Pro skateboard aficionado Terry Kennedy has made his mark on the industry, but he’s taking the sport to a new level on his upcoming BET reality series. Words by Cynthia Horner
HHW: You’ve been on MTV, in films, and now you have a BET series. How did the opportunity come about?
Terry Kennedy: I had been looking to do a series for a while but I just hadn’t found the right opportunity. BET was a network that was willing to allow me to be myself.
What is it about?
It is about my life and what I have been through. It will show that I am a man who takes care of my relatives and it will focus on my rap group and fashion line. It’s going to show who I am as a person.
Who is Terry Kennedy?
I am family-oriented, funny and determined to succeed in various areas, including music, but you will see that on the show. You’ll also see how interested I am in getting my clothing line off the ground as well as my rap group. The name of the group is called Fly Society.
You say you have been through a lot. What do you mean?
I have been through the wringer. My mother passed away from drugs and my father left when I was three. It doesn’t matter what your background is you can overcome it.
You have been on the Internet a lot, especially when you were dating Angela Simmons. How do you feel about the websites?
I am comfortable in my skin, and I have thick skin, so it doesn’t bother me. Nothing is worse than having been shot before.
Do you read articles on the Internet?
Not really. If it’s something like someone fell, I might look to find out what happened, but I don’t search for information.
How old were you when you were first introduced to skateboarding?
I was 15 years old. I was in 8th grade, seeing people skateboarding in front of the school and found out the clothing was skateboard gear and I was intrigued. I was like, “what’s going on?” I would ask about the shoes, etc. When I saw two other B
lack kids doing it I didn’t think it was just white boys. I started learning how to do stuff. It became fun.
What has skateboarding done for you?
Skateboarding has always been a thing to me; I never had to fit in. It allowed me to be who I was as a person. Skateboarding is getting bigger these days. There’s over two million skateboarders. And it’s growing as a culture.
You’re from Long Beach, California where the gangs are prevalent. Did anyone try to stop you from living your dream?
Yes, and my friend got killed and I got shot. I come from the ghetto. Just because I skateboard, a skateboard does not define us. We are all from the same experience. Your mama was on drugs, my mama was on drugs. You don’t have food on the table, I don’t have food on the table. So why are we divided? When I was 18, my role model became Pharrell Williams. It’s not just a money situation; you enjoy yourself. Why would someone get killed over a skateboard? That’s the most ridiculous stuff I ever heard of in my life.