Pharrell Williams has always felt brotherly concern for Terry Kennedy, his good friend and the captain of his Ice Cream skateboarding team, but the famed producer never thought it would be like this.
On Saturday, Kennedy was shot twice, once in the forearm and once in the jaw, after leaving a party in Long Beach, California. The 19-year-old said he was about to get into his vehicle when a man standing several feet away opened fire.
"I seen it when it happened, the whole thing," Kennedy, resting in his home, said Wednesday. "I seen a n---a shooting and I swear it was like 'The Matrix.' I seen the bullets flying though the air, then hit me in the jaw. What got me mad was the n---a was shooting from far away. I'm like, 'This n---a is not no police officer, don't nobody have that much aim to hit me dead in the jaw.' "
Miraculously, Kennedy drove to St. Mary's Medical Center after the attack.
While Kennedy doesn't think he was the victim of stray bullets, he doesn't know why the bullets were intended for him. He said he doesn't have beefs with anyone.
"As I'm driving to the hospital, I was like, 'Of all places, why the jaw?' " he said. "I don't have a reason for getting shot in the mouth. I didn't do nothing to nobody. I'm a skateboarder, I'm not on rap songs dissin' n---as or nothing. Why would someone have something against me? If you have something against me, you're just jealous. I'm doing a sport that don't nobody mainly do that's black. You obviously gotta be hating."
Kennedy, who some call "Baby Jordan" for his skateboard moves, said he's been warned constantly by Pharrell to be careful where he hangs out because envious people might try to harm him.
"We talk, and I never wanna listen," Kennedy said. "He tells me to slow my roll and kick back. I be like, 'He's just popping off.' I'll be like, 'I skateboard cuz ain't nobody trying to worry about me.' He tells me to get a bodyguard and I'll be like, 'He's just singing his song.' He'll be like, 'People know you deal with me, people wanna rob you.' I never wanna listen. ... I'm not a hardheaded dude, but I got a lot of pride. All I can do now is just listen."
Kennedy has been skating since he was 14 and became convinced he could earn riches skateboarding after seeing his friend, pro skater Evan Hernandez, rake in money in the eighth grade. A couple of years ago, Kennedy, who was a pro by then, met Pharrell Williams through MTV's Bam Margera and was recruited for Pharrell's Ice Cream skating crew.
Kennedy and five other skaters, including Pharrell's brother Kato, were filmed in various U.S. cites doing tricks on their boards, and some of the footage is being used for a DVD later this year. Kennedy said production is on hold until he heals up, which he thinks will take at least a couple of months.
Still, Kennedy is confident his career will be stronger than ever once he recuperates. That, he says, will be his revenge.
"It will eat them up for me to be shining and doing what I'm doing," he said, referring to the man who shot him. "What eats them up is that I got a Chrysler and an Avalanche on 26s. It's sad because it's really on them. It motivates me to just get a Bentley and really wreck it. All you can do is be happy you're here and live it up and just shine."