I am SOOOOOO glad to see all of these kids nowadays on skateboards AND listening to hip hop AT THE SAME TIME. That's right folks! Everybody in my all Black neighborhood thought I was some bizzare sellout wierdo for wanting to try skateboarding back in the day, and now EVERYBODY'S DOING IT!!! I was way ahead before my time! So take THAT!!! MUHA AHAAHAAA!!!!
Anyway, now that I have that out of the way, here's the story:
The year was 1987, and I was in 3rd grade. I had cable tv. You remember the first cable setup with the wood grain box that sat on top of the tv, and it came with this big ass remote with a million buttons on it, a red LED light that blinked each time you pressed the buttons on the remote, and half the buttons on the remote did NOTHING at all but make the LED blink? Anyway, I was watching MTV and I saw these kids doing tricks in the halfpipe. That had to be the coolest thing I ever saw at that time, and I had made up my mind that I was going to be the first girl skateboarder ever. The problem was that I couldn't get my mom to get me a skateboard for Christmas, my Birthday, or any other day outside of Christmas that there was a slim possibility I would get presents, simply because I am a girl. The neighbor boy down the street got a Bart Simpson skateboard, so I used his to practice just in case I got one too. I thought I had to be on my death bead in order to get a skateboard, but logic would have said that if I was dying, I wouldn't be able to USE a skateboard, so I STILL couldn't have one. I wanted a skateboard for a very long time, and it didn't take me too long to forget about the dream of being the very first girl skater.
Fast forward to 1998.
Afer asking for a keyboard for my birthday or Christmas (because I was taking a piano class in high school, plus I wanted to make rap beats), Low and behold, I get a birthday card that says "Enjoy the ride" written in either my oldest sister's or mother's handwriting (I can't remember who wrote it). BOOH YA!!!! They finally bust out the skateboard. After all these years, I finally get what I was asking for when I was 7! I didn't care to ask about the sudden change in heart because after all, I was and still am (as far as my anatomy could tell) a girl. I couldn't wait to try it out.
Now, back then, skater clothes usually consisted of a pair of JNCO jeans (or other really huge pair of pants) Airwalk shoes and a t-shirt. I had none of that, mostly because my mother HATED my choice in clothes, so I had to meet her where she wanted me to go when it came to getting clothes with her money. With that being said, I could be found in a tight fitting pair of jeans, some tennis shoes, and a close fitting top. On some days, I'd dress baggier (depending on whether or not I had spent my money on the clothing worn that day,or what I had available). I found it better to wear tighter clothes when skating because I had more mobility. Skaters also listened to grunge back then, but I was a fan of hip hop, so that made me seem even weirder to the Black kids. Nowadays, kids wear tight clothes for skating, and listen to hip hop.
So after a bit of practice, I was able to stay on the board. There was nobody (and I mean NOBODY) around who was into skateboarding in my neigborhood at the time. People would look at me funny considering I was a Black girl on a skateboard. Somebody went so far as to ask me why I was on a skateboard. The reply was" because I want to learn, and there was nothing to do." My younger sister's friend said, "You are the only person I know who do that". I shrSPAM!!!ed my shoulders and continued practicing. I spent quite a while trying to learn how to get going on that board, and I eventually got the hang of it. I never got the hang of doing tricks because when I tried to produce an ollie, the plastic (that's right folks, PLASTIC) part of the truck that held the bushing had broken! And that was the end of my skatboarding adventure.
My point of the story was to give a nod to all of the kids out there who skate (past and present), AND listen to hip hop AT THE SAME TIME before it was cool. Don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that everybody's skateboarding, plus the abundance of skate parks opening up is a blessing because it keeps the kids out of trouble. They aren't joining gangs, selling drugs, or running the street. Skateboarding teaches the ability to stay focused and dedicated. So what if it has become "trendy". The next generation of kids have shown some real dedication and determination to stick to something and keep getting better. And yea, hip hop is becoming one of those trends as well. I don't mind, as long as these things are a part of your soul, and you hold them close (regardless of whether listening to hip hop and skateboarding goes out of style) Keep doing you, and have a lot of fun! Plus, it never hurts to have somebody in your life who is FULLY suMFortive of your dreams and goals. I figure as long as you aren't out there destroying stuff or hurting anybody, then you'll be ok.
Skate on kids. Skate on.