Photos by Jason Goldwatch. Wearing a camo trucker hat and Billionaire Boys Club T-shirt, Pharrell referred to himself as “Skateboard P” on 2004’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” a nickname he had been given back in high school in Virginia Beach. In the song’s music video, Pharrell also raps, “See these Ice Creams,” as he points to his feet to reveal a pair of blurred-out sneakers. Pharrell’s love for footwear and skateboarding would come together with a pair of skate shoes made by Reebok in 2004 with beepers and dollar signs on them. He’d go onto assemble a skate team, which consisted of Terry Kennedy, Jacob Wilder, Kevin Booker, Cato Williams, and Jimmy Gorecki, a young-but-veteran skater from Philadelphia, and would change the perception of hip-hop, skateboarding, and their symbiotic relationship.
HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Pre-order Hidden Figures: The Album featuring new music by Pharrell, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keyes, Mary J. Blige, Kim Burrell and more HERE!
Make sure to get the cover on iTunes.
Photo by James Harris. While sitting inside a hazy recording room at Platinum Studios near Times Square, unfinished tracks off an upcoming album blast from the high quality speakers. Red, blue and green circular lights dance across the ceiling and everyone in the bunker-like space nods or sways to the beat. The music is from rising reggae influenced hip-hop artist Cris Cab, who has been clocking in long hours here as he works to finish recording his sophomore album ‘New Beginnings’.
Miami bred Cab had an early start in the industry as Pharrell Williams — whose simple nod of approval can launch any young artist into the spotlight — discovered him years ago when Cab was in his late teens. “He’s the first person who heard me out musically and was my mentor and a big brother to me,” Cab tells Billboard. Since then, the now 23 year old has released a handful of EPs along with his debut album, Where I Belong, which arrived back in 2014 and included the Williams-written hit “Liar Liar” (the video has over 53 million views on YouTube).
It must have started with the chain wallet when I was about 12 or 13—just old enough to have something to put in it. It was my first fashion accessory, really. A black leather two-fold with a chrome chain link cord connecting it from my back pocket to the belt loop above my front pocket. You could mail order them from all of the big skate catalogs at the time. This seemingly-extraneous pants hardware originates from bikers, who required the metal leash to keep their personal effects from vibrating out of the pocket of their 501s and hitting the pavement.
I suppose skaters appropriated them for the same reason, but for me, the aesthetic possibilities far outweighed the utilitarian. My obsession was the endless search for longer, fatter, more destructive chains for which to attach to my mostly-empty wallet. The idea that it could be used as a weapon had its thrill, but really I just wanted to be sure it would be noticed, hanging like a dookie chain from the loop of my Blind jeans. The chain wallet was coopted by BMXers (it probably suited them better, anyhow), and subsequently became a punchline for mallrats. I got over it, but not over the strange urge to have something hanging from my belt loop.
Make sure to cop the single on iTunes.
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