Gary Rogers: People I've Known
Gary is known for being a quiet introvert. It's tough to get his opinion about things in the skate world. Yeah, right! For all the people he clowns, Gary also gives respect in equal measure. Here is the king of skate news in his own words.
When I first met Nyjah, him and Dominick Walker and all them were like, “Yo, you should live with us down south.” I had heard about all the parties after he started winning the Street Leagues, so I was like, shit—mansions? But nah, they was too wild for me so I just stayed at home. I’m kind of a homebody anyway. But it was still cool. When I met him he gave me a big shout out, so that was tight. I always love Nyjah for that. That was beast. Even though the homie weird sometimes.
Me and Stevie, we chillin’ and he goes, “Yo, you better watch what you say on that little show or somebody gonna rough you up.” I was like, “Man, please. Ain’t nobody gonna do nothing.” Ever since then me and him was cool. ’Cause I’m not scared about what I say on the show, ever. I’m not gonna get nervous about no pro. ’Cause skaters are crazy, they can fight or do whatever, but it’s love on this end ’til it’s not. And even then it’s still like, I said what I said. And I’m not trying to be the tough guy or puff nobody; I’m just having fun. If somebody wants to get emotional about it that’s on them and I’m gonna ignore them until they try to do something. So that was funny when he was like, “Oh, watch out for yourself,” ’cause I was like, I ain’t about to watch out about nothin’. I’m gonna just keep running my mouth. But that’s just him being an OG to a young black man. He did it out of love. He didn’t do it to try to punk me or anything.
When we first started doing Thrasher Boys, Franky was a part of that. He was putting clips with us and everything. So he helped out a lot with me and the homies thing without even being from where we were from. So I always got love for Franky Villani. And the day he did the bigspin Bennett 180 out, I’m gonna always laugh about that because that was a hell of a time in my life.
He’s as calm and nice as he seems. It’s really hard to roast Mikey or put him in a bad position. I guess he always got dogged when he used to hang out with his other friends back in the day ’cause his fits was not bussin’. So he just don’t care. I be trying to roast Mikey and he’ll just look at you like, You suck. It’s like, Damn, alright. But knowing him and the fact that he dresses like a 72-year-old man, shit got crazy.
I first meet Jerry at 3rd and Army. Remember the Strange Notes discs that used to come with Santa Cruz skateboards? He farted in one of DVD sleeves and I was like, “Bro, did you really fart in that?” And he goes, “I guess, bro,” and he just skated off. I was weird as hell to that nigga Jerry Hsu for years ’til I became an adult. Even to this day, Jerry don’t look at me like I’m normal because I think in the back of his mind me asking him some dumb ass shit like that is always playing.
He’s not like someone who’s always in Thrasher or whatever, but mind you when I first started going to LA, Jason Park used to let me sleep on his couch. He helped me and the homies stack a lot of clips. We’d go there and he always had an open door to his house. So I’ll rock with Jason Park forever. He might be like a weird dude to a lot of people, weird trick selection, whatever. I don’t give a fuck. Without Jason Park I wouldn’t have been in certain sections that I got in when I went to LA. So I gotta make sure I let people know that I respect that dude a bunch. And, bro, he used to just dance in the house on some weird shit. It was funny as fuck. I don’t know why this nigga would start dancing like Christina Aguilera. He was just being funny. And he would say “slippery snakes” like a thousand times.
Nico is a near and dear person. The homie don’t never wear a shirt no matter what the weather is. He don’t care and he’s just a sincere dude. But he will ask you the strangest questions sometimes. For example he would ask me if he looked good before we went out. But then again, I would ask him the same thing. But it’s like, “Bro, you don’t have a shirt on already. I’m not answering that.” But I love dude. He not tryna be rude, evil or naive, he just really wants to know and you’ll just have your head turned.
Mind you, Kevin has been through a whole lot in his life. This is one of the most impossible people to roast. I don’t care if he tic tac after a trick, nothin’. It don’t matter, bro. You cannot roast him. He will have a joke for that ass no matter what it is.
Bro, one time Alex was watching a science documentary and he don’t like thinking too hard, so when they start saying sciencey shit he fell asleep. That’s all; I’m gonna leave that there.
One quote: “Don’t be a pussy. Do that shit.” That’s my guy. Since I was 16 years old that’s been my dude. I’m 28, bro. One quote, that’s it.
I said a joke on Skateline about Forrest years ago. I said he looked like thoroughly-skated pool coping. Everybody was like, “Bro, he don’t like jokes. He don’t like getting roasted. When he find you he gonna do something.” Then I went to the berrics and this one homie was like, “Forrest is in there.” I was like, “What is this, Bad News Bears? Some Disney movie, nigga?” I walk in there. He’s smiling and shit. He’s got glasses on. It was weird for a second, ’cause you know, I guess he don’t step like everybody else do, but he was just cool as fuck, like laughing. Everybody tried to make that shit way worse than it really was but he ended up being a hella cool dude.
Every time I’m with P-Rod he giving game. He not talking to me; I’m hearing him in the distance. He’s another person who’s impossible to roast, like look who his dad is, so he always got the one-up with the jokes, no matter what you say. And also, he P-Rod, so he been balled up since he was like 16 years old and he always had style so what you really about to say to this nigga? My favorite quote from him is, “Gary, if you see me in the Olympics, something went horribly wrong.”
You would think from his style that he’s probably like a cool, cigarette-smoking relaxed dude. Hell nah. This is the hyperest kid and he swear to God he can sing like a young Michael Jackson. He’ll be like, “Bro, I can really sing. If I’m in my house and I’m by myself, I got this confidence. I can really blow. I got notes for days, bro.” I’m like, “Hell nah, you weird as hell.” But he skate like a young Michael Jackson. That nigga is amazing.
Everybody swear to God that I’m just this weird fanboy. I’m like, “Bro, this is a kid who’s from our area that’s gonna be raw.” I knew it from a young dude and Mark went there. He turned pro; he’s done his thing throughout the industry. I believed in him and I backed him. Mark is the dude that I wanted to skate with and I could have gotten better. I feel like if I was with him at 16 and he was 16, bro, my skating would have went—’cause when you skate with certain people they push you. I used to message him on Facebook. He’d be like, “Yo, Gary, I wanna skate, bro.” But it’s just weird ‘cause he young and I’m like, “Nah, bro, I know you about to be that dude,” and everybody got to see what I was talking about years later.
It’s crazy ’cause when he was on Emerica he was maybe 13 and he goes to Woodward. I can’t remember what year it was, but it’s when I got kicked out. I just meet him and he has on this Supreme cap and I’m like, “Hey, you on Supreme?” He’s like, “Yeah.” He just answered at the call and I was like, “Okay.” Then he started skating around and getting off and I was like, Oh, snap. And then me and him just got memories on memories of stuff we’ve done. Yeah. Tyshawn, bro, he will roast anybody. He don’t care, but then he also the nicest, smartest person at the same time.
I met him at the Damn Am 2014 in the parking lot and him, his brother and all his homies just kind of circle around me and check me out a little bit. I guess they was checking to see if I was a weirdo and I don’t know what it was but I guess I passed, ’cause ever since then, me, him and everybody from Compton been cool. So I don’t know what I did. I was just being myself but it was lit. They literally just like came to me in the parking lot and just started circling around me.
Tony Hawk told me to my face, “You’re super talented. You got yourself where you needed to be. You don’t gotta thank me.” Those words came out of Tony’s mouth even though bro really put me on, you know, subliminally. ’Cause it wasn’t like he chose me out. His people did, but it was on his platform where he’s responsible.
I’m at a Zumiez Couch Tour years ago. Weirdo shit. I don’t know why I was at that motherfucker. But I used to go to those and do shit that I will never forgive myself for. I’m doing this laser flip off the side of a bank and Karl Watson goes, “I like your style, kid.” Mind you, all my homies were like, “Your style garbage.” I’m hella small, I’m like five feet, I’m 17, weigh maybe a buck o’ three at that point and he was just like, “Nice style.” I used to do everything hella slow, hella stupid—kinda like how I do now just a little bit better. And I thought he was just lying to me. You know, he’s just nice to everybody. From that day on it’s like that’s Uncle Karl.
I was 14 years old, my grandma had just bought me a board and dropped me off at Potrero. I’m like, “Oh shit, you Jake Phelps.” And he threw a bushing at my head—boom, smacked my shit dead in my forehead. I think it was when Potrero first opened. But, bro, he threw a whole bushing at my forehead and just kept setting up his board in the grass on top of the hill. Man, that’s my OG bro.
We got a connection cause we both finna do and say what we wanna do. And dude is probably the best skateboarder of all time—like when he wants to be, it’s insane. Like that switch is optional, bro. He just GOAT’d, you know? He got little-man syndrome; he’ll sock you. But he GOAT’d. I got mad love for little Kevin, man. That’s Kev, that West Coast.
“Think for yourself.” That shit is fire. Me and Tony say that to each other. We think for ourselves. It’s just incredible how anybody can be influenced with something going on or feel one way or want to do something different because of it. It’s like, here comes an unpopular opinion from both of us. We lit, we got love for everybody but we finna think how we think, period.
There’s always this skateboard conversation about who’s the best skate rapper—that’s him, easy. He might not want that title. I don’t give a fuck; he don’t need it. You don’t need to title him. He don’t need to be boxed in, but if there is one it’s Na-Kel Smith, period. Point blank. You can close the door; that’s it. I like having conversations with Nak, too, because you gotta be open-minded and he’s real open-minded. He’s always willing to listen and take in your ideas. And if he don’t like it—you know how some people will just go with your ideas to not hurt your feelings? Nak will be like, “Nah, that’s not tight. That’s not what it is.” And that’s people you really need around you. You need friends who are gonna give you the truth.
Atiba was sending me photos of Kobe because I always loved Kobe Bryant. And so does he. He sends me photos of Kobe for comfort. ’Cause I have had a really rocky year but I don’t talk about my shit ever. I don’t tell nothin’ to nobody, but he do that and that’s fire, ’cause I be needing that shit. Like, I got Kobe posters in my room so to have somebody send me my guy and then y’all share the same appreciation for the dude, it’s like that’s a cool cat, bro. I rock with Atiba forever.
Marc is one of my favorite people of all time. He just weird to a lot of people cause he to ’hisself, which I like. That’s why I get along with people like that because I’m trying to be myself. Even though we never got to skate together, he used to give me the key to the park every day. Come to his house, pick it up, tell me and the homies a story, talk to us deep at the crib. We’d chill with Marc and then leave the house like, Oh shit, you know? A lot of these people are human beings, bro, but they pop out as superheroes. It’s crazy.
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