Barrels and Rap Battles

Why some surfers need to get over their rap music phobia

| posted on October 08, 2013

Yesterday John John and Blake Kueny dropped the best web clip any of us have seen since…well…the last time they dropped a web clip. With his lofty airs, smooth rail work, and preternatural barrel riding, Florence is doing what Reynolds used to do, which is make every other pro surfer in the world feel like a second-class citizen. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, the person who has sparked the most commentary about this video isn’t John Florence—it’s Action Bronson.

Action Bronson, aka Ill Prosciutto, aka Bam Bam Bigalow, aka Bronsolino is a 29-year-old rapper from Queens, New York who lends the backing tracks to John John’s latest piece of surf cinema. For some reason, a lot of people hate this. I doubt it has anything to do with the Bronsolino specifically, but is more of a reflection of the way surf culture relates to rap music in general. On our site, there were many comments claiming that rap and surfing are at odds, but I think Daryl Smitts summed up these sentiments with this: “Rap so doesn’t go with our sport. Please leave it out next time. Muting works but we shouldn’t have to do that. Whoever put that track on there is kind of a wigger…and wiggers don’t surf.”

First off, who uses the word “wigger” these days? This isn’t 1999, Daryl. Fred Durst died a long time ago…I think. But Daryl isn’t alone. His ‘90s vernacular echoes the opinion of many surfers. But why? Why has rap music never gained footing in surf culture?

Does the entire surfing population dislike rap? Absolutely not. If you went through the iTunes library of any surfer under the age of 35, you’re at least going to find The Chronic 2001 or Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and probably good kid, m.A.A.d city and LiveLoveA$AP if they’ve been keeping up. That’s because since the ‘90s, rap music has been popular with young people, and young surfers are not immune to the charms of pop culture. But we’ve been resistant to injecting rap music into surf videos because many surfers think that rap’s representation of urban street culture is irreconcilable with surf culture. Slanging rocks and sitting on beach towels may not exactly go hand-in-hand, but that’s not really a fair comparison.

Popular rap music evolved past the gangster paradigm a long time ago. Sure, gangster elements are still present in the majority of popular rap, but Action Bronson is an overweight ginger who pens lyrics about smoked gouda, rosemary bread, and plank salmon more than he does about busting caps in or around anyone’s asses. You could say similar things about Kanye West, Danny Brown, and Tyler, the Creator making references to fashion, oral sex, and skateboarding, respectively. These topics are well within the wheelhouse of the modern surfer, but in truth, that doesn’t even matter.

The fact is that you don’t have to relate to music in a literal sense for it to be appealing and entirely applicable to your life. If you pull up to a slabby reefbreak and you’re excited, scared, and want to get pumped up for the impending session, you’re going to go with Killer Mike over Jack Johnson any day of the week. Why? Try listening to “Bubble Toes” and tell me if that makes you want to airdrop over a ledge. Could you imagine John John’s new edit to any song off of From Here to Now to You? Jesus, that would have been the worst.

  • Jon Chester

    It seems like you are basing this on a false paradigm: hard rap vs. jack johnson. There is plenty of powerful music that can give one the courage to push over the ledge. To me hip-hop and its lyrical content are so tied to the urban environment that it just feels out of place at a tropical reef break.

    • Kirk

      What music do you suggest? Rock and Roll? West-coast punk? Are one of those better for a “tropical reef break?” And are you suggesting that we should abolish any connection between surfing and an “urban environment?” Is it bad to think about blacks in the ocean?

      • Confused

        Kirk I’d like to make a suggestion. CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Why don’t you rewrite what you said with out pretending like what he said was a direct attack on your or urban music. Name a few songs from any hip hop or rape artist where they make a connection to surfing…I certainly cant think of any. I cant think of very many urban environments weather they be white or black that evolve waves. Why is race even a matter here. Rap is not white or black anymore. Grow up, move on, and don’t take everything so literal. You can clearly see that his argument had nothing to do with race but only HIS connection to urban music. No yours and not mine.

        • Daryl Smitts


        • Kirk

          “Hip Hop..lyrical content…urban environment…” That’s not about race? The worst part is that we willingly accept this cloaking language as we dumbly promote the segregation of African American culture from the surf community.

        • Surprised2

          Here’s one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxLS-cpgbe0, check out the Mayhem board in the background as well.

          • Lakesurfer

            That’s not Hip Hop, that’s bullshit…

        • j.brox

          music makes connection to a surf break or surfing through the listener
          who is making said connection, so any musical style or song has as valid
          of a connection as any other to surfing and a particular surf break
          made by the surfer doing the listening. if you don’t like a particular
          style and it doesn’t make a connection to you, that is fine, listen to
          something else, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because
          something has no connection to surfing for you, that holds universally
          true for everyone. as far as urban environments not involving waves, that is far from true, where i used to live, atlantic city, is very urban and also has some of the best surf in the entire state of new jersey as well as on the east coast in general.

        • eriklovessurf

          check out “Stephan” hes a sick surfer/rapper coming up big! http://www.SurfRap.com

      • Daryl Smitts

        go back to sleep Kirky… Let the adults work this one out.

    • Daryl Smitts

      Well said… And look people no out of date 1999 vernaculars!!

    • BornStoked

      Hey Jon, have you ever been to a “tropical reef break?” Africa? Mexico? South Pacific? Hawaii? The people that grow up, live and surf around these places listen to a lot of “hard rap,” is that not acceptable because of its “lyrical content?” Have you ever been to an “urban environment?” Do people there not wear surf brands? Should these brands not be allowed to market to said people because of where they live? Should someone who is undisputedly one of the best surfers in the world not be allowed to listen to whatever the fuck he wants and release edits with music that he finds suitable for the content? Should the sport of surfing not be allowed to grow beyond the limited stereotypical box that you and so many others have confined it to?

      • Jon Chester

        I’ve been to tropical reefbreaks and I live in a “ghetto” (bayview, SF). Don’t assume shit about me. I wasn’t telling anyone what to listen to, merely expressing my reaction to the aesthetics of the video.

        • BornStoked

          I didn’t have to assume shit about you, Jon. You put your ignorance on display in your comments. If you think the “aesthetics” of the clip were ruined by the music selection and your “reaction” was to complain about the prevalence of “hip-hop” in the “urban environment” then maybe you should take the issue up with your neighbors in Hunters Point. I live in East Oakland so don’t talk to me about living in a fucking ghetto because you don’t; the pussies that stab people at Candlestick wouldn’t even step foot in the Raiders’ parking lot. Your statement that “hip-hop [is]…out of place” says it all. No assumptions necessary. See you at OB! Cheers!

          • jon chester

            i didn’t complain about hip-hop in urban environment and I love my neighbors.
            “born stoked” maybe, but what happened?

  • JKR

    Have to agree with Jon. And personally the songs felt out of place because personally I just found them quite honestly to be a couple of sh**ty songs. I listen to a variety of music and I’ll be the first to admit rap isn’t high on that list but if it’s a good tune I’m open to it. Maybe the majority of objections were based in the same type of realm?

    • Daryl Smitts

      There you go…

  • Scott

    Why do people need music to amp them up? I always figure if i’m paddling out at a dangerous spot i better not f**k up or else i’m gonna bounce off the reef. Thats seems to be motivating enough. Froth naturally!

    • bill555

      4/5 of the world don’t paddle out to dangerous spots… the majority of surfers surf beach breaks. Lucky we live Hawaii.. we get plenty dangerous spots! ha.

  • BC

    U cant really call Wu Tang rap. Its too good be in the same category as garbage like Guci Mane and Lil Boosie which Im pretty sure only surfers from FLorida listen too. Wu tang is pretty much its own genre. I personally liked the soundtrack. Bronson sounds like he should be in the Wu Family. I dont think the lyrics go with JJF’s humble manner though. Just my opinion.

    • Ol Dirty

      You can’t call gucci mane and lil boosie rap, wu tang was rap before fuckboy trend riders even started wearing wu tang shirts

  • KauaiDKer

    That was dope! Esp. like the 2nd part of that song (or as the bruthas call it: that joint) with that sick guitar loop. That’s the first I’ve heard of Action Bronson. Reminds me of Nas.

    Oh, and JJ’s surfing was pretty good, too, ahaha. – KDK from Kauai

  • Jared Spencer

    I dont see why this is a big deal. Correct me if I’m wrong but Andy irons a rap song in his Still Filthy part and he was a big Kanye West fan, no complaints there, but in this internet era everyone has something negative to say, it just comes down to ignorance. It didn’t take anything any from the clip in my eyes and john john is still my pick for surfer of the year by miles

    • .,

      That wasn’t rap, not even close

    • jmaccers

      Andy Irons’s song on still filthy was the shittiest piece of music to have ever infiltrated my ears

      • just your average white guy

        Thats because it was mickey avalon, aka shitty meth head rap. Theres a huge difference between Mickey Avalon and Action Bronson.

        Everyone so far is missing the point that the song choices by JJF flows perfectly with the surfing.


  • dashhound

    It’s JJF’s piece he can choose whatever the hell he wants……………we are still going to watch it !!

  • RM

    That’s why he surfs as he does and we comment. John John walks to the beat of his own drum. Best “skate” clip ever…

    • larry larkin

      Wow social media is great , now I know what everyone thinks and I still don’t give a shit…welcome to a generation where everyone thinks that what they think matters…Doesn’t , don’t, never will… but keep wasting your time sending picture on Pintrest (?) ( stupid) looking at the Kardasians, and writing down your 2 cents on the matter…just keep thinking you matter….while the goverment shuts down on you…suckers.

  • Jerry Heard

    Really?? Music is Music.. Whatever gets you pumped is all that matters..

  • Robot

    The fact that this is even being brought up is one of the reasons surfing is so regressive. He chose rap. He did the surfing. He made the clip. He gets to choose the song. To say that he can’t choose rap because he’s white and surfs is so unbelievably arrogant.

    • grammar nazi

      i believe you mean ignent

  • eric

    I am far more unhappy with a longboard movie, pop-up add that loads and auto plays, every time I change content screens. Not a huge rap fan…love some, but not what gets everyone amped to surf. Non-issue.

  • Mik

    JJ is free to do whatever he wants. He’son his own level, and he’s earned the world’s respect.

    But for me, Gangsta rap is a cancer in the black community.

    Sure, it’s cool to be macho, especially if you’re affluent and its ur fashion thing.

    But blacks are marginalizing themselves to the lower rungs of life with gangsta culture, and they are already unjustly discriminated against.

    Integration, like surfing, is based on respect… And I definitely don’t respect anyone with their pants down to their knees, ranting about beating up women or killing people. I might be wary of the guy if he’s big enough, but respect?

    In the USA, Asians are rocking because they are unbelievably disciplined and educated… The Latino community is following that path. Education evens the playing field because it empowers people.

    But the black community is holding itself down by buying into gangsta culture as their “brand”, and romanticizing stupidity. You might label me as racist or lame for saying this, but you’re wrong. It’s a sad story, and it’s getting sadder, not happier.

    If you’re into gangsta, because you identify with the drug scene, I think you’re making a mistake. It didn’t help AI, or Flea, and it wont help you. Rock on, people, but you don’t need to be a lowlife to rock hard.

    • Kirk

      For one, Action Bronson raps about food, not the gangsta scene. For another, blacks are marginalized by their history as impoverished laborers in capitalist America. For another, it’s ignorant to equate every single mention of rap with “gangsta rap.” For another, gangsta rap is not the cancer any more than video games cause violence. Gansta rap is an expression of a reality; one of hardship and oppression, not the cause of the oppression. But I guess what you really wanted to say is that by using rap on a surf video, those that do so are “be[ing] a lowlife.”

      • Mike

        And Latinos don’t have the same type of impoverished laborer background… They have struggled the same battles as the blacks but since they have a strong culture and are heavily influenced by family and respect they have been able to slowly break the stereotype and become powerful. They are not using the past as a crutch to destroy the future generations and always say poor us we were never treated equally. Instead they have fought their battles and gained respect and power.

        • sectorc

          no, not this. these are stereotypes. Latinos are STILL impoverished laborers, overwhelmingly. Sigh. I have a lot of work to do on this page.

      • #eRock#

        Y’all crazy!! Action Bronson does rap about food and other awesome things. But y’all forgot he’s a ginger white boy?? hahaha Childs play! NEXT!!

    • sectorc

      “Lame” doesn’t begin to describe how f-ed up what you just said is. “Asians are disciplined,… blacks romanticize stupidity” is the definition of a racist statement. “Gangster rap is a cancer in the black community?” What do you know about the black community? Asians are rocking? Tell that to the Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, Hmong…. what do you know about the Asian community?

      “Education evens the playing field?” The playing field of education ITSELF is more uneven now than it has been since the end of school segregation in 1954–to even PRETEND that all children, or people, have equal opportunity in today’s USA is to reinforce the very same racist ideologies that perpetuate ideas like the ones you spewed above.

      Skip your next session and read a book that wasn’t written by a Heritage Foundation goon.

      • MIk

        I didnt say rap, or hip-hop was a cancer, I said Gangsta rap is… as is the gangbanger look… for the black community…

        because it makes their culture seem low, ugly, when it needs to rise up…

        and the way the Asians rose is they assimilated through education. Asian communities here are the higher echelon of society. IMO. I have watched Santa Cruz and the valley evolve, I have participated in it, and i have done what my peers have described as cutting edge work in the Surf Industry too.

        And where i live and surf, near Silicon Valley, what I said was true about the Asian community rocking, and the trend of integration here is being followed by the Latino community which is very focused on education…and I know because i interact with all of these communities in my work, which is now as an educator in the natural health sector.

        education is ALWAYS an equalizer, i suggest you get on it.

        btw: fuck the Heritage Foundation, the GOP, and racial oppression

        JJ is amazing / Gangsta isn’t — my opinion.

        when u produce art, you open yourself to people’s response, and that’s mine. u can think whatever u want, but i’ll let the rest of the blogdom decide who’se the “goon”.

        anyone lurking around with their pants below their ass spouting off about beating women, shooting people, or whatevs, is an idiot.

        ask Aldon Smith, former pro bowl 49er, how that culture has served him lately… or Michael Vick… or Chris Brown?

        I respect Kelly Slater all the more when I think of it, and he’s as free a thinker as they come.

    • Daryl Smitts

      Amen brother!

    • Pierre

      Why do people always bring up racial issues when it comes to music and especially rap? Music has no color! Bashing has never lead to anything positive. Legend Bob Marley already said it: “One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain…” You don’t have to listen to it if you don’t want to… Share love, peace and respect, because that’s what the world needs today. Too much hating, too little loving and sharing…

    • Colin

      This guys a fucking a racist

    • andy.ec

      first of all, all rap music isn’t ‘gangster rap.’ rap music has many different sub-genres kind of like rock music does. furthermore, gangster rap doesn’t serve to do anything other than be a description of the lives that the particular mc rhyming the verse leads. so to be appalled by gangster rap, or be uncomfortable by it, should make you be appalled at the economic reality of many segments of our society and be uncomfortable enough by the world that is being described that you want to actively participate in making the world better for your fellow citizens, whether it be through donation to one of many different nonprofit organizations, or through volunteering to help impoverished people directly, along with writing letters to and/or voting for certain politicians that have the desire to make the economic disparity in our country disappear or become more equal. to simply look at rap music and discount it as nonsense that is stupid and ignorant, is being those very things yourself.

  • Jay

    The Tahiti section in Done… that is all.

  • Travis Massa

    it’s not bad because it’s rap, it’s bad because it’s a shitty track. surfing is rhythmic, that was not.

  • Stitcher

    At the risk of overgeneralizing, most rap tends to be all about ego projection, i.e., showing the world “Look what a badass I am!” That’s fine, since that’s what so much of of our culture is and always has been about. But that doesn’t make it art. It’s just more of the same derivative stuff, created largely by people who can’t even play actual musical instruments. Nice try, Todd. The music on John John’s video is mos’ definitely “mutable.” The video is way better without it. Thanks.

    • sectorc

      first of all, no.
      second, rock in its various genres isn’t braggadocio?
      third, as many above have noted, you all have some serious thinking to do about race, class position, and the meaning of artistic expression/cultural activity for peoples excluded from the opportunities of mainstream society.

      “just more of the same derivative stuff, created largely by people who can’t even play actual musical instruments” <=== Racist statement. Jesus christ.

  • Coyote

    To insinuate that there is a correct form of music to accompany surfing is to insinuate that there is a correct way to experience surfing. Most surfers fancy themselves unique individuals, and many are drawn to the experience due to its freedom of expression and from constraint. Dictating what music can accompany a surf flick is an attempt to censor this freedom in an effort to create a monolith. You can be an individual, as long as you are not different. Might as well put on my black wet suit, get my white board, and try to stick two turns and an air reverse.
    On a slightly different note, perhaps people are so rankled by rap in surfing due to an unconscious desire to view a physical, liquid harmonic oscillation accompanied by a similar audio manifestation. Most (not all) rap music (if we are exclusively separating rap from hip hop in general) is unsatisfying in regards to harmony and melody, and relies heavily on rhythm. Then again, there are plenty of rap songs that probably foot the bill as a satisfying audio experience in these regards. I know that early hip hop, especially A Tribe Called Quest, is something that I always have thought of as a nice companion to the act of surfing. Then again, what do I know.

  • bruddah

    Someone at Surfer should ask JJF or Blake or whoever why the hell they chose “Radioactive”.

  • duck

    i like good hiphop…. but “stop talking just go down baby”….fuck that.

  • gangstasurf

    ya’ll are haters. listen to the beat, the rhythm and lyrics. they’re never-ending, like JJF’s surfing. there’s no end in sight, bar after bar, banger after banger. IF the surfing is wack then it doesn’t work. but thats not what we’re watching. its all on point. they go together.

  • frothdog

    a lot of people over 40 have those rap albums, and more, in their iTunes. good music is good music regardless of genre.

  • Dallas

    Kids these days, they rip hard as fark, but their music sucks ass. Talking bout my gennn-eration!

  • George
  • Ben

    Mr. Prodanovich, you are moving into dangerous territory with your assumptions – People are entitled to opinions about a song, and it is wrong to chastise them for it, as it is wrong to chastise somebody for any proclivity. I for one enjoyed the music and find it far preferable to the Prozac-addled techno/hipster whine that permeates many of today’s videos, but that’s on me; I can watch another video and/or tell the movie maker that his music sucked. Whether he changes is his decision.

    • sectorc

      dude you missed the point. He’s talking about the reaction that people have to the song. And he’s right to point out that those complaints are based in classist and racist assumptions that need to be examined both by those making the statements, and those who defend them

      • Ben

        No, the point is well-understood. Though a few thick-headed morons deride the song for bigoted reasons, I’d argue that the majority of complaints were against the song itself. The song’s detractors were painted with an overly-broad brush.

  • TD

    i hit mute & put my own song on blast. win.

  • chad smith

    Are you kidding me ill listen to Pac and biggie anyday before I surf its all about the hype

  • dwhawaii

    If ya aint gansta you aint gansta. period. Rich boy driving aroung in his fancy truck. All he does is surf good. That’s it. If he likes rap music , well that cool.

  • dnochez

    I’ve been surfing for a lil while now but I grew up with hip-hop and have never thought of separating the 2. I think it’s especially important to notice both cultures at the same time specially in california where both are a big deal. I love both and if I can coexist within these cultures anybody who truly loves them as much s I do shouldn’t even be bothered by the negativity on either side

  • dang3rtown

    I appreciate that some people may dislike all rap or hip hop. They may think it has no place in surf videos. I think that’s a pretty ridiculous opinion. Picking the right music for a video part is critical, it can make or break the segment and it would just be stupid to eliminate an entire genre of music just because you “think it sucks”. That being said, I do believe the music they chose completely failed to fit the part. It doesn’t fit JJF’s personality, it doesn’t match his surfing and it just wasn’t that great of a song.
    Another personal/entirely subjective observation is JJF’s surfing is amazing! Blake’s film making is not! The camera work is average at best, the editing is awful and I suspect he’s behind the bizarre music choices. I really wish he’d stick to working with pros instead of friends.

    • Daryl Smitts

      gotta give you two thumbs up on that review dang…

  • hdrgraphy

    I’m from Miami. Hip Hop and surfing goes very well over here. I loved the flow of the final edit to the video. Two Thumbs up

    • Daryl Smitts

      That’s because you guys don’t have real waves over there… Just trying to make ya’ll laugh a little.

    • eriklovessurf

      Check out http://www.SurfRap.com Hes a really sick surfer/rapper!!!

  • Grambo Percival

    y’all need to slow down, baby. action bronsolini 33 1/3 is a good rapper, John John is an amazing surfer. They should trade spots for the next video. now that would be good internet video material.

  • yo momma said

    Action Bronson rips that song while JJF rips those waves to pieces.
    If you don’t like it then shut it off and youtube some rollerblading lol.

  • wolf larsen

    hey at least it wasn’t sync’d to DUBSTEP

  • dagdason

    I edit movies and I can see where it could use some fine tuning in the transitions, but I like the second half of the track better than the first half.

    OGS(Old Gansta Surfer) Newport/HB 68-95 HBHS Class of 77

  • cleanSooke

    I’m 47 and listen to rap/rock/metal before I go surf. While JJF can use whatever he wants, but he (or his producer) has to decide who he’s making this vid for…himself or his fans. Nothing wrong with rap in a surf video, or punk or even death metal, but damn it, the music should fit the surf. The surfing is good, the track sucks ass, together they don’t work. Play Straight out of Compton over that video, so much better IMO. Thank god for music on my comp.

  • Layton Gaunder

    They couldn’t have picked a better song for this epic 5 minute clip of John John. Action Bronson’s rap isn’t gangster rap, it’s entertainment rap, and if you don’t know the difference than you probably shouldn’t be posting on the topic. The people who think rap music and surfing shouldn’t go together probably ride 35L shortboards on 2 foot swells and ditch their boards all day long at swamis.

    • RuDee Sade

      lol @ “if you don’t know the difference…you probably should sit this one out”

  • Guest

    Speaking of Wu-Tang, I just assumed that was Ghost Face on the track.

  • Anna Sophia

    I don’t get why this clip is causing so much debate about rap music and surfing. Plenty of other surfers have used rap music in their edits before John John dropped this video, yet I can’t recall seeing people getting as worked up over those edits as they are over this one. Alex and Koa Smith have used Kid Cudi as well as A$AP Rocky songs in their edits before and it didn’t seem to be a big deal. So why is this causing so much debate?

  • ScoobyDude

    When I watched this clip for the first time yesterday, I actually had it on mute the whole time because I figured the music was going to be more of the same techno-bop stuff that can some times make you feel like a little bitch when other people are in the same room with no idea you’re watching awesome surfing.

    I can recall Tupac in some of lost../gorkin’s clips and thought it worked really well, especially while he tore up crumbling beach breaks and bikini-clad asses were flashed. I’m not the biggest fan of rap/hip-hop but it can definitely get you pumped.

    I also want to point out nat young has lil wayne listed as an influence in his asp profile, haha. To each his own.

    • wayne lewan

      if you want rap checkout whiplash. josh lewan a former wqs surfer who performed at some of the music and surfing events in europe a few years back

  • Joe

    Well I enjoyed it

  • Livingsiffredi

    Mmh, it looks like there was no such a limitless debate like this when Matt Banting put a wu tang song in his clip “Living California”.

  • Indra Gynell

    I rap and I surf. Not so hard to understand is it? Azov Emcee.

  • tfinn

    Surfing transcends many economic and social barriers one day you can be surfing with Jimmy Buffet the next with a snot nose high school kid the next with a hells angel the next with a 65 year old dude who rips or a homeless guy from Oregon hanging ten on a 15 foot wave. rap music and surfing hell yah.

  • Mike

    The surfing is great! The rap is crap!

  • tfinn

    Surfing transcends many economic and social barriers one day you can be surfing with Jimmy Buffet the next with a snot nose high school kid the next with a hells angel the next with a 65 year old dude who rips or a homeless guy from Oregon hanging ten on a 15 foot wave. rap music and surfing hell yah.

  • Chunky

    Gorkins part in Lost’s The Decline set to Tupac = EPIC

  • DZ

    surfing + hip hop is awesome together, lots of haters out there, isn’t surfing largely about freedom of expression?

  • Stas Khaylov

    I like rap

  • danofthejungle

    can we get the soundtrack list?

  • Vance Scorpio

    Call me crazy, but I don’t expect much in the way of musical taste out of professional surfers. Most of them probably struggle mightily with spelling their own names– have you ever heard Jamie O’Brien speak?

    Just give me some badass Guns N’ Roses in a clip every now and then, and I’ll be happy.

  • Dan Brennan

    This is awesome, John Florence and Action Bronson…two of my favorites coming together for one great video! I wonder if John John is a Bronsolino fan? On a side note I think that Action Bronson is one of the most unique Hip Hop artists out there at the moment. That said….Everyone just calm down and don’t make it an argument about race or economics please. I admire Todd Prodanovich for raising the issue, thanks bru! Be peaceful and open to life and what it brings. Respect others and open your heart and mind.

  • Dan Brennan

    Also, there is one Action Bronson song where he mentions Hawaiians surfing Pipe Line….

  • adosssssss

    its progression surf culture, our generation our music
    like it or leave it, you dry old desert camels

  • Dezzie

    I love rap, I am not a big fan of Jack Johnson and i love surfing, what s the matter with it? I am glad JJF picked up such a great artist for his latest (awesome) short movie and breaks that stupid cliché. We are not all blond, living in Cali listening to the Beach Boys eating banana pancakes!

  • Apple Carey

    Same shit different era,Back in the 80’s people were against punk music on surf films, its called progress, Music & surfing go hand in hand, I’m 48 & been surfing for 40 years, been through the single fin, twin fin & thruster era & I have no problem with Rap music on surf videos, There are always wankers who can’t deal with change. I wonder what an old 60s longboard film would be like with rap music over it. Go Hard or Go Home & hide in ya box.

  • jamsy

    Maybe you could do a story on HOW MUCH it cost’s to licence music for surf clips. The reason we see crap music on surf edits is because no one can afford to licence anything decent.

  • steve

    I definitely think rap goes well with surf videos, and that rap could hold a place in the surf community. I personally am partial to something with lyrics that are less crude. There’s plenty of good rap out there with a positive vibe and clean lyrics that can be paired up with a surf video.

  • Carlos Gurrieri

    Cypress Hill and KRS One does the job, just to mention two. There are some surf tunes and surf bands that are super lame too, not for that your gone put that whole style of music in the same box. I surf since the beginning the 80’s and when hardcore punk music ruled where I learned to surf, but in these days I think that reggae is what gets me “insane in the brain” for surfing…

  • Salvo Paragas

    Sucks urban rap doesn’t mix with the Ocean Mutha Fakas !

  • rapsucks

    Rap needs to get over being so shitty.

  • Rybako

    WTF had to mute??? This music is dope and goes with JJ wicked style perfectly. I’m 45-first cassette ever was the Grandmaster and have been listening to rap ever since. Tahiti is a hardcore surf environment with crazed locos that boost over dry sections and froth on dredging barrels. Just like the endless blocks of hardcore shit in NYC boroughs -FP has unlimited options.

  • betsyh

    hahahaha “his isn’t 1999, Daryl. Fred Durst died a long time ago…I think”


    That track is soooo much better than the dub trash that is in every clip nowadays….Bout time a surfer just picked what he likes to listen to….why would anyone hate on it? I surf and I’m a bboy who grew up near NYC….most ny/nj surfers have some jay-z, gangstar, kanye, talib, mos, kendrick, action, asap, joey b probably pumping right now. BBoying in the winter keeps me fit for winter surfing using a lot of similar muscles. Music, flow, exercise….pretty similar

    Plus there are whole cultural similarities…. like being subcultures of underground localized tribes. Entering a bboy circle 2am in nyc with mostly locals who know each either presents a situation similar to coming in from out of town to surf jenks mid winter day of the year….a little intimidating… and if you are intimate with either at this level you’re probably on the insider side of the culture not looking in making racist comments…

  • RuDee Sade

    This entire piece + thread is absolutely amazing. For all the right and wrong reasons.

    A Black Woman Who Surfs and Listens to Jack Johnson and Likes Rap
    (…I know. Try not to have your minds too blown.)

  • sampson

    First thing I thought when I watched the video was.. ‘nice surfing, shame about the music’. Maybe he’s trying to contrast the visuals of crystal blue tropics with the sounds of gritty street music, and in that sense he succeeded.. But I just think it could been a way more tasteful clip with some better music. Besides didn’t Ghostface originate that sound almost 20 years ago?

  • Colin Brochard

    Nice Article Todd, Seems u certainly got ppl riled the fuck up lol. Hardcore gangster rap is definitely my preferred brand of music for getting psyched for the gnar gnar.

  • Dynamite Stallone..

    Haha…Action Bronson is a BodyBoarder From Fluhing,Queens…He doesnt “rap” about food..Some lines yea, but he is So sick..Everyone needs to Relax about this…About time some good music is on a video..It is always so bad… Good Music.ACTIONBRONSON>>>

  • Lop

    For all of you who don’t know REAL hip-hop or have just heard of these mainstream hip hop artists should in all honesty keep their mouth shut. There are far more better hip hop artists than this Mik guy thinks and knows.

    Yes hip hop is a culture of its own and can be difficult to tie it with the surf culture today. I am a true hip hop enthusiast and i can tell you there is more to hip hop to what most gringos think there is.

    I can rest assure if someone knows the real rap scene there will be a variety of songs that can and will tie in with surfing.

  • Fast Brazzo

    The majority of brazilian surf movies have rap as soundtrack, it is very common over here… to the point that i’m a bit tired of watching that!

  • Tilley Gibeaut

    Is it really that hard to leave race out of these discussions? This blog has NOTHING to do with race; simply music choice! It makes me sad that people have the audacity to bring in race issues when they’re not needed. If you don’t want racism, stop pointing it out all the dang time for Pete’s sake!

    Anyways, I think JJ can add whatever music he wants to his edit. Everyone has their own style of music and it’s nice to hear a variety rather than one genre all the time. Surfing doesn’t have a set playlist.

  • Alex

    Do some research and check what Andy Irons listened to. It was Tupac, NWA and Bob Marley, on the regular.