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-Itâ€ 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,â€ 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 movementâ€”Bow Wow's Roll Bounce, as well as Chris Robinson's film debut, ATL, starring T.I. and Big Boiâ€”the culture is far from Hollywood.