Saturday, November 14, 2009

Snowboarding Celebrities 10 to 13: Coolio, GLC, Normski & Santigold

Following last week’s article on snowboarder slash rappers, this week we take a look at a selection of rapper slash snowboarders...

Snowboarding Celebrity No. 10: Coolio 
In 1995 Artis Leon Ivey, Jr released his second album, Gangster’s Paradise. The title track was the biggest selling single in the US that year. Since 1995 he has released some other stuff but is now best known for appearing in just about any TV show that will take him, including:

And most recently

Oh. And he’s also famous for smoking crack
On March 10, 2009, Coolio was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after crack cocaine and a crack pipe were discovered in his luggage. He was charged with a felony for possession of the drug, a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia, and battery, for attempting to physically prevent the search of his luggage. On June 26 under a plea bargain arrangement he agreed to enter a drug rehabilitation program for 18 months. In return for his guilty plea, the charges of battery and possession of a smoking device were dropped.
2009 was not a great year for Coolio so I guess he is looking forward to the New Year:
On February 25 2009, Coolio performed at Staffordshire University, England. When he attempted a stage dive during a performance, the crowd parted and then mugged him, stealing his watch, gold chain, sunglasses and one shoe. He was finally rescued by security who managed to push him back up on stage.
Fiona Wood, President of the Students' Union at Staffordshire, said: “It was a really good night, which brought a new dimension to the venue.”

Is he a snowboarder?
Apparently he is.  He went snowboarding with the lad that writes this blog back in March:
Yesterday my friend Billy came up for some snowboarding with his little brother and his cousin who happens to be rapper/actor/t.v. star Coolio. He was just another boarder until he peeled his helmet to reveal his trademark braids. It was fun watching the reactions from people when they realized who was on the slopes next to them.
I’ll admit I was a little surprised on how well the singer of “Gangster’s Paradise” ripped up our mountain top paradise. This rapper rips! When anyone recognized him he was happy to stop for a photo and he even took time to throw down an autograph on the door of our shack at Snowboard School
And if you don’t trust blogs for some reason then here’s USA Today backing up the story with a quote from Coolio in an article about coping with Asthma.
"I've had my asthma under control for the last eight years with no emergency or hospital visits, just regular checkups," says Coolio. "I work out, I run around on stage, play basketball, swim, snowboard, I do everything."
And by everything he means crack.

Snowboarding Celebrity No. 11: Goldie Lookin Chain 
Newport, Wales’ version of the Wu-Tang Clan, this hip-hop super group also provided a rapper for Celebrity Big Brother UK. In August 2004, GLC reached number 3 in the UK with the single "Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do". 
Their other songs include classics such as ‘Your Mother's Got a Penis’ and ‘Your Missus Is A Nutter’. They dedicated that last song to Victoria Beckham when the Welsh FA invited them to perform at the World Cup qualifying match between England and Wales.

Are they snowboarders?
Turns out that one of them, Adam Hussain, aka “Benny Blanco”, is a decent snowboarder having done a season in Whistler. He is friends with the guys that run the Dragon Lodge in Tignes and in 2006 members of the group visited for a holiday followed by a journalist from the Guardian. Here’s a snippet: 
When Britain's maddest rappers Goldie Lookin Chain needed a break, they headed to a hip snowboarding lodge, with vodka, drugs, a bunch of fireworks and a very nervous Gemma Bowes.
The only time Eggsy, aka Mr Love Eggs, can remember having seen snow was when he wrote swearwords and drew a big phallus in it in his neighbour's garden as a teenager. Billy Webb (aka Tim Westcountry) has never been to a ski resort and believes après-ski to be some sort of yoghurt. Rhys (sometimes P Xain) learnt to snowplough on a school trip 10 years ago, but has since developed vertigo, which might prove a hindrance.
Still, 'get involved' is the mantra of the Welsh comedy rap group Goldie Lookin Chain, a phrase which sums up their attitude to their first snowboarding trip together in the French Alps. Adam Hussein (Billy Blanco), the keen boarder in the band, has encouraged them to come for a much-needed holiday from a hectic schedule, so he can get back into the sport which he fell in love with during a season working in Whistler.
The whole article “A little slope and a little dope with the Newport massive” is worth a read. 

Snowboarding Celebrity No. 12: Normski
Norman Anderson, musician, presenter and photographer, first came to most people’s attention when he became a presenter with the early 90’s TV show ‘Dance Energy’. In 1993 he moved to Channel 4 to launch ‘Board Stupid’ the first ever Snowboard show on British TV. Board Stupid was a big influence on the early UK snowboarding scene and Whitelines has a good article on its impact here

Since Board Stupid Normski’s career has tailed off a bit and he is now probably best known for getting his cock out on the TV show Banzai
Apparently he is still looking for work so keep him in mind TV folks: 
“I’ve been asking for jobs since 'board stupid', the last one was in 1994/95. I can't understand what is wrong with these TV people, what are you scared of? Why won't you give me a job? I am still out here and your TV shows look crap without me and people keep telling me that so just give me a job!" 
If you want to check out some clips of Normski rapping, Normski presenting Board stupid and Normski meeting Coolio check out this video 

Celebrity Snowboarder No. 13: Santigold 
Santigold in a full Hammer suit
The electro-rap star Santigold (formerly Santogold, before she had to change it in Feb 2009 as a result of infomercial jeweler Santo Gold threatening legal action) is the fiancé of professional snowboarder Trevor Andrew who appeared in last week’s article
And without further ado here is a video of the two of them snowboarding
Is she a rapper?
In a May 2008 interview, White stated that critics and online music vendors were labeling her music as hip hop, rap and R&B because she is black, saying that that was racist.

Related articles:


  1. Does anyone know the video that has footage of Coolio snowboarding. I had it on VHS forever ago, some East Coast film company. It also had early footage of Travis Rice landing some crazy trick and as he landed he picked up another rider's dropped hat all in one fluid motion. I wish I still had that video.

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