Under the Influence (4 substances)

If you happened to read the initial post on this sight, you have a decent idea of how my last couple months have gone and what type of person I am tailored to in a professional setting. Lets back peddle a little. As a follow-up to the last piece, I think talking about how I’ve became the person you see on socials or in person can be attributed to the things you see daily and what you associate yourself with. Obviously there are things that are very concrete related to how I act and present myself (my family and upbringing). But in this digital age we live in, we can really get involved and learn things from people you may never have the chance to meet or see on the daily.

Open up Instagram and your feed at any given moment can be cluttered with all different sorts of things. From a meme to a sports highlight to a supermodels post, anything can pop up in no particular order (well, I guess the algorithm is a thing) and give you a sensory overload. This can be amplified if you have lots of diverse interest and also follow a large amount of people. My feed tends to go a little something like this: surf photos and clips, GQ posts, tattoos, memes, sports clips, skateboarding shots, the list goes on as you can tell. I follow a lot more people than companies, as I think you can take more out of this rather than buying into a company’s style and sense of direction. I would be blatantly lying if I denied using certain accounts for things from technique in surfing to picking out an outfit for Coachella. Whether it’s friends I don’t live near or celebrities, I draw influence from Instagram daily.

On top of all this, we have a whole universe of video content on YouTube we can also tap into. We find bite sized clips on the gram but some videos really can get a person of interest to open up, whether in the form of a day in the life, vlog, interview, or podcast. This is something no one should take for granted. Everyone on this earth has an attribute someone might find attractive, and listening to master of these certain traits can better help expand the mind. A great example of this is the HBO special The Shop. (Click the image to be taken to the episode featuring drake in full you have some time to kill, it also features the like of Victor Oladipo and Elena Delle Donne)

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Before the Internet, this would be the equivalent of sitting in on a conversation with Michael Jordan, The Beatles (I’m not saying drake is equivalent to them, but he did just break their record of having top 10 billboard songs), and a business mogul of equivalence to Maverick Carter (I can’t give a solid example on this one). There are also other top tier athletes and cultural icons that speak on the show, but Bron Bron and Drake alone scream excellence. Listen carefully and you might end up with a nice little take away.

No matter what how you chop it up, outside influence is ever apparent in the society we live in today. So much so one can be paid to be an “influencer”, as in just posting things relative to their image. This is an interesting entity to me, as most influencers are essentially flexing wealth, followers, or physical appearance. While many people have inspired me, direct influence is apparent in a handful of personalities I deeply enjoy. Here is a brief breakdown that I think reflects me as a person and gives a snapshot of genres I like to explore on the daily.

ASAP ROCKY

I write to hip-hop music. I drive to hip-hop music. I lift weights to hip-hop. I wait until 9pm every Thursday to see the new hip-hop releases. While music in general is a large part of my existence and I listen to all genres (except country), I would say 90% of the time hip-hop is blasting through my speakers. I could probably write a whole post on just my hip-hop artist preferences in general. However, if I had to boil it down to one artist I play the most, it would go to ASAP Rocky. It started in 2011 when I first heard “Peso.” Fast forward to 2018, ASAP dropped him long awaited album “TESTING” that would receive mixed reviews. This, tied into his ventures into fashion, is the reasoning why he has had influence on me. Rocky has been known to be a trendsetter and often swims against the grain, combining forward thinking with a keen sense of style. Rocky was one of the first to utilize his music presence to travel into other genres, and do so very successfully. ASAP Rocky showed you aren’t confined to borders of profession and how you can use following to help support outside endeavors.

KELLY SLATER

King Kelly. The greatest surfer to ever live no matter how you splice it. Kelly’s dominance has spanned over 20 years with close to no signs of slowing down. He also just happened to create the world’s most perfect artificial wave. All of this aside, one thing Kelly is crowned with and often overlooked is his extreme health regimens and diets. Kelly was one of the first action sports athletes to cross train and really bring the aspect of going to the gym to help perfect your craft. This has been apparent in popular sports since their beginning, but has been seen as taboo in the action sports world. However, when people finally starting connecting the dots between Kelly’s age and peak performances, people started jumping on the health train. While Kelly is only a surfer, it would be foolish to think snowboarders and skateboarders alike did not catch wind of his success and get inspired to get in the gym and get a stricter diet. In 2018, all action sports athletes of the highest-level cross train and pay attention to what they put into their body. All thanks to Kelly.

DYLAN REIDER

Dylan was a skateboarder by profession, and by far one of the most influential and stylish of the generation. His influence and overall respect from his peers is immeasurable. Dylan passed in the month of October back in 2016, but has lived on in skateboarding and will forever. Dylan channeled his style and outside passions in a similar sense to ASAP, branching out from skateboarding and modeling for companies such as DKNY. Funny enough, he would be in an ad campaign along side ASAP and also Cara Delevingne. Largely scrutinized for the way he dressed and also coming out with a signature shoe that resembled more of a dress shoe silhouette than a skate shoe, Dylan did not care what people had to say. His skating did the talking. Dylan knew he didn’t want to be defined just by skateboarding and broke boundaries none had really explored in the industry before. And his video parts are highly regarded as some of the best skateboarding in recent years. Dylan’s style on and off the skateboard has directly influenced many, including myself.

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FRIENDS

Guilty by association is something I learned very early on in life. The people you hang out with directly influences your image and also curates you to act certain ways and mesh with your peers. All throughout my life I have had very diverse friends groups, and all of which have taught me important lessons. From my quiet upbringing back east to my current living situation in Southern California, passionate people achieving their best person always have surrounded me. This has always deeply inspired me both on a professional and moral standpoint to achieve my best person and never give up on a dream. From entrepreneurs to athletes and everything in between, let me use this moment to thank everyone that has spent time with me and rubbed off a little bit of themselves on me.

Outside influence is everywhere and ever more apparent the more the online world advances. We can get inside information at the click of the button in little to no time, and really has destroyed privacy in general, making your private world very public. Whether this is for better or worse, it is here to stay. You can either use it as an advantage or let it be a disadvantage to you. The world is in the palm of you hand (literally, just unlock your iPhone).

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