THE CLYDE SINGLETON INTERVIEW: PART TWO
The Wait Is Over. Clyde's Back and Still Dangerous
I want to go back to 2020. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder every skate brand suddenly “knew a Black dude.” You know what I mean? Now I’m not saying all the conversations were disingenuous or that it wasn’t important for brands and people to speak out but looking back, do you feel that response was performative or did it make any real changes?
Man, there are a lot of talented brothers and sisters out there, but I feel as if now, personally, getting a board has lost its luster. You got tattoo shops with skateboards and all kinds of shit. As you said, everyone does kind of have that Black person on the team. It's like everyone's got a fucking Arnold Drummond now, "Hey guys look, we got a Black guy over here." That affirmative action weird shit ain't impressive, man. You’re kind of… you’re setting them up for failure too because a lot of those guys, where are they gonna go? What if they want to jump ship, where are they gonna go? What're they gonna do? Who's gonna pick them up? You just gave people boards because they're Black and they're cool—they wear cool clothes and shit. Where are they gonna go after that? That, “I'm just happy to be here” shit. It's a setup, dog. All that shit, man, people that jump online with that fake posturing. Everyone had the Black box as a profile picture.. people can do what they want to, that shit does not fool me. I told everyone back then and I say the same thing now, it was like having a Black girlfriend for the summer. That shit was cool for the summer, but when school came back in, you went right back to your bullshit.
I just saw Tony Hawk’s selling a shirt & giving some proceeds to Tyre Nichols’ family, which is dope. Don't get me wrong, that's absolutely dope. But- it’s also promotion. Homie could’ve done that on the low and called it a day. But, everything is promotion. All that grandstanding for Black people… we don't need any handouts, man. Quit taking butter biscuits for shit. Quit letting people take advantage of you, and advantage of your situation.
When it comes down to it, there are a lot of brothers & sisters that are doing good things. But, that ain't gonna get the same fanfare. I'm sure Tyre's family appreciates it. it would've been doper if he just donated the money. That shit is all over my Facebook feed, is he the only one giving money?
And everyone celebrating Tyre Nichols’ love of skateboarding now, where was the support or a box when he was out doing it?
Thank you. God bless the dude and he loved skateboarding, he definitely did. But, on the internet- it’s the first time everyone is seeing that dude skateboard. It was like when everybody was jumping out of the window for George Floyd, I'm like, “watch, they're gonna go right back to not caring about you. They're gonna throw y'all a couple of little butter biscuits”. Give this shit a little bit of time. They'll let you know how they feel about you. I bet they won't give y'all any jobs. [laughs] I bet they won't let you date their daughters.
I’m glad we’re talking about “promotion” because I always wanted to know why you decided to keep WCRP free and not put it behind a paywall or offer some Patreon situation. It’s so much work and you’re telling such important stories…
I could have gone the route of doing promotions and paid advertising. I was offered that through Spotify, and keep getting offered through Spotify, iTunes, etc… But, I don't know man. It’s the skater in me. I have other ways that I'm making money and getting pretty good support for The Ollie Llama. I've been dropping some WCRP shirts, but it's a very tricky thing. Realistically, I had to go into it with that mentality that I'm not gonna have the same outcome as the other guys that do the same shit I do. People ain't gonna be ready to pour in money and all that shit, because they don't think about it. I ain't got five people on my team and then a bunch of filmers and editors; I do everything myself. Everything is done by myself, and on top of that, I have a job. It's something I really like to do and when it comes time- I'll pick the right sponsor. But for now, I don’t want my listeners to be hearing an interview with Ray Barbee and then suddenly it’s, ‘TIDE PODS…” I don't wanna line myself up with nothing corny, fucking Manscape, and shit that. I don't use that shit. I intended to go towards the skate shops and do advertising. That’s probably what I'm gonna do moving ahead. I got over 100,000 listeners right now and it's fucking great. I can't ask for more, man.
Most importantly, I love doing it; it's something I've always wanted to do and I figure that's just how it is. If you do something really good, the payoff's gonna come later. It's the work that goes into it and being genuine about what you are. And, not selling myself short to make a couple of bucks. It's been very interesting doing the podcast. It's been way cooler than I ever thought, and hopefully, it just goes a little more upward. I got some things I'm gonna add to the show. I'm doing this shit called Pushing P and it'll be all different podcast hosts, I got Schmitty (Talkin’ Schmit Podcast) coming on first, and I'm gonna do the guys from the Bunt. Just chop it up with other skate podcast people about their creative process and things like that.
I like where I'm at right now. I've been thinking about YouTube, but I don't do visual stuff. I wanna save the visual for some other things that I got planned out and just keep it like it is. The thing about doing video or YouTube, is I feel like you set yourself up. You're constantly chasing that high, that YouTube high: “I need 10K followers & likes. OK, now I need 20K.” I don't need that extra added whatever and all that fake shit. And you read through the comments of some of that shit and you're just like, dude, I don't want these dumbass kids all up in my shit… I don't even know what they're talking about half of the time. My demographic is not in the comment section like that.
I’d like to touch on a few episodes, specifically you speaking to Ned “Peanut” Brown. How did that all come together?
Well, Ned was someone I'd always wanted to talk to. And we’d actually met at this contest, myself and the guy from Hard Times Skate Shop did. We did a contest on June 21st for Juneteenth. Peanut came up, he's like "Hey, man, you're Clyde Singleton." I was seriously so happy. He was one of the people, I'd always seen as a kid and I was just enamored that there was another Black skater besides Steadham in a magazine. To me, it was just really, really cool to see it. Then he kind of disappeared over the years, so there were a lot of guys that I'd always wanted to talk to. When I caught him at that moment, I was like, “Dude, can I... I'd love to get you on the show” and he was super down. Then talking to him, it was great, man. You could tell he put himself in this capsule. He was like, ‘Yeah, man, I'm in my basement right now.’ He had pulled out all these old photos and he put himself in that timeframe, which was so awesome, man. We could be talking about something and he's looking at the photo, then he'd send me the photo right away. It was awesome. He kind of choreographed the entire interview. And the thing was- it was interesting that I didn't really call to talk to him about Jason Jessee because I didn't want the podcast to be like that. I didn't want it to be just like some Perez Hilton shit—I don't want that kind of energy; that's not my aim. I wanted to give him a chance to speak on his career and let him know that that's not all his career's about. I found out a lot about him as well. So that was one of my favorite ones. And actually, I wanna give him a huge fucking shout-out because after we did the episode—I used to do a lot of the first episodes on my phone—and I didn't know anything about audio or editing… the whole thought of doing the show was for it to sound like AM Radio and shit.
So I was right there, but I couldn't figure out the levels and I didn't think about a mic and after we recorded, he's like, "Hey man. Can you do donations for the show?". “Absolutely, man”. "I wanna buy you a microphone." He's like, "I'm not trying to diss you or anything like that.. I just think it would really help." And, dude, and I swear to God, ever since I've got that microphone everyone's like, "Man, it sounds so good." So I have to thank him for that. It was something that I didn't really think of, but it made everything just so much clearer and makes sense. If it weren't for him, man, I probably would've been still doing the same thing as the first seven episodes.
You heard the theme song, right?
So the theme song is Chuck Treece.
Oh, I didn't know that, holy shit.
I reached out to Chuck to see if he wanted to be on the show and mentioned that I was looking for some theme music. He’s like, "Actually, me and my son(Kieran @HawkButter) got an album that's supposed to come out next year. I can give you the whole album, and you pick a song off of it." And I was like, ‘Hold on. What?!”. He gave me a whole album and I didn't know what to do. First off- I’d just asked him out of the blue. Not only did he deliver, but he also gave me an entire album to pick from. It's so awesome how this all worked out. It’s all my heroes, and a lot of Black skaters I looked up to: Ron Allen was the first episode, Chuck Treece gives me theme music, Peanut Brown buys me the mic, and Sal Barbier comes on for Christmas right before Ray Barbee. It’s a dream come true.
That’s why the money's not important right now. This is like everything I've always wanted to do since doing journalism. Having those guys- makes it even richer than it is. I can't explain it. What they mean to me in skateboarding… to have those guys be part of this journey is amazing. I was very proud to have Ray (Barbee) on the show because he’s not on many podcasts… I’m proud of everyone I’ve had on. For a very long time, I was just drinking and partying and I had no self-pride; I had no self-love. And to really dig deep into myself and to love myself enough, to dig myself out of a hole and to come out somewhat shining and to have these guys right there next to me- it's a blessing, dude. I say this to a lot of people, it’s a form of therapy, not only for myself but for those guys.
Oh yeah, you can hear it in the conversations.
You don't wanna strap these guys down and talk to 'em about the couple of tricks they did. They get to talk about their life and their experiences and you get 'em to laugh. And it's a form of therapy for me too, man, because it makes me realize how much I really love skateboarding. It's like, more than anything in the world. I love skateboarding. I've stuck with skateboarding longer than anything I've ever done. I've been a skateboarder since I was 12, and I'm 48—it’s just I would never give up. I just can never see myself walking away from it. If I never had another board again, I would still skateboard. I'd still go to the shop and buy clothes and buy shoes. I really, really love skateboarding, and it's great to be able to have an outlet and be able to share it with people. I can’t lie, it’s a blessing. I don't take this kind of stuff for granted.
I'm in complete control of this and no one can tell me what to do, or what to say and I don't have to use it to bash anyone. I use it as a learning tool and it's awesome, man.