Darren Harper – Chris Hall Get Familiar (2006)
Is there zero gravity at that height?
Darren Harper is one of those skateboarders with a firework trajectory. This DC local shot to the top with a bang and then faded away into insignificance. Granted there was some mediated animosity between Darren and some of his sponsors but it’s a shame he got the cold shoulder after releasing a part where he popped his board head and shoulders above the rest.
Let’s take a few steps back and remember the moment Darren hit the scene – hard – in Chris Hall’s independent video Get Familiar. As any deserving entrepreneur, Darren saw his opportunity and ran with it. If it wasn’t his incredible switch ollies and nollie tricks over the wall at Pulaski that had people talking, it was the obtuse choice of turning his debut part into a rap video of sorts. Skateboarders who decide to rap in their own video parts or use the rap music video as inspiration don’t usually fair well with critics even if they are forever remembered.
Lyrics aside, I respect Darren for his ability to switch frontside 5-0 waist high benches and switch frontside tailslide chest high walls. I could play around with nicknames like the King of pop or Big Poppa, but Darren has named himself the Obama of Skateboarding. Not sure I see the exact connection but Barack Obama isn’t a bad person to project yourself as. However, Obama had his opponents and the American electoral system denied even one of the most popular Presidents a longer mandate. I guess Darren was the same.