Some people are destined for big things from birth. This seems to be the case with Na-Kel Smith. It’s no secret that Kareem Campbell is his uncle. But to hear him reflect on getting his first board from Reem, and his memories of the time that he spent around him as a very little kid really sets the stage for everything that Nak would go on to accomplish in the culture.
I started skating in elementary school, kind of like 5th grade. I was like 10. I got my first skateboard when I was three, though, cause of my uncle. He’s Kareem Campbell… he gave me my first skateboard and shit. I used to go to his house. You know Big Mama’s Pizza? He used to order that sometimes when we’d go over there. And I would be like, “Oh, he’s ordering a big-ass pizza!” Me and his son used to skate off this bunk bed… And we would play Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1. And he would have boxes of shoes. He was living the life that I’m living now. But when I was a little-ass kid. And it’s crazy to think about—that I’m living it now.
Listen to the entire Masked Gorilla episode above. The bit about Kareem starts at 10:25.