AHHA: So how did you get back into the game?
Stevie: I went back to Cali and filmed the best stuff I could possible think of, being as creative as I can. I apologized to a lot of people, started praying, started focusing and I took my tape down to LA. I went to the two best companies that I thought Id fit at. One company, it was an urban company, I was trying to show him my tape, another Black skater. I was like, Yo, I fit on this team, I got some hot footage and he just ignored me. So I took it over to the other team. I had to humble my self to be like Yo, can I go grab some boards, instead of being like I want this I want that. The dude was like Yeah, go around and see whats up, Ima watch your tape. I grabbed two [or] three boards, nothing big – something that wasnt going to make it look like I was all greedy [laughs]. I come back, dudes eyes is dumb big, mouth to the floor Im like Yo, whats good? Hes like, Thats all you grabbed? I think we got a spot on the team for you.
Im like man look, I aint trying to be on flow. They put you on flow, then they ask everybody else what you think of Stevie. But see my rep was like, Nah man, that ni**a too wild. I was real ignorant. I was punking everbody like Gimme that. Knocked a couple of people out. I had to drop all that. That was in my past and I let him know that aint me no more. He was like We throwing you on the team right now. I was like alright cool, Call my mom. Cause she was trying to talk me into getting a job. He called my mom like Yeah, we going to take care of your son, and right there I was on, Chocolate.
AHHA: What was next?
Stevie: I got on a shoe company called DC Shoes. I started building up my sponsors, gaining more knowledge of the game. Being in the streets and being aware and conscious of whats going on, I automatically picked up on the business like board sales, and how the game is being ran while other skaters are just happy to be on the team and skate. I was like, Yo how many boards did I sell in a month?
AHHA: So you knew how much of an asset you were?
Stevie: By the time I knew how much of an asset I was I was already like top dude, so I quit and started my own company, thats DGK; Dirty Ghetto Kids. I knew I needed somebody big to back what I was trying to do, and they [DC Shoes] wasnt trying to do it, and now Im at Reebok.
AHHA: Oh, so you have actually tried to get DC shoes to back you?
Stevie: I tried to tell them. Yo, advertise me in The Source, gimme XXL. Let the community I came from know what type of dude I am. Dont try to portray me out here like one of these other dudes, thats corny, tap dancing [and] cooning. Put me out there man. They was like, Well, ya know Stevie But AI [Allen Iverson], Jay-Z, 50 Cent and these dudes paved the way for the kid. I seen it, I went after it, knocked it out and now I got everything that I ever wanted to come out, coming out by a brand thats worth 3.8 billion dollars.
AHHA: What does it include?
Stevie: Sneakers, jeans, hoodies, du rags, sweatpants, sweatshirts, fitteds, everything-no button ups. Just my culture on a silver platter, boom. You going to go in the skate shop and you going to see DGK on the wall, DGK on the shoes, DGK on the clothes, all around. Its something that identifies who you are or who you want to be as a skater. You dont have to resort to being Black, in the hood, going to skateshops and listening to punk rock and all that. Coming back home with spiked hair, crazy belts and all that.
AHHA: How did the DGK name originate?
Stevie: Thats my squad from Philly – from being laughed at everyday, being called ‘dirty ghetto kids’ by older people from the suburbs trying to claim Philly. When the photographers and the filmers came into town to check out Love Park, theyd be like, “Dont skate with them, dont take pictures, dont film them, they just nothing but dirty ghetto kids”. And thats what we came to be. Yeah we is dirty ghetto kids, thats who we is. I made it into a culture and there is dirty ghetto kids cliques everywhere. Fairfield, PA to Houston, Texas, theyre all there. They need somebody to stand up for them like a leader, like a leading clique that everyone can follow. They got somebody to reference back to when people are laughing at them.
AHHA: Where there any Black skaters you looked to when you were coming up at all?
Stevie: Yeah, there been Black skaters for a long time, but they been coons. I aint knocking them, but theres been a lot of skaters that fell off because they were just not feeling they were accepted anymore. Its like if you cant beat em, join em. But I was never really that type of dude. I wasnt chillin with my white dudes and acting all white. I never lost my identity. I still felt like somebody before me or somebody before this person before me could have at least stood up. I feel like Im the Martin Luther King of this sh*t. Im here first, Im taking these shots. Im going to get assassinated if this dont work.
AHHA: You mentioned banging Tical all the way to Cali, is it safe to say youre a Hip-Hop head?
Stevie: Im a Wu-Tang dude to the heart. Im from Philly man-Schooly D, Cool C, Steady B, EST
AHHA: Ahh, Three Times Dope.
Stevie: We was just with EST. Thats our peoples. Musiq Soulchild, State Property, Beanie Sigel, everybody yo. Im from North Philly. Larry Lar, all that, lets take it back. I never got into punk rock and all that. Thats not my twist. Everything I know, breath, is urban.
AHHA: Think people are going to call you a sell out since you aligned with Reebok?
Stevie: Yep. [laughing]. Im a sell out in the stores. The shoe is gangsta. Theyre just salty man. It aint really been no icon. I got hate from other Black skaters. Like, that should have been me and you stole my deal from me. I sit back and be like, Are you serious? That only lets me know that they want this deal. Even though you want it, can you deal with it? Plenty of times I felt like giving up. But like my man always say, It gets greater later. And thats what we out here working for. I signed my whole squad, everybody from my skateboard team is on Reebok.
AHHA: And you own it?
Stevie: I own the name DGK 100%. And I licensed it to Reebok for clothing and shoes. Im in the Tony Hawk game coming out too so I got all my gear in that. Its going to be crazy.
AHHA: It seems like youre showcasing another option beyond when The Notorious B.I.G. said, Either you’re slingin crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot.
Stevie: I was explaining to someone the other day after watching Coach Carter, the system really is designed for failure. And me understanding contracts, there is always a loophole in the system. You just gotta know how to get it. You need the right person to get you to or through that loophole. Im one of them loopholes in the system right about now.