Photo: Mel D. Cole
Sometimes interviewing people who are looking to be interviewed is boring. Who cares about when your album drops, a woman might be president! And her opponent is a Satan reboot with skin discoloration! It seems like everything is exploding with new twists and turns and we want to know what you have to say about it. With Person of Interest we look for individualized takes on what’s happening in the world.
This week we speak with New York-based rapper, skater, and mascot, Black Dave.
Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Black Punk is a little bit of everything that inspired me to where I’m at now in my life. Skateboarding, hip-hop, punk rock music, and the everyday New York City hustle and grime—that’s created Black Punk. I am from the Bronx originally, I live in Harlem now, but I travel a lot. I go to LA often and I’ve pretty much been around the world, but New York’s my home and that’s where I feel the most comfortable.
Tell me about your Hangover EP with Nick Catchdubs.
Big shout out to Nick Catchdubs, A-Trak, and the whole Fool’s Gold team. Fool’s Gold throws a lot of events, parties, and shows, and we wanted to make something else geared towards the college theme. We made a whole EP based off of the day after the party. It was cool, man, it was really fun. And we’re going to work on some other stuff too.
What’s the worst hangover you ever had and how did you get it?
Actually, I don’t really get hungover, which is weird. I haven’t been hungover in a long-ass time. I’ve been really, really faded and woke up still drunk, but I drink a lot, a lot, of water before I go to sleep, because being hungover is just being really dehydrated. And stick to one type of liquor. If you’re going to drink whiskey, only drink whiskey. If you’re going to drink tequila, only drink tequila.
So back to Black Punk—tell me about the project and what it’s like working with Tim Armstrong. How do you think your music has benefited from working with a producer from outside your usual genre?
Working with Tim has been awesome. He’s a two-time Grammy winner. He been in Operation Ivy, Rancid, The Transplants…all these cool bands. He’s such a hard-working dude. All he does is work. And he’s a really good guy, he’s got really good energy. He brought the spark out of me, you know. He’s the type of guy where if there are 10 people standing in the room and they’re all giving him advice, he’s going to listen to all of their opinions and absorb it. So it helped me learn a lot. It opened me up as an artist.
For Black Punk—I put out a record called, Squad. I recorded it in my house and put all my energy into it. That was a taste of what I felt like I could do if I had a band, but now Tim’s got a band, I’ve got a band, so we’re going to do live shows. When you’re rapping, it’s just you and the DJ, but this will be music being played live.
Changing the focus a bit, you’re a rapper, but you’re also a member of the skate community. What are your thoughts on Brian Anderson coming out this week?
Brian is actually a good homie of mine. He’s lived in and out of LA, San Francisco, and Brooklyn, and I’ve always seen him skating, and skated with him a bunch of times. He’s a great dude. Skateboarding is the type of culture—I don’t even call it a sport, because I don’t feel like it is—where we don’t shut anyone out. That’s why I was also the first of my friends to try new things. I was like, “Yo, you ever heard this song? You ever seen this?”
For someone to come out, we only have love for each other. If you look at a group of skaters nowadays, it’s like every race, gender, everyone is just out there. And it’s fun. No one is judging. It’s a good culture to be a part of, you just feel like people have got your back.
And maybe because skating is becoming a little more mainstream or people are recognizing Brian’s name more now, but he actually came out years ago. I remember when I was a kid, like 13. So it’s been over a decade since we in the community knew about it.
Did you watch the debate this week? What did you think?
Yes I definitely did watch the debate. I think we all knew what was going to happen and then it did happen. It was like you kind of wanted to grab popcorn and watch. [Trump] said some snarky shit and kept cutting Hillary off, but that was expected. But he also fell into a trap.
Donald Trump has made a big deal about the fact that he didn’t end up attacking Hillary Clinton at the debate about her husband’s affairs. What’s a bigger bitch move, bringing up your opponent’s husband’s infidelities during a presidential debate or pretending publicly that it’s somehow impressive that you didn’t bring up your opponent’s husband’s infidelities during a presidential debate?
He’s proud of himself because he didn’t bring up Monica Lewinsky? I mean. he’s not a politician, he’s an entertainer. I think he’ll do anything to create tension.
Does it make you sad that Donald Trump is from Queens?
He’s from Queens?! I mean New York definitely has an asshole side to it, nothing is always cookies ‘n’ cream out here. He represents that side, for sure.
What borough in New York produces the biggest assholes?
Now you can’t even tell! Because everyone is from somewhere else. Damn, I would say Brooklyn.
Like Williamsburg and all the fucking hipsters?
I fuck with the hipsters though.
I am a hipster. Blackberry just announced they are now going to use a third party distribution company to make their new phones because the cost of production is too high. Is this the end of an era for the Crackberry? Did you go through the struggle of transitioning from a Blackberry to an iPhone?
No, I had a Sidekick. I wasn’t really emailing until, like, recently. AOL Instant Messenger was perfect. I had the bitches, I had the homies, that was everything I needed.
Today, the Anti-Defamation League added Pepe the Frog to their database of hate symbols, claiming that hate groups such as the KKK and others have “taken a popular internet meme and twisted it.” Do you think Pepe the Frog deserves this treatment?
Poor guy. Pepe man, he got subjected to all this racist bullshit, I’m sure he doesn’t want a part of it. Way to ruin a good thing, KKK.
How weird is it that the KKK is picking up a meme and trying to, like, relate to millennials?
It’s out of control.
In one word describe the following:
Xan, short for Xanax.
Blow job. Can I say that?
Of course! Frank151.
What! I’m going to tell my parent’s you said that, because they don’t think I am.