Tag Archives: Freestyle

Art Technique Form

I wrote this short essay for my friend’s zine because I know he loves skateboarding and art and the two are one and the same. Sort of.

“It’s art. It’s technique. It’s form… It’s what looks good!”

J. Dill, On the topic of skateboarding

Skateboarders are naturally creative. They need to be. The world is their canvas and their boards are their tools to express themselves as they wish. No rules. No limitations except for their minds. From the wooden frames of the ramp to the unpredictable nature of the street; from the expressionism of poured concrete to the abstract spirit of freestyle, every skateboarder finds their place and perfects their skills.

The artistic integrity of professional skateboarders depends entirely on their ability to respect and defend their ancestors. Street skateboarders flock to the vast workshops of San Francisco, New York, Paris and Barcelona to redesign and refine the techniques their predecessors mastered in the multiple plazas and schoolyards of the city.

Sometimes the modern skateboarders draw inspiration from opposite ends of the artistic spectrum. For example, Ricky Oyola’s minimalist use of Philadelphia’s innercity architecture placed in juxtaposition with the surrealism of Japan’s Gou Miyagi has spawned a new genre of expressionism in Bordeaux, France, where powerslides are no longer limited to four wheels.

Even though skateboarding is a creative art form, it also embodies the qualities of a martial art with clearly defined technique and skill needed to perform tricks of the highest standard. The culture respects the skateboarder who has a response for every game of S.K.A.T.E. just as much as it respects the skateboarder who performs a singular trick perfectly.

Federations and corporate entities attempt to harness the creative force of skateboarding and use it to their own profit. However, core skateboarders have a sixth sense for authenticity and are quick to disown and condone any party that tries to benefit from the art form’s marketability. In the advent of globalization and free markets the popularity of the skateboarder identity has grown to the point that it has become difficult to recognize who is a true artist and who isn’t.

To distinguish between artists and imposters, analysis of equipment, health and posture are vital. The use and wear of a pair of shoes, signs of bruising on elbows and shins, or the manner in which a person handles their skateboard when walking are clear indicators of integrity. Grip tape thumb and mall grab are two benchmarks of the skateboard culture that separate the real from the fake.



Awesome 2 Teddy Ted & Special K – The Anniversary

This week’s upload is a massive throwback to all the Hip Hop heads glued to their FM radios during the Nineties in New York. Teddy Ted and Special K are a New Jersey double act that hosted the Awesome 2 radio show for over 20 years showcasing the best underground talent the rap world had to offer. They also held the infamous Celebrity Tuesday party nights at the Latin Quarter in Midtown New York. The Awesome 2 worked really hard to network and support rappers and groups from across the five boroughs that were yet to make it onto the mainstream radio stations and club nights. A couple of the acts Teddy Ted and Special K can happily boast about breaking on their radio show or at the club are Eric B and Rakim, Nice and Smooth, Audio Two and The Real Roxanne. The Anniversary mixtape celebrates their 14th year in the business (1982-1996) and boasts a great line up of talented emcees that drop 45 minutes of exclusive freestyles for the New Jersey duo. The remaining 45 minutes is left for Teddy Ted and Special K to do what they do best which is mix a load of dope tracks together.

The Awesome 2 Teddy Ted and Special K The Anniversary mixtape is a certified banger. The freestyles on this tape are tight. Noteworthy bars come from Nineties heavyweights Real Live and Nine but also funnily enough from pornstar Heather Hunter who grinds away at the microphone the only way she knows how. I don’t think I’ve ever heard bars like that before. For a Nineties mixtape, The Anniversary also comes correct with the official releases by including alternative hit singles like Ghostface’s Daytona 500 or Tribe’s Stressed Out, and featuring groups like the Goodie Mob or the Bush Babees which is a nice change from the usual line-ups dominating the mixtape circuit in 1996.

Side A (Freestyle Side)

Intro – Kid Capri / Jacci McGhee
Still A Nigga Freestyle – Chubb Rock
In Your Area Freestyle – Channel Live
Visions Freestyle – Real Live
Live Interlude – Masterdon Committee
Permanent Freestyle – Nine
Interlude – ID
Chic Y Chi Freestyle – Zhané
Salute Freestyle – M.O.P.
Try To Dis Freestyle – Das EFX
Top Of Da Dome Freestyle – Jeru / Afu
Music Interlude – Special K
Freestyle (Live 105.9) – A Tribe Called Quest
Music Interlude – Vanessa Del Rio
Cum For You – Heather Hunter xxxx
New York Freestyle – Doug E. Fresh / Manson Bates
Freestyle – Al Moo Divine / Sha Skill / Scotti
Raw Shit Freestyle – Rampage / Busta Rhymes

Side B

Anniversary – Toni Toni Toné
Explosion Effect – Foreign Representation
You’re Playing Yourself – Jeru
Music Interlude – Awesome 2
Stressed Out – A Tribe Called Quest / Faith Evans
Daytona 500 – Ghostface Killah / Raekwon / Cappadonna
Hold Us Back – Greg Nice
The Love Song – Bush Babees
Can’t Call It – De La Soul
Bitch In Yoo – Common
Dead & Gone – M.O.P.
Word Play – Bahamadia
What Goes On – Heather B.
Guess Who – Goodie Mob
Elevators – Comedy Rourline / Donnell Rawlings