Mountain Dew recently invited us to a launch party for their new drink – Mtn Dew Black Label. Special hosts for the night were Theotis Beasley and Joey Bada$$. We got to chill with Theotis for a bit and ask him some questions. Here’s what he had to say about being pro, corporate sponsors in skating, and staying humble through it all.
Good to meet you Theotis, what’s up for 2016? You got any new footy or projects coming out…gonna make your wallet company a reality?
Ah you know what, I’m working on a solo Nike part that should be done this month. We did one about three years ago and its time to do a new one. Trying to get the wallet company thing started with a couple homies and just did a photoshoot for Mountain Dew. Wallets are just something I’m obsessed with, it’s something separate from the other companies I ride for.
Yeah, that’s a good segue right there. You got three major brands backing you up; for a kid that’s growing up skating not thinking of any of that, what is that responsibility like? Is it a lot of weight on your shoulders?
Yeah it definitely is. Just growing up as a random kid who happened to get sponsored, you know I never imagined any of this… It’s a blessing. With traveling the world, sometimes I forget to give my mom money or whatever to help her out. But thank god I’m fortunate enough to have homies who will take care of that for me and I can pay them back when I’m back from my trips. Having a girlfriend is hard too cuz she misses you, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get that money!
How’s life going now since the Baker 3 Days? What’s changed?
Well I was am then… now that I’m pro I have a lot more responsibility. It’s still so much fun. I’m a little older but I still enjoy it just as much. Now I have a house and a car. Thank god for blessing me with these things.
What about the pressure, the day you sign with that bigger brand. How does that change you as a skateboarder?
Well it becomes a job. People see videos and think you landed it so easy but they don’t see the work. I had bloody shirts and everything. You really have to go out and perform & progress. You know… keep them happy. You can’t go out and just try anything.
People see videos and think you landed it so easy but they don’t see the work. I had bloody shirts and everything
How do you find the balance for that, does it change the way you look at skating?
Yeah, so I’ve been trying this one trick for my Nike part and I practice it at the park but when I go out filming it’s a different type of pressure. Nike is expecting me to land it and I’ll get a call asking “Yo did you get that trick?” and sometimes you get kicked out or whatever but overall I just want to get it for myself. So sometimes you try tricks you know but mix it up a little bit to push yourself and keep raising the bar a little higher.
So who puts more pressure on you, sponsors or yourself?
I say myself because I want to do it for myself. Nobody wants to see you do the same thing, people want to see you progress.
At this point in your career do you think of that a lot, like what your legacy will be in skating?
Nah, I mean I feel like I’m just getting started still. I want to leave a good impact and every time I have a new project I don’t want to half ass it. I want to give it my all every time. The progression shows your work ethic and it keeps sponsors and people hyped on you.
every time I have a new project I don’t want to half ass it. I want to give it my all
That said, what’s been the hardest lesson skateboarding has taught you?
Not everyone is going to like you. Like, that’s just life in general. Back in middle school I was a bad kid. I’m from Inglewood/LA, but back in Birmingham I would throw rocks at windows and stuff. My mom would stay on top of me though and made homework and values important. I look back at that and I’m very thankful. There are people in the world that hate on people, but I’m the type of dude that likes to help out anybody and I try to inspire others to do that too. No matter what I’m thankful for everything.
What was the moment you knew you made it in skateboarding?
Skating with Andrew Reynolds at my local park and him taking me under his wing. We exchanged info at the park but he lost my info and he came to my local shop looking for me. I was like damn, that meant the world to me. After that I started getting boxes and getting in the videos. Much different than having holes in my shoes, seeing my toes hanging out and using shoe goo!
There’s a lot of dudes who start making it and lose sight of reality and screw up their opportunity. What would you tell kids coming up about making it the right way in skateboarding?
For kids that are coming up I’d say just worry about yourself, don’t worry about others because you’ll lose yourself and get distracted. Stay humble. A lot of people try to be humble and kinda fake it you know but that’s just how I am. I was a bad kid but I learned. Thank god, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have any of this. Stay focused and worry about yourself.
I was a bad kid but I learned. Thank god, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have any of this
There’s a lot of opinions in skating about corporate sponsors. As someone who has some backing him, what’s your opinion about it. Gary Rodgers brought up the Mountain Dew Black Label thing, what was your response to that?
Gary got me haha, he’s my dude. It’s all jokes and everything. People throw around “sell out” but you only have one life to live. You got bills and everything and Mountain Dew backs skating so hard and supports what your ideas are. It’s good income and they treat you right.
Do you think it’s jealousy and that most people would take the opportunity if they were in that position?
Yeah I definitely think so. I mean, I can post a picture of shoes and someone will comment “Why do you tie your shoes like that?” There will always be someone with something to say to detract or hate but you gotta stay focused on you and do what is right for yourself.
True. Well being up here in NY, what are some of your favorite NYC spots?
Chinatown double-set… also, every time I come out here we skate LES park, I like that place a lot!
You coming back to NY anytime soon?
I hope so, I love it up here.
Alright man last question; any shout out’s or thank you’s?
Shout out to NY Skateboarding for the interview, you guys are good dudes… also, to all the kids that support and skate, thank you!