Mid 90’s is an coming of age tale and an homage to 90’s skate culture. I sat down with Sunny Suljic, Ryan McLaughlin, Gio, Galicia, and Olan Prenatt to talk about their new film. The young men were nice enough to let me interrupt their lunch to discuss music, beef in hip-hop and skate culture.
When did you fall in love with skating?
Sunny Suljic: The minute I got the board. The feeling when you first land a trick…I know this sounds corny but skating is like a drug. I skate every single day I can.
You listened to a lot of 90’s music for the film. Was there anything you listened to that you loved?
SS: There was a lot. Watermelon Man, Tears…
Ryan McLaughlin: To me, 90’s music isn’t that far away. For me, it’s just part of music. I don’t just listen to current music.
The 90’s feel like yesterday to me…
Olan Prenatt: I think it’s because the music was so great and it’s going to live forever.
SS: I can’t imagine what music is going to be like in the next 30 years.
RM: The 90’s was such a progressive era in music. A lot of what we hear now is influenced by that time.
A lot what you hear in music during that time is a productive of things happening around the world.
OP: It’s amazing how music is an art that explains the world. You get a sense of how the world was during that era by listening to the music.
SS: I like listening to lyrics and there’s not a lot of storytelling in today’s music. Listening to 2pac was like reading a book but in a different format.
Gio Galicia: The music now is about who has the most money and who can get the best jewelry.
Hip Hop has always had that..
RM: Music is so accessible to every person. Back in the day you had to get discovered and get on the radio.
SS: You can go on garage band and make a song…
RM: You can just go on YouTube and type “Blah Blah Blah type beat”.
OP: And it will go viral and it doesn’t have to be good to go viral. I have to say, there are a lot of amazing artist out right now, but there’s way too much beef.
Speaking of beefs, are there rules in a battle? Are there lines you shouldn’t cross?
SS: To get recognition, a lot of people get into beefs.
RM: Pusha T bringing up Drake’s friend being sick is really messed up.
OP: There are no rules.
SS: If we were street fighting, I’m not going to pause to pick up gloves. If I want to get them, I have to get them with something that hurts. If you want to get under their skin, you gotta go for it.
Mid 90’s is a crazy film and a lot happens. Was there a scene that was really memorable?
GG: The scene when Ray is talking to Stevie. That’s the scene that hit me the most.
RM: Stevie’s whole party scene with Estee (Alexa Demie).
SS: When Fourth Grade was talking to the girl at the party and talked about his dreams of making a movie. So many people told him it was a dumb idea but one person could change your perception.
OP: It’s crazy how many powerful scenes there were. One of my favorite scenes is when Rueben is on the couch with Stevie and they smoke cigarettes. There was something about how authentic that scene was.
There’s a scene where Ray talks about people not trying hard. Is that a real thing in skate culture?
OP: I see it with the older homies. That’s when they get to a fork in the road where they stick to skating or stop trying and find themselves down the wrong path. Trying hard is something you should do with anything in life.
RM: Each of us knows someone that’s still at the skate park. There are some people right now in my hometown that are skating and they’ve got into drugs or just settled. It’s sad. People need to understand you have to put effort in if you want something good out of life.
OP: It sucks not to want anything. It sucks to see someone not want anything.
RM: Or have it and throw it away.
What do you thing people misunderstand the most about skate culture?
RM: That we’re all a-holes. That we don’t respect authority.
OP: We’re not smart
SS: People see what they want to see.