Andy Kessler Passes Away, So We Give Him One Last Jam

Anybody who has ever screwed some wheels to a deck and dropped in on a ramp knows the name Andy Kessler, one of the true trailblazers in skateboard culture. Since the 1970s and up until his tragic death earlier this week (he suffered an allergic reaction to a wasp sting while working on a skate park), Kessler has been skateboarding's favorite underdog, a pioneer and an ambassador who was essentially too nice a guy to really become a legend. But even though the California kids from Dogtown will take credit, skateboarding wouldn't have become a worldwide phenomenon without Kessler.

Initially embraced mostly by white kids and punk bands, skateboarding quickly spread to become a multi-cultural melting pot of an alternative sport, and today informs a ton of hip-hop (Lupe Fiasco's breakout hit "Kick, Push" and the Pack's ode to skate shoes "Vans" are the two most obvious). But the funk and hip-hop world first grabbed skate culture in 1991 with Urban Dance Squad's hit "A Deeper Shade of Soul," which had a video that took place at an empty pool and featured a handful of shredders. Kessler loved the spirit of skateboarding and adored the spread of the sport, so this jam is dedicated to his memory.

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