Usually when someone tries to tell you about another person you’re never really given a good enough idea of that person. So I asked a bunch of people for just one word they think of when they see or hear Devine, and this is what I got …
“Simply the word ‘shining.’ Devine gots the shine!”
And with a list like that so well-rounded and diverse, there’s only one word I could possibly end it with: “Pro!”-Rick Howard
1. Why are you so hard to get ahold of?
I usually don’t have my phone on me. I usually leave it at home or something. I don’t like to bring it out too much. A lot of numbers, if I don’t know them, I won’t answer it. A lot of people don’t like leaving messages for some reason. Somehow someone got my number back home, and just random people call me all the time, and I don’t know who it is, and they try to play jokes on me and stuff, so I don’t answer it.
2. How come you’re still living in Bakersfield (California)?
I don’t know, man. It’s home-my family’s there, my homeys are there. A couple good skate spots. A skatepark right down the street-it’s not that good, but …
3. Do you think kids from small towns have a disadvantage compared with kids in the bigger cities? Yeah, sometimes, because they don’t get seen as much. You know how it is-you send a tape in, and if you’re not known, people aren’t going to pay attention.
4. Do you still take the train to L.A. every weekend?
Yeah. It’s pretty tight. You get to meet some pretty cool people on there. There’re just random cracked people being crazy drunk and running up and down the aisles. You meet some crazy people on there. They get kicked off the train, and then coming back I’ll see them again. Then (there are the) people sneaking on the train, too, not paying, just jumping on and walking back and forth so the ticket collectors can’t get them, hiding in the bathrooms. I’ve done that shit a few times (laughs).
5. Do you think you’ll move to L.A.?
I was thinking about trying to move there this summer, but I don’t know. (Girl Team Manager) Sam Smyth wants me to move in with him because I guess Lee (Smith) is moving out, but I don’t know. I like home too much. I like being close to my family.
6. What’s up with your new car?
I got a ’78 Deville. That’s what I’ve been wanting ever since I can remember-just like an old Cadillac. It’s brown, but I’m going to repaint it again. I’ll probably put hydraulics on it-hydraulics and Daytons. Low rider! I can’t wait. I’m trying to keep it old school.
7. What kind of music are you going to be playing in it? I know you thought this all out!
(Laughs) I’m gonna have some Isley Brothers. I can’t wait. People are gonna be like, “What?” I’m gonna just drive it around my house, around town, let all the ladies peep it out.
8. What’s the best thing about not having dreads anymore?
Pretty much not having them get in your face.
9. What about being able to wear those Chocolate New Era hats?
Aw, hell yeah. The Chocolate ones are off the charts. I mean, I could wear some hats (with dreads), but most of the time, no. I bought like 50 hats the first day I cut my hair. Nah, I probably bought 25. You gotta have a hat to match every outfit!
10. What cities are you representing?
Pretty much SF and L.A. I was trying to get a Bakersfield hat made though. I gotta represent the hometown. The skate director of DC is real good friends with the New Era dudes. They were like, “Yeah, you can make your own hat if you want!” I want to get a symbol for it. I don’t even know.
11. What do you guys call Bakersfield? Baketown. It’s hot as hell out there-you’re baking, boy!
12. All your fellow City Stars ams turned out to be heavy hitters in the skate industry. Could you sense you were part of something special at the time?
Aw, hell yeah. I knew from the get-go. The first time I hung out with them I was like, “Damn, this is the place to be right here.” Everyone just chilled every weekend, and we skated. We never stressed on who had the best footage or anything. We just had fun.
13. Did you panic at all when City Stars ended?
I was just bummed because all my homeys were leaving. I wasn’t stressing too hard, I was just trying to skate. I was getting boards from Chocolate after I quit. They helped me out until I got on. Luckily, it worked out. They took me on a trip to Canada, and at the end of the trip we had a dinner, and at the end everybody was like, “Welcome to the team!” We did a little toast, and that’s how I knew I was on. That was definitely a weight off my shoulders, because the whole trip I was like, “Damn, I wonder if I’m getting on or not?” It was cool, though, because the vibes were so good. Those dudes made me feel at home right from the get-go.
14. Was it intimidating at all going on tour with everybody?
Hell yeah. Going on tour with Gino (Iannucci) and Marc Johnson. I looked up to those dudes when I was little, and now I’m going on tour with them. Pretty much every demo I’d sit back and go, “Damn, I’m skating with all my favorite skaters!” Every demo I do I get pretty nervous, but then I just try to relax and have fun. The kids aren’t really tripping on the crazy tricks, they just want to see you roll around and have fun. That’s the way I look at it.
15. Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?
I’m going to have to say Barcelona-just skating down the street every day and not having to drive cars or anything. You feel like a kid again, cruising around and having fun, not getting kicked out. Most of the time we skated new stuff during the day, then we’d skate MACBA at night. It was me, Darrell (Stanton), Ryan Gallant, Anthony Van Engelen, Rob Dyrdek, Mike Blabac, and Greg Hunt.
16. How’s your Spanish? Did you talk to any girls out there?
Me and Darrell tried a couple times. They weren’t really feeling us. I mean, we found some that were down, but then we never went back to the club to meet them.
17. Where in the world has the hottest chicks?
Probably Australia. Everywhere you look there are hot-ass chicks. They’re mad cool, too. All the girls love it when dudes come up and talk to them, no matter who you are. They’re just down. They like black guys out there, too.
18. Who’s older, you or your brother?
I am by about a year. His name’s Everen. He’s with me right now. We skate together all the time. It’s good. It pumps you up. It keeps you motivated. You always have someone to skate with. He quit for a little bit, but then he started back.
19. What tricks can he do that you can’t?
Maybe like switch back heels. I don’t really like that trick, but he can do it pretty good. And nollie laser heelflips-he can do that trick pretty good, too.
20. Tell me three reasons why everyone should smile more?
Being able to live every day, that’s one. The girls love to see a man smile. If you can make someone else smile, you’ve done a good deed. And my fat DC and Chocolate packages (laughs)-can’t forget those!