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After making the move to Philadelphia proper, Pennsylvania native Kris Brown showcased serious finesse and control in his part in A Regular Ass Video (2019). Standing out in a production that boasts “over 100 homies in this jawn,” Brown’s mix of grime and tech was a snapshot at Philly’s current breed. What’s also unique about Brown and his fellow Philadelphians is their subtle nods to The City of Brotherly Love’s skate history. Whether it's the fits, prying up tiles or just finding a way to reinvigorate classic spots, there’s a sense of heritage, homage, and progression laced throughout the photos and footage. Oh, and they’ll also do that shit when it’s brick as hell out and you have to shovel snow to skate the spot. Just peep the April 2021 issue of Thrasher Magazine for the evidence.
Where did you grow up and how'd you get into skating?
I moved around a lot when I was younger but I mostly grew up in Abington. It’s a town right outside of Philly. My older cousin skated with my grandma's neighbor so I was always around it, but I didn’t start learning tricks until Roslyn Skatepark opened in 2009.
Philly's always had an amazing skate scene and right now it feels like it's blowing up again in a really different way. Can you tell me a bit about your scene and crew and what kind of spots you like skating the best and why?
The scene is lit. Philly’s pretty well connected, everybody knows each other and skates with each other for the most part. Everyone usually just kicks it at Muni. I really just like to skate there honestly, just chill there all day. When the ledges are Bondo’ed there’s nowhere else I really want to skate at.
Can you tell me a bit about getting your break in skating and how that happened?
Shiitt. I really got Chris Mulhern and Bill Strobeck to thank for helping me out so much since I was a young boul. Chris helped me get hooked up with adidas and Bill helped me get hooked up with Fucking Awesome the same week back in 2017. I’ve just been filming with Chris since then and just started filming with Bill and getting hooked up by Supreme recently. They both pushed for me pretty hard and things just ended up working out. The stars aligned for me bro. I was pretty down bad before they blessed it. Gotta thank all my homies, too. They held me down.
I think what Bill Strobeck brings to filming is more than just his eye, he really digs into the history of skating and tries to share it. What's it like filming with Bill and has he had an influence on you?
It’s so fire. He just watches mad old skate videos when he’s home and stays hype. His skate knowledge is pretty wild. I really like to collaborate ideas with whoever I’m filming with and Bill’s the sickest for it. He has also filmed the best street skateboarders in history so he’s not gonna film me do no corny shit either. He has a way of getting the best footy out of me as possible.
What skaters past and present influence your skating?
Present, I get hype from skating with all my homies. Anybody who still out skating plazas: Muni, the bros in SF, Pulaski. ILP is probably the most fun to skate with. Jahmir, Caleb, and Brian O’Dwyer get me the most hype. Past, I’d say, Lavar Mcbribe, Keenan Milton, Josh Kalis, KT, Mike Carrol, and Kareem Campbell.
How'd you end up getting on the adidas program?
Chris saw me skating around the city and just asked me if I wanted to get hooked up by them. I think it was after I BS flipped the 10 at Muni that he had something he knew Paul Shier would be hyped on [laughs]. Been rocking with stripes ever since.
You’re heading up the campaign for the new Forum 84 ADV, which was originally introduced as the most technical basketball shoe on the market at the time and because it came out in so many wild colors, people immediately took to it. What do you like about the shoe's design and feel?
I love this shoe. I’m really drawn to the toe shape and design. The shoe just looks like something out of the 80s. My favorite thing in a shoe is the grip, and the new ADVs have plenty. They’re durable, too. The more you skate them the better they get.
Has the pandemic helped or hurt your skating? I know a lot of people had problems getting motivated at first but as more footage was coming out and people got acclimated, it really felt like some amazing videos and content was happening
I feel like it hasn’t changed much for me. I skate a little less than I did pre-Covid. But I feel like I made the most progression I ever had skating this past year. I’m going to skate regardless though, so I guess I just adapted quickly.
What are you working on right now and what's coming up for you?
I’m working on a bunch of different things right now. A couple of projects with adidas, one should come out very soon accompanied by an Instagram clip. The other is going to be a full part so it will take a bit longer. That’s keeping me pretty busy and I try to film with my homies in Philly when I can. Just hoping everyone sees a lot of me this year.
All-time favorite style in skating and why?
Either Lavar, Keenan, or Kareem, they all just got too much swag.
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