DANTE ROSS

DANTE ROSS

INTERVIEW BY STEVE OLSON
INTRODUCTION BY STEVE OLSON
PHOTOS BY MEL D. COLE AND IVORY SERRA

 

L.E.S. from the get go… It’s what you know… From the streets to wax… File it under “Knowledge.” Let the masses follow… D. Ross, letting it flow… It’s how you get it done, son… And then some…

“Whether it’s getting to be associated with having a hit record or signing a group, luck has so much to do with it. If you’re perceptive and your energy is right, you end up getting lucky more often then not or more often than most.”

What’s up?
Why don’t we start the interview?

We’ve started.
Wow.

That’s how we roll. The game is on.
All right, so what do you want to ask me, Steve?

Okay. Listen. Where were you raised?
I was raised in New York City in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Where were you born?
I was born in San Francisco, California, in the Mission District on Lucky Street. My dad still owns a house there.

When did you roll to New York?
I was two and a half years old. My parents split up and my dad stayed there and we came here. I’m a New Yorker, but I do have California roots.

You were born in California. Period.
I was.

Relax. Of course, you’re a New Yorker.
I’m a New Yorker who likes California. L.A. is cool. San Francisco is better. The West Side of L.A. is great. I love Venice and Santa Monica.

You don’t like South Central?
I like Compton. That’s my favorite, Lynwood, Compton. That’s my shit.

Not Englewood.
Englewood is too nice. It’s too close to Culver City. It’s too nice now.

What did you do in New York as a kid?
I got in a lot of trouble. I wrote graffiti, skateboarded, got into a lot of fights in the street and hung out with a bunch of crazy Puerto Ricans. I got bussed to this smart kid white school with a bunch of ghetto kids. The city was my playground. I had very little supervision as a child, so I just went crazy. I was a little hoodlum who got into skateboarding and graffiti when all the kids on my block were selling drugs or mugging people.

How old were you when you got into skateboarding?
I was about 12. Around the age of 14, I actually got on my skateboard and left my neighborhood as much as humanly possible because everyone I grew up with was getting into mad trouble and it was my salvation. Then I went to school with a bunch of middle class white kids, so I met all of these kids in junior high and they turned me onto Led Zeppelin, and I started to understand what it was like to have a normal white person’s childhood a little bit. I realized that being on my block I was going to get in a lot of fucking trouble. My mom got me a skateboard. I got really into skateboarding and got out of my neighborhood until I moved to Brooklyn because it was just too fucking crazy. Everyone was getting into so much trouble. I just didn’t want to get involved. Drugs were everywhere and crack was just coming out.

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