BUKUE ONE * the bio says most of it, i'll fill in the blanks, skating since 1987, graff writing since 1991. Bowling, business handling, speed scrabble all came in the 90's :) For a short period in the early 90's the parallel worlds of hip-hop and skating went askew and converged. At the time both were still perceived by the mainstream as antisocial behaviors and temporary fads. Hip-hop was not "real music." Skating was not a "real sport." In 2006, these perceptions couldn't be further from the truth, as both disciplines have become fully integrated into the mainstream consciousness, not to mention multi-billion dollar industries. Somewhere along the way their paths diverged and these days they have few intersections even though they remain brothers in spirit. Yet there are some who walk among us that remember those days when hip-hop was an integral part of skating. Tion Torrence, aka Bukue One, is a product of that confluence of underground currents. In Bukue's hip-hop dictionary, there are 5 elements: rapping, djing, breaking, graffiti, and skate boarding. Intromission is the extraordinary album of a true Bay Area original, who in a single leap can pull a 360° kickflip, throw up a graffiti burner, and spit a tight verse. Bukue One grew up straddling the border between Berkeley and Oakland, California. The dichotomy of the leftist college town and the gritty streets of The Town manifested itself musically in Bukue from an early age. "I watched early skate videos that featured music from punk bands like Bad Religion and Black Flag, but my friends were listening to NWA and Run DMC." He was also surrounded by music courtesy of his father, who was a backup singer for Marvin Gaye's touring band. Being a somewhat naïve preteen, he didn't see any contradiction in listening to such dissimilar genres. Living in the East Bay instilled a political consciousness in Bukue from a young age; his parents were both active members of the Black Panther party. So by the time Bukue was entering his late teenage years, he was socially conscious, a talented skater, and a renowned graffiti artist. His love of hip-hop had yet to translate into making music however. Bukue's entry to the hip-hop game came in the form of a live event production company, whose goal was to merge his love of skating and hip-hop. In 1998 Bukue's company, Urban Productions, organized a 4 day hip-hop/action sports festival in San Francisco featuring an a-list of artists, b-boy crews, djs, and skaters such as The Hieroglyphics, Artifacts, Style Elements, Rock Steady Crew, Shortkut, Apollo.Pro, Mike Carroll, Henry Sanchez, and Mike York. Afterwards, Bukue expanded his business into a record label and tour management firm. En route to Australia as tour manager for Aceylone, the hip-hop muse struck Bukue, resulting in "4 Tha Graff Heads", an ode to graffiti culture. As luck would have it, the art of graffiti was in vogue Down Under, and Bukue had a minor hit on his hands. Bukue saw that he could combine his business skill, hustle, and passions to make a sold living; a philosophy come lifestyle that he has practiced to this day.
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