My First Time: Ratking on Mongoose Skateboards and Middle School Crushes

We get the rambunctious FADER cover stars to spill the beans on some all-important firsts.

June 13, 2014

In our new column My First Time, we ask some of our favorite artists to share some of the all-important firsts that have helped shape their lives. Today, Ratking's Wiki and Sporting Life open up about their first crushes, their first skateboards and the secret spots in New York City where they liked to kick it when they were younger. Read our cover story on the rambunctious noise-rap trio here, and pick up a copy of their debut full-length, So It Goes, via Hot Charity.

My first memory: WIKI: I remember, like, being in preschool. Fucking around in preschool. I dunno: I have, like, glimpses of it, you know? I don’t really remember anything that happened in my life. SPORTING LIFE: I don’t know if this is my first memory, but I have a really early memory of me like putting something in my family’s food or some shit while it was cooking. So I was getting so in trouble for it. Yeah, just taking something like some soap from the bathroom and dropping it in the rice as a kid. I don’t know why I did that.

My first show: WIKI: I saw GZA when I was really young. It wasn’t my first show, but it was a show that stuck out to me. It was at The Knitting Factory, but like, the old one in Manhattan. He talked to me and shit because I was in the front. I was mad young, and he was like, “Wu-Tang’s for the babies!” He dapped me up and shit. It was dope. SPORTING LIFE: I went to a Clipse show in Virginia. Yeah, when I was in school. Yeah, it was all right.

My first instrument: WIKI: For me I think it was piano, probably. Like, just fucking around. Nah, I took piano lessons, but I quit because I didn’t like it. I was too shitty—that’s the problem. SPORTING LIFE: The drums. Nah, maybe the recorder. Because, like, everybody plays the recorder, you know?

My first album: WIKI: I couldn’t buy it myself, but I just remember, like, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. My friend had it. I don’t think my mom woulda bought it for me. I was in, like, third grade or something. I was on that shit. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was the illest. SPORTING LIFE: I think my first was Nas’ It Was Written… I remember purchasing that, being like, “Oh shit. I need to listen to more east coast hip-hop. Nas… Nas is gonna be the man.”

My first goal: WIKI: I don’t know. I think I was probably just trying to, like, get a girl, honestly. Ever since preschool, I swear to god. I was in preschool, just trying to mack. So, yeah, probably that: tryna get a kiss. SPORTING LIFE: I think my first goal was, like, wanting to be accepted by my classmates or some shit. Like as a kid, you’re just like, “I’m gonna be the funny kid,” or “I’m gonna be the this kid,” you know what I mean?”

My first crush: WIKI: For me, it was this girl Jane. She was in my neighborhood, but she lived a little bit farther east. She lived on, like, Amsterdam. But like, she went to school with me. She was this Ecuadorian Puerto Rican chick. Mad cute, but I think she dates some dude in the army now or some shit. SPORTING LIFE: I think this girl named Nava. I probably had crushes before that, but that was, like, the first significant one. Maybe early middle school? Fifth grade, sixth grade? I just remember, like, hitting each other— like, “Uh, uh, yeah, you hit me.” That was just me having a super crush because I was mad scared to talk to girls.

My first kiss: WIKI: I was in eighth grade. I was a late bloomer. I was in my friend’s basement on the couch. We made out and shit. It was tight. I was, like, drunk, so, it was dope. SPORTING LIFE: My girlfriend’s not going to appreciate that I’m answering any of these questions. She’s like, “What do you mean your first kiss? You still thinking about that?” I’m like, “Nahhh.” I think my first kiss was with a girl that lived near my grandmother. We used to go to North Carolina and stay with her. And I remember just a lot of teeth hitting each other. It was just a teeth kiss. Like two people that don’t know how to kiss. It wasn’t sexy at all.

My first drink: WIKI: When I was mad young, I stole a bottle from my parents and drank. I dunno—like, rum or some shit. It was on my birthday or some shit. I must have been going into, like, fourth grade or something. But when I was in seventh grade, when I actually started drinking, kinda, I remember just drinking a 40 and getting so fucked up. There’s a picture of me, and I have no shirt on. And me in seventh grade looked really young. I looked like I was in fifth grade. And I just had this big ass 40. That was not a good night though. I got way too sauced. SPORTING LIFE: I grew up Catholic. I think my first drink was, like, church. Yeah, that’s probably my first drink: Holy Communion.

My first skateboard: WIKI: I had a Mongoose skateboard. You know, like Mongoose. I got it from the Toys R Us or some shit. But then I remember I would go to Blades, which is on 72nd and used to be just mad low key. Just a little skate shop. I remember getting a proper board there, just hanging out there all the time and shit. SPORTING LIFE: [Mine] was from a New York company called “Official.” It was a dope deck.

My first trick: SPORTING LIFE: Shove-it. Pop shove-it. It’s like, just making the board do a 180 with your feet. I’m not a dope skater, but I have a dope pop shove-it. I can get it, like, pretty high. WIKI: Shove-it. I could shove the shit out of that board. But not even popping… just on the ground, almost. I’m not that good at skating at all, but I’ll forever know how to do that.

My first secret spot In NYC: WIKI: Kiosk roof, yo. This kid made this shirt; his company’s called Kiosk, and I wrote “roof” on it because there’s this roof, and there's this store called Kiosk on Spring Street. It was this secret spot where we would go up to the roof. We would go there every day after school until it got blown up because we went there too much. SPORTING LIFE: It’s just a skate spot under the George Washington Bridge. Like, an underpass, and it’s a good flat ground spot. When I was living in Washington Heights, it was a good space to just go and chill. Cops wouldn’t really mess with you in that area; you could pretty much just skate the entire day into the night and you’d be fine.

My First Time: Ratking on Mongoose Skateboards and Middle School Crushes