Black Dave Reminisces Over Harold Hunter, 2Pac and Capital STEEZ


Editor’s note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.

Black Dave calls Harlem home and has seen his profile bloom since dropping his top notch Stay Black mixtape back in February. Flush from the success of his Kids-inspired video for latest single “Muthafuck! My Enemies,” we checked in with the uptown skate kid to find out why old people are fond of yelling at him, the influence of Harold Hunter on his style, and his remembrances of Pro Era’s Capital STEEZ.

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You tweeted about Capital Steez. Did you get to meet him before he passed away?
Yeah, I actually got the opportunity to open up for him in Brooklyn. I performed with him at a show last December. I kinda just chopped it up with him real quick, talking about life and music and all of that. But that was it.

What were your first impressions of him?
Just that his music is dope. I think he was a legend in the making, seriously.

What’s your favorite Capital STEEZ verse?
Definitely his verse on Joey Bada$$’s “Survival Tactics” song. That was definitely the best verse that kinda set the tone for both of them dudes.

When you met him did you see any signs that he might consider committing suicide?
Nah, it was real quick. I just introduced myself real quick.

What’s your issue with girls dancing on tables at bars?
I went out that night and it was girls dancing on tables everywhere! I was surprised. It was girls dancing on tables and they kinda get an energy rush. It was a kinda in-the-moment tweet. [Pauses] I don’t know why they do it! I wish I could tell you why girls do a lot of things but that’s one of the things they love to do.

Where was the spot?
It was just some downtown place for my homegirl’s birthday. I don’t want to drop her name and blow her up but she was definitely dancing on the table too. I was out of there before it got to any of those types of hours where people were falling off the tables.

You also seem annoyed at old people.
I’m definitely a fan of old people ’cause wisdom is everything and they’re the wisest, but they piss me off sometimes too.

Is this a specific old person?
Definitely. I’m not gonna drop the name but it’s people I come across every day. They hate skaters too, that’s the thing. Old people hate skaters so it dwindles back to when I was a young kid and getting kicked out by old people yelling like, “Get out of here! You’re gonna break your head! You’re gonna break your neck!”

What’s the worst thing an old person has ever yelled at you?
Like, “I hope you break your neck.” That’s the worst when they tell you they hope you break your leg or your neck. Come on, chill, I’m out here doing my thing and you’re gonna tell me that?

What do you think you’ll be like as an old person?
I’ll be mellow. I’ll let my kids do what they want. I’ll tell a lot of stories, relive a lot of old memories, chilling on the front porch listening to the latest trap music probably! I’ll still be on WorldStar scrolling up and down, still checking MTV every day checking who’s poppin’…

You posted up a picture of Harold Hunter the other day.
That’s someone I really look up to as far as a New York City legend, as far as someone who really painted the face for young black men that were trying to do their thing and make it. At a young age he wasn’t only a pro skater but he was doing the acting. That’s one thing I’d love to do one day. I’m inspired by him.

Did you get to meet him before he passed away?
I would see him around the city skating as a young kid and would just be envious. It would be bugged out to see the whole Zoo York squad as a kid. That was cool, so to then find out he’d passed away was a lot.

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Was he any good as a skater?
He was definitely a good skater; his style was unmatchable. But it definitely was the personality about him people loved. He’s still here in one sense — his legacy is here in the city.

What does 2Pacalypse Now mean to you?
I listen to that every single day. That’s my favorite album of all time. I believe it came out November of ’91 and I was born January of ’92, so around the time he was really starting to pick up as an MC I was born. Of course I didn’t see it then, but I always saw his newer shit like All Eyez On Me, but then I started to really dig into his stuff and learn about his legacy.

That album often gets overlooked when people refer to 2Pac.
It’s not so much overlook as there’s a lot of confrontation later in his career so a lot of his songs are based off that confrontation. That’s what people are drawn to. I mean if you’re a true fan you’ll know it all, but people are always gonna be drawn to the newer stuff.

Did you subscribe to ‘Pac’s Thug Life philosophy yourself?
Um, in a sense, ha ha. I mean I’m not trying to get in trouble, but in a sense, yes. But I know he also denounced Thug Life when he was in prison. That was a huge turnaround.

Do you believe he’s still alive?
Nah, he’s gone.

Finally, who’s the most entertaining person you follow on Twitter?
That would be Chief Keef and Juicy J! Those dudes are hilarious, they get me rolling all day.

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