Thanks for carrying me around like a giant backpack all these years pic. I took nothing but film classes because I just wanted to write screenplays. But in our group of friends, just mostly athletes or jocks, whatever you want to call it. Ben and myself and then another guy named Chris Alvarez, we were all in a rap group in the early '90s.
We were the ones who were more creatively inclined, so to speak. So whenever it came down to "Hey, let's make a funny video or let's do whatever," it was always me and Ben and Chris that were doing it. Ben worked in media sales and we got a couple of opportunities that he created to do some TV stuff and then that opened to door for some radio stuff.
It was just sort of a natural extension of he and I have always been involved in doing creative projects together, whether it was making funny videos or recording music or whatever that creative impulse or urge was, he and I were always involved in it together. Skin: The Cannabinoids was a project that Erykah Badu started and the idea was that it was an electronic hip-hop ensemble, sort of like an improvisational jazz band but with hip-hop folks.
When she started that, we knew Erykah before she became a huge deal. We knew her when she was just playing gigs and stuff around town. We used to do a weekly -- I think it was a Wednesday, maybe a Thursday night -- freestyle gig with her where we had a DJ and her and Ben hosted it. It was like, kids would come up and freestyle and there's actually video that's out there, that exists of her doing the song "Appletree," which is on her debut album, and she's doing it over the Roy Ayers instrumental remix of The Roots song called "Proceed. Fast forward not even a year later and she's recording with them and a part of their crew now and all that sort of stuff.
So when she was kind of putting this group together, she had asked me if I wanted to be involved. It was an honor to be asked and I did a couple gigs with them and it was a blast. Skin: My primary interest, even way before I got into film, my primary interests were music and basketball. At the age I'm at, I'm 47 years old, hip-hop and basketball were really intertwined in a massive way as hip-hop grew.
So basketball was sort of the sport of hip-hop. I was a fourth grader and my sister brought back inch singles home. So everybody knew that and had that, but the first time I really experienced kids breakdancing and those sorts of things was when I went off to basketball camp and that was the first time I heard of Run DMC as well. As a year-old or year-old or however old I am at that time, I really liked classic rock and I really started to get into heavy metal a little bit, but hip-hop was really hard beats, a lot of energy, so it was really attractive to a junior high-aged kid.
So I got in on it from the very beginning of it. I liked other kinds of music, too, when I was in high school. I stayed with it, I loved it and then when I graduated from high school I thought I was going to be a writer. So I went out to school thinking I was going to be a journalism major. I was sort of rudderless and was getting more into hip-hop and I started writing about hip-hop for local magazines and I started meeting people that way.
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I just really started to understand the production of it and how it was assembled and how to connect the dots. I had buddies that were DJs, so I was around turntables a lot. So I got turntables and started amassing a record collection and it just sort of grew from there. Then Ben came home from college and wanted to record.
Ben and I used to rap at parties when we were in high school. I started to get serious about it around when I was 19 or Why did you and Ben decide to go back to The Fan? Skin: Ben and I had actually spent six or seven years at The Ticket.
We were weekend hosts, we hosted the Mavericks postgame show and we did fill-in stuff. We had no plan to be radio hosts, but once you get your feet wet, you're like, "Man, this is pretty badass. Can we keep doing this? When the opportunity opened up at [The Fan], we took it. There was one other person that was higher up than him, it was an amazing man named Brian Purdy. He saw how miserable we were, he knew that we had not been brought in to do that and he simply let us out of our contract because he was a good person.
That was a great experience. At the end of our contract, we were back in the middle of corporate [expletive] where someone in Bristol is making these decisions and the people in Dallas are like, "This is not what we want. It had more to do with the terms of the contract. ESPN was operated by Cumulus. In a month span, we went to every single game, home and away, for two Texas Rangers World Series runs and in the middle of it was the Mavericks winning an NBA championship.
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