SKATE/explain is a new feature that takes shit in skateboarding and tries to explain whatever comes to mind, whether it’s an obvious skate-related question, something you might Wikipedia but don’t have the time, or a random tangential association that makes you wonder what the f—k it has to do with anything. But, we’ll keep it interesting, so pay attention, you might learn something. Or not…whatever.
First it was Olly Todd and then it was Lucien Clarke who left their big-named USA sponsors to go back to their London roots. Palace Skateboards, a board brand born out of a crew of skate rats that lived together in a few shitty skate houses, has recently grown in it’s ranks. Before it was a company, it was just a bunch of homies, the Palace Waywards, which included, among others, more notable members like Andrew Brophy, Chewy Cannon, Rory Milanes, Danny Brady, Nick Jensen, Benny Fairfax, Joey Pressey, Snowy, Charlie Young and Oliver Todd. As many of the aforementioned are on other companies, Palace is distinct from the Waywards, but borne of the same love of riding skateboards and, as they say, “attracting fit birds.”
But, with Lucien Clarke’s split from Element Europe and this clip on the Internet, I searched back into Palace Waywards’ janky videophone clips, like “Lucien Clarke” and “Lucien Clarke will always be featch” and, after watching the skating, wondered what that unintelligible and disjointed music was. I will admit that I enjoy some forms of this weird techno/rap/I-don’t-know-how-to-describe-it stuff. However, I’ve heard others twist their face up and vomit out, “Whatthef—kisthisshit?” whenever they get in ear-shot of the tunes.
Well, that shit is called grime, a type of music that first emerged out of Bow, East London in the early 2000s. It’s not for everyone, but it’s quite popular in England and abroad. You’d be hard pressed to find an Englishman who doesn’t know what it is, but for everyone else who’s never heard it before, it’s basically a mix of other musical genres like UK garage (not to be confused with Iggy and the Stooges garage rock, UK Garage is an electronic dance music with a percussive rhythm, shuffling hi-hats and beat-skipping kick drums), dance hall and hip hop. Some of the artists better known worldwide are Lady Sovereign (signed to Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records) and Dizzie Rascal and, for that reason, they’ve gone a little more pop.
Turns out, though, that the mind behind Palace skateboards, Lev Tanju, knows some of these grime artists from his friends over at dontwatchthat.tv, where Lev also has a reoccurring broadcast called the Palace Waywards Global Skateboarding News. If you’re so inclined, you can watch more Palace madness and learn more about the loveable lyrical gibberish and scratchy ruckus that is underground Grime…and see Lucien’s welcome video: Palace-Menace-Lucien.