairs with Edea and Roll-line products.
Sk8: What advice to you have for up and coming skaters out there?
Berri: Hard work pays off. We practiced hard to learn the "Jammin Technique" as a pair. Unfortunately we were teased and ridiculed by some skaters for what we learned. Eventually the President of Skates US approached us at Skate-A-Thon with his phone and says, "Hello, isn't this you on my phone? I've been watching you for a while. Call me!” Next day contract was sent in an email.
William: The advice I have for new skaters is to never give up on your dream and always reach for what others may say is impossible. We are more powerful than what we know. If you can feel it and see it, you can dream it. Life is about experiences, if you don't experience the failures, you'll never appreciate the wins.
Berri: The advice I have for anyone coming into the Skate game is this: Don’t let anyone tell you that having a skate life is just a dream. Your dreams are your reality! If it's a hobby then this message ain't for you. If you want more, stay focused, quiet the noise around you and keep believing in your dreams.
Trashondra Bernard Hunstville, AL Photo Credit: Sef1 Photography
Donyae Scott Houston, TX Photo Credit: Kelvin Holtzclaw