In our little skateboard world, people don’t always take jokes lightly and even the top dogs can have surprisingly fragile egos. So when I first saw an episode of Skateline and this random kid, Gary Rogers was trash talking Rob Drydek and dropping the “N bomb” about half a dozen times, I knew he was on to something. It wasn’t just what he was saying, it was the fact that he was actually getting away with it.
A few episodes later, and the internet’s unanimous thumbs up, the most unlikely candidate grabbed the show for his Youtube channel: Mr. Tony Hawk. Yes, Tony Hawk’s RIDE channel was now paying this guy to rip on the industry and deliver “news” which is amazing in itself. While Skateline can get a bit hit or miss comedically, it’s the most honest and fun, news-related media we have in skateboarding. And that my friends, makes it very important to us, because otherwise we just have a bunch of boring magazines sucking the advertiser’s teat and reposting press releases.
Let’s start this off with what most people are wondering, do you actually skate?
Of course. Actually it’s funny to me, people are always like, “that guy doesn’t skate,” and I’m like nigga, look at my knees, ankles and shins that are all fucked up and tell me I don’t skate.
You say some pretty crazy shit about people. Why do you think you can get away with it and others might not be able to?
I have no idea, I’m glad that nobody has shot my fuckin’ house up yet. I’m so ready to be dead already or for someone to take me out of the game. But everyone just fuckin’ loves it and that’s what’s chill because that’s what it was made for. No one takes it too seriously, that’s what makes it ok. Everyone supports it, that’s what I love.
Do you think if you were white you would be as funny?
Of course not! [laughs] Nah, I don’t know. I feel like our material would make it just as funny.
But you couldn’t be dropping nigga every 5 seconds.
Yeah, but that’s what I’m saying, If I was white, still saying nigga, and still using all my same material, I think it would make it twice as funny.
How did the whole Skate Line concept come about?
I was in Metro skateshop and they were thinking about ideas for something to put on Youtube and I came up with the idea for skateboarding news. It was going to be a comedy, Joel from Metro came up with the idea and it just clicked like that. We made it and the Ride channel saw it and was like, yeah let’s get this. We were down to be a part of it.
What’s the process writing material or jokes for Skateline?
I don’t write any material for Skateline. We watch about 6 or 7 videos like an hour before we film, whatever’s out. We see what we like, whoever’s doing something, and just freestyle it. No notes, no nothing. We just kinda basically are talking back and forth and they are filming all my responses. Joel [the editor] is throwing in ideas, we all think together. It’s perfect working with that dude. We spend about 2 or 3 hours usually in total for the entire process.
Do you have any recording tricks? Do you smoke or drink before shooting?
I just turned 21, so now I have a beer when we go in there. But I don’t smoke for Skateline, I can’t, I get too high and it’s not a good delivery. You get so many ideas, you can’t really talk. I used to smoke before the show, but I don’t really try to smoke like that anymore.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Play basketball. Be a rapper. Be black, basically. Wanted to ride in the back of the bus.
Since it’s on RIDE, are there guidelines to what you can and can’t say, as the channel has a young demographic?
Nope. I can do what the figgity I want for shiggity.
You have used the word “faggot” on the show, has that pissed people off?
I try not to use that anymore. Fuck…. It’s funny to people, you know I don’t mean to offend anyone with that word. That word does sound hella funny, but when you have people that live all different types of lifestyles, you can’t go around calling people faggots and shit.. I try not to use it as much or “gay”… I forgot what I was doing, you get people taking stuff offensively. I don’t wanna hurt anyone.
Is there anything else you have personally decided not to talk about?
Death and dead skateboarders. Don’t do it, that’s it.
So you didn’t want to mention the passing of Lewis Marnell in your recent segments?
I’m actually not gonna talk about that, it was not a good thing for me. I love Lewis Marnell. I LOVE Lewis Marnell…. that was one of the dopest dudes. And then when Charley [Ford] passed that was crazy too, because I’ve watched all their little comeup videos for the last 4 years so when that kid passed too I was like fuck. And, so when we went into Skateline, it was just like, damn we can’t talk about that. Kids may want us to, it’s supposed to be news but we don’t wanna do that. It’s like comedy, you can’t really laugh with that in the back of your mind, that’s not funny. We can’t talk about anyone that passes, even if we want to, we can’t.
For you that crosses the line from comedy to dark.
Yeah, there’s just nothing there for us.
You must be getting recognized now a days.
Yeah people will come up to me and be like, “sau eh aren’t you that dude,” and I’m like, “nah I’m just the guy who looks like him,” and they’ll say, “good I want to fight that dude.” I was just in the Dew Tour in SF with all my homies and kids were recognizing me and stuff it was pretty cool. P-Rod came up to me and was like, “Hey you’re from Skateline, I love that shit,” and I’m like what the fuck! Also I met the coolest weirdest nigga ever, Jereme Rogers. I could just sit with him and he goes off.
What about pros being pissed off at you? There’s gotta be some.
I’ve heard a couple that have said stuff, which is cool, because I think they’re hella mad but it’s just like comedy. It kinda shows you, who gets upset because they don’t understand. They don’t really get that I’m just messing around. A few pros and I have talked to clear it up and they’re always like, yeah it’s all good I get that you’re just joking around. I just talk shit on everyone.
Ah, I can’t name anyone but I hear about it going on from time to time.
As time goes on, has there been more pressure every episode to be funny?
Nah. If it’s not funny and no one’s laughing, people will say it’s not funny. But we thought it was and we just keep moving forward. Can’t really care about opinions or anything. I love the skaters and it’s not like I don’t listen to them…
Don’t you feel shitty about yourself if you think you filmed a good episode but then people thought it sucked?
Nah, I love that. It just tells me, Ah, shit, you still feel like you had a good episode and if the viewers didn’t, it means somebody wasn’t on the same page. Maybe I didn’t give my delivery or message clear enough for those dudes, but even then I can’t even think twice about it. I just gotta make sure I film an episode every week.