Drake - How About Now (2014)
A few weeks ago I went to House of Vans for the launch party of Mountain Dew’s Dew Tour, an X-Games-esque competition held in Brooklyn. I got there slightly late, but it felt like I was early. The room wasn’t packed (good), there was Mountain Dew ice cream, and free drinks (nice). Open bar + free J. Cole concert = awesome. Good job Mountain Dew.
Once I was settled, the PR people asked me if I wanted to talk to Zosia Mamet (Soshana) from the HBO show ‘Girls’. Since I like the show and I think her character is humorous albiet annoying, I agreed.
When I met Zosia, I made the mistake of calling her Shoshana and she rolled her eyes, which made me sort of chuckle (it must happen all the time!) Zosia’s hair was platinum blonde and cut into a sort of bob which was unexpected, but cute on her. The look was very different from the long brown locks her character on the show usually rocks. She also was covering it all up with a big hat. She rounded the look off with, black pants.
Zosia definitely fit into the skater-Brooklyn-hipster vibe of the event. But, why was she there?! Mainly because she wanted to see Bleechers perform, which is this, young rock band. I’d never heard of Bleechers and Zosia couldn’t name any songs, but she did tell me she likes to run to their music. Cool. Our conversation continued and I was curious as to why she would be associated with an extreme sports event. After all she did admit that she thought the sport was, “scary,” but as an experienced horseback rider she likes to “jump over big things.”
The musical aspect probably attracted her to the event too because a year ago Zosia and her sister tried to kickstart an “indie hipster folk band.” We shot the shit for a few minutes more as I felt out her personality a bit and she told me she wrote a column for Glamour. I didn’t know that and was intrigued. After a quick Google search I saw that in her column, Zosia writes about some serious shit. Personal struggles with an eating disorder, and advice on how girls can deal with insecurity in particular. That made me respect her. As our chat neared an end, I asked Zosia, since she’s successful, if she had any advice for young women out there and she told me,
It’s really easy especially with the inundation of social platforms to get bogged down and [caught up] in other people’s opinions. At the end of the day we have to remember that it’s just people’s opinions. I think we should take social media as one of the perks of our generation and use it as a platform [for ourselves] and not allow people’s comments to get you down.
So this made me think that maybe, when she first got into the game and ‘Girls’ blew up, she fell victim to the online hate. But since then, she’s been able to shake off the haters.
I choose not to read the comments on social media because it’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole that is other people’s opinions, Zosia said.
Honestly, that’s something we all can learn from. Rock on, Zosia. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Portrait of Christian Bale
Christian Bale, GQ Australia June/July 2012 + Portrait of Igor Stravinsky by Jacques Emile Blanche
The world is weird, man. Weird and kinda beautiful.
Travel Tuesdays … Perspective / #nomadicinsight
Skype Qik Is A New Disappearing Photo App That Wants To Take On Instagram And Snapchat By Putting Your Privacy First
Finding good apps has become increasingly more difficult as new ones pop up each day app promising to change your life in new ways.
Snapchat and Instagram are the kings of photo and video sharing, each in their own ways but today desktop and mobile video messaging service Skype is launching a completely new product, called Qik.
Qik is an app that emphasizes sharing, but it also gives users more control that what we’re used to. Unlike other services you can share up to 40 second videos. Instagram lets you share a video up to 15 seconds and Snapchat is only 10 seconds.
Straight Grindin’: How A 29-Year-Old Racked Up Millions And Became A Legend By Being True To Himself
Paul Rodriguez doesn’t give a fuck.
At least that’s what you might think when you first speak with him. But he doesn’t not give a fuck in the traditional way you’d normally associate with someone who doesn’t care about anything.
Over the years, Rodriguez has shaken a naturally shy demeanor and let his skill to speak for himself. Today, he’s one of the top skaters in the world. But as many people before him can attest to, that type of achievement and adoration doesn’t come without shaking off the opinions of others and continuing to work hard and perfect a craft.
P-Rod as he’s known to fans and inside skate circles, has learned over the years that you have to be true to yourself before you can be true to anybody else. The professional skateboarder has been in the game for over 10 years and during that time he’s learned a lot. Not just about himself, but about how to effectively run a business, how to handle professional relationships, and above all the importance of perfecting his craft.
Despite running a successful business and balancing many endorsements, P-Rod is still all about skateboarding. “My focus is still riding my skateboard and improving myself. I still feel like I’m in my prime and I have a lot to prove,” he recently told Elite Daily in an interview.
Mixed in with P-Rod’s relaxed tone is a humbleness that isn’t normally associated with people that have reached his level of success, so young. It could be because he’s admittedly “shy by nature” but there’s something else there. It’s a genuine passion for skateboarding that’s evident. But there’s also a resilience that comes from practicing the same trick hundreds of times just to get it perfect that has made P-Rod stand out and stay at the top of his game. Recognition hasn’t made him cocky instead it’s instilled in him a quiet confidence that comes across when you talk with him.
The 29-year-old completely embodies what it means to live the “skateboard lifestyle.” Rodriguez has been shredding for most of his life. During his professional career, P-Rod has racked up X-Games gold medals and numerous other wins. The awards have resulted in sponsorship deals with giants like Nike SB, Mountain Dew, Target, Nixon, Diamond Supply Co., and Cricket Wireless just to name a few. These types of endorsements aren’t just handed out either, they’re achievements that many pro skaters simply dream of. Often with this sort of recognition, particularly in the skating circles, claims of “selling out” quickly follow. Thankfully, P-Rod has dodged these types of accusations because he’s so true to himself and keeps laser-focused on his goals.
One of those goals was achieved about a year ago when P-Rod left his long time partner company Plan-B and started his own skateboard company called Primitive.
"I decided to leave [Plan B] because I saw a window of opportunity. I’ve been fortunate enough in skateboarding to have built myself up to a certain level, and with that comes opportunities. I chose to capture the moment. I was finally at a place where it made sense for me to start my own brand."
Through the process P-Rod has learned a lot, not only about how to run an effective business but also how to handle himself in certain business situations. P-Rod regrets the way he left things with his former bosses at Plan-B and offered up a piece of advice to people who may find themselves in a similar situation: “When you leave another company, especially if you had a good relationship before and you’re not unhappy, do the people who’ve supported you a favor and go about it the right way. Talk to them ahead of time and let them know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You owe them that respect,” he explains.
Respect is important to P-Rod, when he was younger, he discovered hip-hop legend 2Pac, which was a life changing experience. The rapper inspired P-Rod to be more confident in himself because he was admittedly “very shy by nature.” 2Pac, his music, confidence, and personality have stuck with Rodriguez as he’s gotten older, he cites the rapper as being one of his heroes. Recently he inked a deal with the Tupac Shakur foundation and was granted permission to use the rapper’s image on skateboards for Primitive.
What originally attracted P-Rod to 2Pac was the way the rapper carried himself. His outspoken nature and confidence were qualities that P-Rod respected and wanted to emulate. The injection of confidence has surely helped P-Rod to care less about things he can’t change and work to improve on the things he can. ”The way 2Pac carried himself, he was very outspoken and confident, from what I can tell or know he wasn’t a very tall guy, but he walked around like he was seven feet tall. By being able to make 2Pac skateboards, it’s sort of the closest I can get to meeting him. I want to show people the reasons I like 2Pac and why I’m inspired by him.”
"2Pac helped me to find that courage inside myself to help make me comfortable in my own skin. Those were the things that drew me to him, he would talk about subjects that most people in the hip hop world at the time were "too tough" to talk about. Also the fact that he also wrote poetry, did some ballet at the Baltimore School Of The Arts, he wasn’t afraid to be who he was and owned it and didn’t hide it. That’s hugely inspiring to me."
The adoration and inspiration is why P-Rod wants to share 2Pac skateboards with the world. He wants to show people all the reasons he likes 2Pac and why he’s inspired by him.
"I just look up to people who are mavericks. People paving the way. you can tell that these type of people aren’t being anybody but themselves."
Bruce Lee is another one of P-Rod’s heroes. “The reasons I admire Bruce Lee are a lot of the same reasons I look up to 2Pac. I admire that Bruce Lee lived during a time when there was a bunch of racism going on and there weren’t Asian stars in America. But he stuck to his guns and broke barriers through dedication and his sheer athleticism. He was somebody who never liked to be told he couldn’t do something,” P-Rod explains. While gaining inspiration from legends, P-Rod has become a legend himself. He finds the honor very humbling. “It’s a huge honor, I’m very thankful to still be in my 20s and have already had a long career. I prayed for this a long time when I was coming up as a kid, and God went and made it even better than I could have ever envisioned,” he says.
Despite all the achievements, endorsements, and recognition, P-Rod isn’t done. He hopes to become a better businessman and continue to help build up skate culture into something much bigger than it even is today. "Within the next 10 years I wanna say skateboarding will be just as big as baseball or basketball," Rodriguez says. "I see the culture expanding in so many different ways. I always compare skateboarding to music because there’s so many genres. There’s a certain athleticism that takes place because it takes a lot of physical ability to do it. But today theres so many different styles, verts, street, competition, even within street you have tech skates. There’s a lot of individuality so I see the sport spreading in so many different ways.”
I’m not going to say that music videos aren’t as opulent and fantastic as they used to be, or that the ‘90s were better. But just to recap this video, which is maybe one of the best ever made: Busta Rhymes, then still sinewy and staccato and sporting deranged pigtails on occasion, starts off as a glass of water at 0:13. At 0:48 he’s a waterlogged cyborg knight, then around 1:45, a monstrous water-worm. Janet, fresh off the Velvet Rope tour, is in 2-inch-long goth-black nails and a purple leather dominatrix gown. She raises her upturned face and little CGI Busta-drops sprinkle down on her. It’s completely, fantastically, insane. And it all looks very little like the water it’s supposed to be.
Thanks so much everyone that came out to the shows at MSG on Thursday.
(Photos by Ruvan Wijesooriya)