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Supreme Skate Team Profile: Na-Kel Smith

Pro skater, artist, Odd Future member, actor, hip-hop artist, Supreme Skater, and Mid-90's Star Na-Kel Smith has seemingly done it all.

Part 1 of StockX’s 6-part series highlighting the lives of Supreme’s Skate Team. 

Na-kel Smith was born in Inglewood and grew up in LA watching his uncle, Kareem Campbell, skate professionally. He remembers being able to play as his uncle in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 when he was just a little kid. With it basically in his blood, skating became a natural passion for Na-kel as he grew older. After coming up with a sponsorship from Brooklyn Projects at a young age, Na-kel was primarily provided with the necessary gear to keep skating. Not long into his time skating for Brooklyn Projects, Nak came to be in need of a board but was unable to get another from his sponsor at the time. He walked into Supreme to get a new board, where they gifted him one and from there on he was “on board” with the brand. From there, he started hanging out at Supreme LA more and more.

 

 

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The very beginning of it all. Lol

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When he first started hanging around the shop, Supreme had no intention of starting a skate team. Before skateboarding for Supreme, Na-Kel skated for Real’s Skate Team for a while before meeting Jason Dill through Tyler the Creator (Na-Kel is a member of Odd Future). At the time, Fucking Awesome was just a clothing brand, but as time went on, the brand started to make skateboards and then talk about a skate team. Eventually, after a long enough time, not only did Na-Kel join the Fucking Awesome Skate team, but so did many of the other guys featured on Supreme’s Skate Team. Bill Strobeck, who would go on to direct Cherry, the Supreme’s breakout skate film, discovered Na-Kel through his connection to Odd Future and Jason Dill. Before long they’d start skating together and Supreme reached out to Na-Kel to come play a part in their Skate Team, which they decided to start in 2014.

Scroll down and check out highlights of his career in all facets.

Skate

Na-Kel will admit that things changed after the Cherry video. It wasn’t long after the video was released that Na-Kel would start working with Adidas and become recognized by higher level skaters. Na-Kel’s name was further lifted when he made the news in LA for starting a trend of skateboarding between or behind cars throughout LA’s famous bumper-to-bumper traffic. From there he’s worked on and appeared in the adidas video, Away Days. He was also featured in Supreme’s 2018 skate film, “Blessed”, which was also shot by Strobeck. His endeavors in the skate world go beyond just skating for multiple pro teams and being featured in films. Smith also has his own skateboarding brand called Hardies Hardware that he runs with fellow Supreme skaters, Tyshawn Jones and Kevin Bradley.


 

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Today reminded of the older days. @_kb95_ 💕〰️📽 @davontejolly

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Acting

For those unfamiliar with the Supreme extended universe and more particularly, Na-Kel, you may recognize his face in one of last year’s most anticipated films, Mid-90s. Smith plays an older kid named Ray in the movie who functions as a mentor to the main character, Stevie. Mid-90’s was a perfect acting debut for Smith and he says he’s not done, stating that he’d like to do one movie a year from here on out. 

“A lot of the time we feel that our lives the worst, but I think that if you looked in anybody else’s closet, you wouldn’t trade your shit for their shit. So let’s go.” – Na-Kel’s character, Ray, in Mid90’s

 

 

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Music

Acting isn’t Na-Kel’s only foray into a world outside of skating. Na-Kel’s experimentation with music isn’t entirely new. As a member of Odd Future and close friends with Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator, he’s been featured on several different tracks by the artists. In 2018, however, he took things a step further and started recording his first studio album, Twothousand Nakteen. The album landed a number 47 spot on Apple Music when it debuted and has widely promoted by his old friends from OF. Check out the album below as well as his performance of his song “Go” with Earl Sweatshirt at Camp Flog Gnaw last year. 

 “I wanna upgrade from the Beamer truck, the Bentley truck is cleaner” – Na-Kel Smith on Vinny Chase

 

Na-Kel x adidas

Na-Kel Smith’s work with adidas is exemplary of the company’s desire to let their collaborators create. Giving Na-Kel full creative control, he’s pushed out several collaborative shoes and even some apparel. Na-Kel’s endeavors with adidas haven’t been constrained to skateboarding; he’s also put together a full art exhibition and collaborated on a suit (just for himself) with Brooks Brothers through the sportswear company.

adidas Shoes and Apparel

Na-Kel Smith in his adidas Skateboarding collaboration apparel

Photo: adidas

3 Rooms Art Exhibition

Na-Kel Smith 3 Rooms adidas Originals Art Experience Invitation

Na-Kel Smith's adidas 3 Rooms Art Experience
Na-Kel Smith's adidas 3 Rooms Art Experience
Na-Kel Smith's adidas 3 Rooms Art Experience
Na-Kel Smith's adidas 3 Rooms Art Experience

Brooks Brothers Collaboration

Na-Kel Smith in the Brooks Brothers suit that he designed

Photo: Andy J. Scott/ GQ

Na-Kel Smith's Brooks Brothers designed suit
Na-Kel's dress shoe/ skate shoe hybrid

Last year, GQ called Smith “fashion’s new multi-hyphenate wunderkind”. In 2018 alone, Na-Kel starred in a movie, recorded the majority of his debut album, was featured in Supreme’s most recent skate film, “Blessed”, and held an art exhibition and released a collaboration with adidas. Watch for Na-Kel to catch even bigger headlines this year as he continues to smash his ceilings.

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