Some might call Bronx native, Zoo York team rider, and the self-proclaimed “Black Bart Simpson,” Dave Willis, a renaissance skateboarder of sorts. Not only does the homie skate and travel the globe as an AM for one of New York City’s most iconic skateboard companies, he also puts on for his city and fans as rapper extraordinaire, Black Dave.
Mass Appeal recently caught up with the multi-talented “grinder” in Washington Square Park on the set of his latest shoot. The day’s perfect weather made for some ideal scenery by the infamous park fountain. The video, directed by Jason Ano and co-directed by Black Dave himself, will visualize “Take It Back,” the first single off of his upcoming Black Bart Mixtape. It features a day in the life with Black Dave that ends up in a chaotic melee, which ultimately gets him arrested.
Anybody that knows a thing or two about the connection between New York City and Larry Clark’s Kids, will note the immediate influence on Black Dave’s current opus. “It’s kinda like, almost a play on that old movie and an ode to that movie, but also just bringing it back to the roots of New York,” explained Dave. It makes even more sense when he revealed that the video will feature cameos from Leo Fitzpatrick, who plays “Telly” in the original Kids, and Peter Bici, ex pro rider for Zoo York and also one of the acting extras that was present for Kids‘ infamous Washington Square Park fight. For this shoot, however, the two actually play complete ironic roles as undercover police officers that put an end to Black Bart’s skate shenanigans. Wait, what? Crazy!
For folks that may not know, aside from being famous to New York City, Washington Square Park is also iconic to the Big Apple’s skateboard culture. Back to Kids. 1995’s independent cult classic about notorious downtown youth and the skateboard scene of the time, explains it all. Not only did director Larry Clark highlight some of the wildest (and realest) scenarios that local youth were getting into, it also debuted a few homegrown acting talents that went on to make bigger names of themselves. Rosario Dawson and Chloe Sevigny, anyone? Not to mention all of the skateboarding talent and extras that also held respective roles in the film, like the late Harold Hunter, Jefferson Pang, Mike Hernandez, and Giovanni Estevez. So you know it’s only right for Black Dave’s newfound lane to bridge the proverbial gap between the old and new New York.
The Black Bart Mixtape is set to drop on September 17th. Dave credits the title to his own lifestyle and ventures. “I see myself as pretty much the Black Bart Simpson, I’m not trying to step out of [the] box and jump anyone else’s lane. I’m just doing me and staying true to myself.” Fans can expect production on the mixtape from the likes of Shy Guy, Nick Catchdubs, and Very Rvre.