The DC Tour – Through The Eyes Of The Fat Man

Big Black gives and garners the love on the DC summer tour.

When DC Shoes hits the road on tour, you know its one-man security team’s services are always deployed. Last summer was no different, and along with the regular DC staples of AVE, Dyrdek, Wenning, Kalis, and crew, this time security had a few fresh faces to keep a watchful eye over: Devine Calloway and Jackson Curtin. With all the craziness of being on the constant move, it might’ve been a task for the man they call Big Black, but staying within the confines of the connected 48 made it quite a bit less stressful-but he’ll be the one to tell you best.

Mr. Big Black, how’s life been as a skate-sponsored security guard?

Man, it’s been the best, I must say. I’m just happy these guys allow me to come in to their world-more grateful and humble than anything.

Does being on tour make you feel like every day is a Friday or every day is a Monday?

(Laughs) You know, it all depends on how you’re travelin’. Certain times on tour the AC went out on the bus. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, but overall, this was the best tour I’ve been on on land, by far.

What did you learn on this tour as opposed to DC tours of the past?

I definitely know the food was different-in a good way. For the simple fact that we were Stateside, man. All the food in the States is pretty good.

As opposed to being overseas?

Overseas? That there, man, ewww …

What have you eaten overseas that you never thought you would?

Man, when I had a pizza in Paris, they stuck a raw egg on the pizza. That really, really turned me off.

Since you’re a good four times the size of anyone else on the trip, do you get four times the per diem?

Nah. I didn’t get it like that, man. It didn’t go down like that.

Does your per diem even cover one meal?

I must say, if we were hitting all-you-can-eat spots, yes it would. But unfortunately we weren’t going to all-you-can-eat joints, so I gotta say no.

Were you aboard the raucous bus or the mellow

I had to be with my boys, man. You know, Van Engelen and those guys. I had to be on the dirty bus. We had a dirty bus and a clean bus. It was me, Van Engelen, Smithers, my man Lindsey, Baby Juice, Lil’ Greg Myers was on there for a little bit-we couldn’t keep him off the bus. He rode just like the rest of us. And we also had Tangy (Jimmy Astleford) on there-we called him Tangy, but his name is, uh, goddarn I forgot his name. We called him Tangy, though.

You’ve obviously been exposed to the hardships and chaos of a skateboard tour. Did you pull the virgin bus drivers aside, sit ’em down like, “Are you sure you want to get into this?”

The bus driver we had was the coolest dude, man. I must say, me and the guy had a lot in common-we both had military time together, so I figure if it wouldn’t have been for me being on that bus, I really don’t think he would’ve driven that bus. I think he would’ve driven the other bus. I think the guys were driving him crazy, especially when we were going through Oregon. He pretty much lost it. Tangy started cranking the AC/DC, and I don’t think dude was really havin’ that. I think he was more mellow-a laid-back older fellow.

Just like the bus drivers, did you have to sit the new recruits down like Jack and Devine and lecture them as to what they were about to get into as well?

As far as the skateboard thing, them dudes know way more than I do. All I can do is keep ’em out of trouble as far as haters. For skateboard life, those guys got way more experience than I got, so I guess they’ll learn the ropes. Now if we were in a football type of atmosphere, then I’d have some stuff to tell ’em. Skateboarding is their thing-I’m just along for the ride.

Were there a lot of haters out there? Did you have to drop some elbows and knuckles or what?

You know, there were a few haters out there on the road, but everything was cool, I must say. We haven’t had a problems since we were in Paris and AVE had to slap a guy. Other than that, everybody knew Big Black was rolling with DC hands down. So they already know-don’t step up. Don’t make me turn into a gorilla, man. Don’t make me transform.

You’re mostly around to make sure the skaters are safe and all, and we know how rowdy the teenage girls can get …

Oooooh, man. You know that’s the worst thing about the tour is these little young-ass girls. If I’d have been R. Kelly, this would have been the best trip ever for me. It was like a kid in a candy store, but you just can’t do it, man. I can’t put myself out there like that. I like ’em 40 and over, you know me. The older ladies are more freaky.

Since the skaters are skating in all these legal demos, it’s not like you have to knock out any security guards. Did you have to switch up your roll, maybe take the fatherly approach when the team was slacking and telling ’em, “Boy, you best get your ass out there and skate for these kids!”

Yeah, yeah. I had to tell some guys to get out there. Lindsey-he got bummed out one day, and I had to get him back out there. You know, Greg I pissed off-I had to get him back out there. Other than that, I just sat back, chilled out, signed a couple autographs. Little kids were psyched on me, man. It was like they (the team) were skatin’, I was signin’ autographs. It was all cool.

As a hired security guard you obviously have to refrain from intoxication up in the club, but is it physically possible to intoxicate such a mass of, as you call it, “meat and cheese”?

You know what, I have not been legally drunk since I was nineteen years old. And when I was nineteen, I only weighed 263 pounds-just only (laughs). It takes a lot to get this Mack truck bogged down, dog. It’s a lot of mass-way too much liquor. There’s no way I can get drunk.

We know you like to do things in bulk, but break the rules and give us a few words on each of the skateboarders you toured with.

Rob Dyrdek.

Very cool and finesse, that guy.

Lindsey Robertson.

I’m trying to get the right word for that guy. First word in my mind is a tortoise. He’s slow, but when he gets into it, man, … you know.

Greg Myers.

Definitely the baby, so I gotta say Similac with that guy.

Jack Curtin.

Raw.

AVE.

The rawest.

Devine Calloway.

Quiet.

Ryan Smith.

He was kinda relaxed on tour-you got me on that one.

Josh Kalis.

Wild man. That dude gets wild at times.

Brian Wenning.

Ah, dirtbag, man.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve run any faster than you did when it came to trying to dodge haphazardly thrown fireworks?

Yes, there was-one night in Mississippi a long time ago. We were in the wrong town at the wrong time. We had the law behind us, so we had to run. That was the fastest I ever ran-from the police.

If you had the opportunity to possess the skateboarding skills of anyone on the trip, whose would you rob?

If I could take anyone’s skills right now, judging from what I saw on the tour, I would definitely have to take little Calloway. That little guy is gnarly.

It’s known that you do everything from private parties to superstar-filled skateboard tours, but do you do bar mitzvahs?

I could do bar mitzvahs. You know I rap. I got a rap album about to come out. It’s comin’-it ain’t out yet. Right now I’m takin’ the 50 Cent approach-I’m just doin’ mixtapes. As soon as I’m done with the mixtapes, I’m gonna start writin’ my own beats and I’m gonna go ahead and lay it down. Rob is gonna be my manager.

Yeah, I heard the bootleg. You talk about a lotta eatin’.

Hey, like I said, man, you know. I rap about legs ‘n’ thighs, chicken ‘n’ fries. I ain’t never murdered nobody. The only thing I ever murdered, dude, was a six-piece and a biscuit. I don’t get in all of that. I stick to the truth, I rap about what I know. I know food. I know Duncan Hines cakes, little tasty cakes-I know those! That’s what I know, so that’s what I rap about. So if people ain’t down with that, hey, don’t buy it. But I’m rappin’ about the truth.

So when’s the signature shoe coming out?

Man, I don’t know. I really don’t know. The kids want it. And I’m just like, “Let’s give it to ’em!” I’m not trying to get rich out of this, man. I’d like to give back to the skatepark-build a skatepark, help some kids out, help kids that can’t get skateboards, put money in a fund. It’s not about money, man, it’s about satisfyin’ the kids. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s all about the kids. As soon as everybody else realizes that, maybe we can put something together and do it.

Now that you’re a bona fide rap superstar and because your stock is up among the skate industry, so many people are trying to be down with you, trying to steal you, all these big money contracts, and all this, do you think we’re going to see Big Black on the DC tour next year?

Hey, it all comes down to the powers that be. I like being around the guys-they’re a good group of guys, naturally good people. So it’s all up to them. I’m down for whatever. Like I say, DC for life, man.

Did you get that tatted across your chest yet?

No, but I’m thinking about getting it on my back. After I cut all the hair off my back, I’m gonna put it there. Or I might just have somebody shave the hair off my back and put that into a DC logo-yeah, I’m thinking about doing that.

what I know, so that’s what I rap about. So if people ain’t down with that, hey, don’t buy it. But I’m rappin’ about the truth.

So when’s the signature shoe coming out?

Man, I don’t know. I really don’t know. The kids want it. And I’m just like, “Let’s give it to ’em!” I’m not trying to get rich out of this, man. I’d like to give back to the skatepark-build a skatepark, help some kids out, help kids that can’t get skateboards, put money in a fund. It’s not about money, man, it’s about satisfyin’ the kids. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s all about the kids. As soon as everybody else realizes that, maybe we can put something together and do it.

Now that you’re a bona fide rap superstar and because your stock is up among the skate industry, so many people are trying to be down with you, trying to steal you, all these big money contracts, and all this, do you think we’re going to see Big Black on the DC tour next year?

Hey, it all comes down to the powers that be. I like being around the guys-they’re a good group of guys, naturally good people. So it’s all up to them. I’m down for whatever. Like I say, DC for life, man.

Did you get that tatted across your chest yet?

No, but I’m thinking about getting it on my back. After I cut all the hair off my back, I’m gonna put it there. Or I might just have somebody shave the hair off my back and put that into a DC logo-yeah, I’m thinking about doing that.