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True East: The Unbreakable Story of Zered Bassett

Zered Bassett’s tenure as a central figure of East Coast skateboarding spans generations. In many ways, he represents the bridge between the old New York and the new. The fact that he has endured longer than many of the brands that he’s been associated with is a testament to his dedication to his craft, and shows a resiliency that mirrors the streets where he honed it.

Originally from Cape Cod, Zered was a child prodigy who was discovered at an Invisible demo in Massachusetts as a tween. This landed him on Sixteen, and later flow for World Industries. It was during this era that Brian Brown’s brother sent Zered’s tape to Zoo York, where it landed in the hands of Jeff Pang. He was offered a spot on the team, which was accepted after getting some solid advice from Jahmal Williams.

From there, Dr. Z made the move to the Big Apple, where he was molded into the legend that he would ultimately become under the tutelage of Harold Hunter, Danny Supa, Vinny Ponte, and the rest of the O.G. Zoo heads. His progression is well-documented in RB Umali’s E.S.T. video series, and culminated in Vicious Cycle, which is still considered by many to be his magnum opus.

Zered would ultimately spend a decade as a card-carrying member of the Zoo York Institute. During this time, he turned pro, received a signature shoe from DVS, and a sponsorship from Red Bull. In addition to becoming the face of New York’s next generation, he was easily in the top-tier tax bracket for professional skaters. This afforded him luxuries, including an apartment in the city and a Cadillac Escalade. But all that glitters is not gold. And the rapper’s lifestyle is rarely built to last.

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By the end of the aughts, Zoo discontinued Zered’s contract; DVS released him from its roster; and Red Bull followed suit a few years later. He was on the verge of packing up, and moving back to Cape Cod. But the New York hustle sustained him via collaborative projects with UXA and Uniqlo before landing spots on the rosters at Expedition and Converse.

Currently, Zered is comfortably chilling as a pro for Alltimers, has a couple of signature Converse shoes under his belt, and is pursing his art and photography in Brooklyn. Lee covers all of the bases of Dr. Z’s legendary story during Episode 21 of Mission Statement.

INTERVIEWS

Catch up with Lee Smith in the ‘The Nine Club Podcast’

If you follow Lee Smith on Instagram, you might have seen some of his artworks posted there. In this episode of The Nine Club Podcast, Smith talks about he got into art and how he relates it to learning skateboarding.

“You feel you’re really not good at it and you keep doing it and keep doing it. And then one day something in your brain clicks. And you’re like, I think I kinda figure it out.”

He also narrates growing up in San Francisco and meeting Karl Watson as a kid, moving to Barcelona, starting his own podcast Mission Statement, and more.

Watch the full interview above.

 

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INTERVIEWS

It’s Official: Spencer Hamilton Announces NB# Deal

Spencer Hamilton has been prolific over the past year or so. His hard work has paid off in the form of signing a deal with NB#, which is revealed at the 55:04 mark of the latest episode of The Bunt.

I’ve been loving the Tiago. You know how it is. When you get to your 30s, your feet are bruised and battered. You need some protection. I don’t know how these kids skate in these thin-ass shoes. Ever since I’ve been skating the Tiagos, I’ve been feeling pretty good. Yeah, I just recently signed on with New Balance.

Good to hear that Spenny landed on his feet (pun intended) after the demise of Supra.

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PODCASTS

Mark Suciu’s SOTY Run Will Begin in November

It sounds like Suciu’s SOTY run will officially start in November. In the latest episode of The Nine Club, he reveals that he will be dropping footage to coincide with the release of his Gazelle colorway. But this edit is just a prelude of what’s to come. The Habitat pro confirms that his longer part with Justin Albert and Spitfire project are still in progress. If both drop within 12 months of the adidas launch, we’re predicting that he’ll take home skateboarding’s top honor in 2022. The appropriate timestamp is cued up above.

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