By Steven Roberts
Nigel Sylvester has come from a very unlikely place to propel himself to the forefront of his sport. Hailing from Jamaica, Queens, the professional BMX rider gained attention thanks to underground videos of him showcasing his skills throughout the streets and parks of New York City. He's even earned sponsorships with Gatorade and Nike. And in Queens, as in life, you know you've made it when you have your own shoe.
But the BMX star has decided to test his skills on another platform: music. He and Gatorade recently teamed with Mick Boogie to release his first mixtape, Because I Grind. Sylvester isn't rapping, but he wanted to share a little bit of the music that gets him in the zone while grinding rails and dodging taxi cabs.
"Music has always been a major part of my life," Sylvester told MTV News. "Whenever I ride, I listen to my iPod. It helps me get in the zone and stay focused."
He met Mick Boogie through his manager, and Boogie was down once he heard the idea. Sylvester also had the opportunity to work with one of his favorite producers on the tape. "I've been listening to the Alchemist for years, so when I was presented with the opportunity to do this mixtape, he was definitely at the top of the list to produce it. While I was on tour, we linked up in the studio and kicked it. He was feeling the idea, and the rest is history."
The Alchemist produced four tacks on the mixtape, and Sylvester said that Alchemist and Boogie selected many of the artists featured on the tape, including Big Sean, Mike Posner and U-N-I.
Sylvester was open to the idea of doing another mixtape. "If I was, I would continue to highlight music that I'm into, artists I respect and music that just feels right."