Music Appreciation: Multi-Lingual Soundtracks

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I was watching the Helas Mixtape one day, thinking about Lucas' career, doing some exploratory analysis, and my research led me to a place I didn't expect to go. I was in (quite literally) foreign territory. It seems like we've had a resurgence, although I'm hesitant to call it that in fear of the "don't call it a comeback" retort, but after watching the Magenta Capsule (Jimmy Lannon SOTY), and the Helas edit, I couldn't help but think about songs with non-English lyrics.

Look - I realize that it may seem like I have some sort of English-superiority complex, but I think we all really need to just look at this objectively and agree, first and foremost, that the vast majority of skate soundtracks are to songs with English lyrics. Disagree? Well I just did a tally of every single song on skatevideosite, and it's 87.289%* English-lyric songs, so suck it.

With that said, I would like to explore, or recollect, some of the videos, bands, and skateboarders responsible for giving the skate world exposure to languages outside of the customary American dialect.

*fabricated statistic

Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song Round 2

rodney daewon

Yes, there is a VHS review coming soon, don't worry. IN THE MEANTIME, however, we need to take a moment and discuss the music supervision** in this video. Reckless would be a great understatement, and would do a disservice to whoever was at the helm. Grabbing tracks from the Matrix soundtrack, taking in French rap, Flamenco, Rockwell, Techno, Eric Sermon, and the list goes on. This eclectic soundtrack has a little something for everybody. I actually really like this soundtrack. I know. Fucked up.

JB. The fact that people go uncorrected when they pronounce his last name as though it rhymes with 'skillet' is further proof that the skate community needs to tighten up on its' "who fuckin' cares" attitude. Anyway, I absolutely fell in love with JB's part to some French rap. Couldn't tell you one word that the guy was saying, but I had this shit memorized. If the internet had come around just a bit sooner I probably would've sought out more French rap, and probably could've pursued a career in the music industry. Oh well, c'est la vie. ;)

Enrique's song was easily my favorite in the video. Damnit, you have no idea how badly I wanted to download this song, or go buy the album at Strawberry's or whatever. As I'm writing this I'm wondering why the American music industry was so exclusive 10-15 years ago. Maybe skateboarding is truly the link to cultural diversity (awww). Either that or, as we all know, skateboarders just have the best taste in music, right? Anyhow, Enrique seems to have some control over what he skates to, whether it's 15 years ago, or in a recent bones edit. I would say he's the most underrated dude of all time, but are you still underrated when everybody picks you as the most underrated? Or does everybody just wanna keep you as their own little secret. Think about it brah.

Javier Sarmiento/ Rodrigo TX


Speaking of the perpetually slept on...which eS contract shoe did you buy?

I could specifically talk about The Firm - Can't Stop, but if I were to do that, I'd also have to bring up Bob Burnquist skating to a song written by Ray Barbee about Bob. So, instead, I'll talk about these two guys. I actually don't like the photo above because it makes me really nervous. The amount of talent on that bench is too much for me to handle, and heaven forbid there be some sort of strange accident that happens in that location, I'm not sure that skateboarding would survive. Rodrigo and Javier skate to great songs every single time, but their choices in Can't Stop are particularly noteworthy. I know you're all waiting for me to say it, so this is your cue to click play on Ja Sei Namorar. Crowd favorite. Instant classic. Javier to Dame Veneno is great, but sorry, it gets smoked by Rodrigo.

Diego Bucchieri


I just want to squeeze this one right here in the middle because I just remember this part distinctly sticking out in Good & Evil, and how absolutely absurd I felt the song was. Until I couldn't stop listening to it. Spanish Metal. I couldn't believe it. Also - Diego is a boss.

Gipsy Kings

gipsy kings

If there is one band that is single-handedly responsible for introducing the skate world to flamenco/salsa style music, it is the Gipsy Kings. You might remember them from Adrian Lopez' part in Dying to Live, or perhaps that scene from Big Lebowski, I Fernandez/Chico's part in Pretty Sweet. If you don't remember these parts, and somehow haven't heard anything by the Gipsy Kings, well, that's kind of sick because you get to experience it for the first time today, like a newborn sucking in it's first warm drop of milk from it's mothers teet. Except in this case it's my teet you're suckling, and it's the sweet milk of great music that you'll be forever indebted to me for showing you.

But speaking of Chico. 


Chico Chico Chico, only you could pull off a 59 second part. I just want to take a moment to go out on a tangent and talk about his Tommy Hilfiger long sleeve at 0:14. Need that.

Chico's music selection has been impeccable. I mean, the guy skated to Bill Withers. If I were to rate his song selection on a scale of 1-10, I wouldn't because life isn't about ratings, it's about...well... I don't know where I'm going with this I'd probably give it like a 9.

Cliche - Bon Voyage


This brings us back to our hero, Lucas. What does he skate to? You guessed it, you know it, heedless French Rap. Lucas shows his longevity and whether knowingly or not, pays tribute to his roots by throwing it back to what Gillet was doing 15 years prior. Damn this part is insane. I promised myself I wouldn't talk about skating and would focus on the music, but. 

Tom Penny, Mini-Ramp


Oh, you thought the article was over? Not yet, little Johnny. Quite possibly the most well-known mini-ramp section of the 2000's, the introduction to Tom Penny's long awaited part in Sorry pretty much floored anybody watching. People weren't sure what to expect, it had been years since he had released a full part (remember - his part in Menikmati was mainly old footage). When this intro happened, everybody wanted to move to France and build a miniramp in a barn. Everybody. The song is the perfect fit, and crushes hearts when coupled with Tom's alleyoop frontside ollie spanning the width of the ramp. *hits repeat on part*. Classic Tom.