After a decade of banana hammocks and roller blades, generation hip-hop is trading in their 23s for 2s. At Brooklyn's Empire Roller Skating Center, San Diego's Roller Skate Land and Atlanta's Cascade, folks are doing the eight-wheel "Lean-Wit-It-Rock-Wit-It” in record numbers, says Wendy King of the Roller Skating Association.

"Roller skating is one of the few things that remains untainted from an era of groove and love,” says DaShaun Simmons, 26, a regular jam skater at Empire's Tuesday evening party, where Hot 97 jock Funk Flex is often in attendance. Even with movies capitalizing on the movement—Bow Wow's Roll Bounce, as well as Chris Robinson's film debut, ATL, starring T.I. and Big Boi—the culture is far from Hollywood.