Shaqueefa Mixtape 3 Exclusive: Part 1

 If you're not from Florida, or just the south in general, you've probably wondered at times what the hell is up with those weird t-shirts you've seen skaters like Ishod Wair, Grant Taylor and others wearing in video parts and magazines, with a screen-printed pair of butt cheeks and the word "Shaqueefa" written under it. No it's not an inside joke or some strange college fraternity hazing, Shaqueefa is a small brand started out of Tampa, Florida that is less of a "brand" and more of just a crew of good friends. 

  Along with the crazy t-shirts, the crew also puts out quite banging full length videos. And, believe it or not, the 3rd and final edition of the series has just released. Considering our Tampa roots here at TOA as well as our fandom of anything independent and underground, we felt it mandatory to catch up with the Shaqueefa boys to talk about the new video project and showcase some photos and stories from the filming process. And, if that isn't enough, we have been blessed with getting to share the exclusive first look at one of the dopest parts of the video, that of Traffic Skateboards rider Jimmy Mastrocolo. So scroll down to hear some words from some of the crew and then enjoy Jimmy's full part. We will then follow with a part 2 very soon with interviews from the rest of the posse and one more exclusive video part......enjoy!

-Josh Stewart



We probably have to start this off by getting a quote from the man responsible for Shaqueefa in the first place. For those out there who aren't aware of what Shaqueefa is, can you give us a little summary?

 I started Shaqueefa in 2003 as a joke. It was a fake sponsor to write down at contests. I "sponsored" all my friends. I made shirts with sharpies and spray painted stencils. Somehow it snowballed into what you see today. Some of the biggest names in skateboarding are regularly seen wearing shirts I hand pick for them from thrift stores across the country. I find, screen-print, store, sell, and ship shirts out of my house in Tampa. The Mixtape series was made to highlight the O.G's that have been there with me from day one, and a few others we've picked up along the way.



What's it mean for you to have a part in the Shaqueefa Mixtape series?

It's rad to be apart of something with everyone I grew up with. Everyone in the video grew up skating together. We literally learned how to skateboard with each other. Pushing, inspiring and "constructively criticizing" each other.  5 dollar games of skate on the flat of the vert ramp. Poker, C-lo, pool, Ybor, skate trips to Miami, gambling trips to New orleans, skating around Tampa. It is more than a skate video involving a skate team. It's squad, it's Gang Gang. Im hyped on the final product. Everyone put on and went in. 

Dustin Eggeling - Frontside hurricane in NYC / Photo: Chaz Miley

Dustin Eggeling - Frontside hurricane in NYC / Photo: Chaz Miley

You've lived in NYC for probably 7-8 years now, right? Do you still consider yourself a part of the Tampa scene?

That is correct Josh. I love NYC. TPA is roots though. I always go back when I have time to see fam, skate and play golf as much as I can.  

What was your favorite aspect of working on the Mixtape 3 video?

Filming with Buggica is always rad. Seeing progression in all the homies from volume 1 to volume 3 you can see everyone collectively progress. A reason to be out in the streets untill 4am.

Who had your favorite part in the video and why? And don't say "Dustin Eggeling".

 Haha. Piro. He is always on. Always ready. Does not matter what time it is. He swerves. And that song with ODB off that demo cuts deluxe was raw. That fool is always good energy and we always bounce ideas off each other. I wanna see that fakie heel sw fs krook and you better pop it out before the end of the ledge, Piro.


How did you get started as a filmer and videomaker?

 Like most filmers I started out skating first. I picked up my first camera when I was 15. A tiny mini DV camera with a duct-taped wide angel lens onto it and started filming myself and a few friends. After filming a little bit with that I wanted to step it up and buy the camera all the skate videos were filmed with. I thought if I bought a vx it would automatically make me better at filming haha. The day after I got my vx I went on my first skate trip to Miami. I think that's where I really fell in love with it and realized I liked filming clips of my friends more then trying to film something myself. I never put the camera down after that trip.

Buggica setting up for filming "Get the fuck off my porch" section / Photo: Chaz Miley

Buggica setting up for filming "Get the fuck off my porch" section / Photo: Chaz Miley

Considering how hard you seem to work on the Shaqueefa videos, why did you decide to commit your time to the brand instead of just doing your own independent videos?

 Around 2009-2011 I was filming a ton. That was when I started to get half way decent at it. I was out filming everyday without any intention for a video, and at the time the friends I was filming just so happened to be the Shaqueefa guys. I was mostly filming Robby Kirkland and Dave cruz, I had a good amount of footage with those guys. One day Dave called me and told me he was moving to Hawaii for a year or longer. We got to talking and he came up with an idea to make a video with the footage we had and have a premiere/going away party for him. I made the video and threw Shaqueefa all over it (because that's all we knew and everything they were about) I called it "the Dave cruz mixtape" once I told that to Dave he wasn't feeling his name in the title at all haha. So he said I should just name it "The Shaqueefa Mixtape". So that's where it began. The Shaqueefa guys, which became my close friends, were the best skaters in Tampa and at the time I was the only one here filming everyday with a camera and a car. So skating everyday with them just clicked and I never really looked past the Shaqueefa name. I was sticking to it. Especially to continue with the mixtape series. Now that the series is wrapped up I have some ideas for my own independent projects. 

Ok, that makes sense. So the Shaqueefa series pretty much was your own indie project anyways. Tampa has a pretty deep skate history compared to most other cities around the US. Can you describe the scene in Tampa currently?

Well, currently it's different. I don't get to skate as much so I've been letting the guys use my camera to film each other and keep it alive, which I think is rad. I get texts everyday at work like "Yo, does this look good?" Haha. But yeah we got ideas and stuff we are planning to work on so we are keeping it going for sure. When I made the first video it seemed that Tampa only had one crew, but now there are a few little crews in Tampa skating, filming, and making videos as well. I think that's cool that there is a younger generation continuing the scene in Tampa. 

What do you think keeps you guys' crew motivated to get out filming and continuing to make new projects?

Boredom, haha. Naw, it was probably me talking in their ear everyday about Mixtape 3 that got them motivated to skate. At least that's what I like to think haha. Lately they have been creating their own motivation and going out filming. We got a clean slate now, so everyone is stoked to just film for fun and see what happens. I got some stuff in the works so maybe that's what is motivating us. 

The Mixtape Squad chillin in the industrial wastelands of Tampa

The Mixtape Squad chillin in the industrial wastelands of Tampa



How important is it having a filmer like Buggica and a brand like Shaqueefa in Tampa?

Tampa is definitely blessed to have Buggica down here filming. We all grew up watching the same skaters & videos that came out of Tampa I feel like he’s keeping that tradition going. Plus dude works a full time job and when he does get his one or two days off a week he spends it chasing us around.

That's awesome. What's it like filming in Tampa these days? I know that skating w/in the downtown limits used to be almost guaranteed jail time.

It's still the same the cops hate it. At one point we wouldn't even go down there because Buggica was either banned or had some type of warrants from skating downtown. We just started skating the old houses in the hood they've got the dope porches!  

Chris Jata - Police buggy ride / Photo: J-Hon

Chris Jata - Police buggy ride / Photo: J-Hon

People seem to only think about the Tampa Pro, the moat race and Ybor City when they think of Tampa. Is there more to the city than that?

Yeah I don't know that is true ha.. but I guess all my homies I grew up with live here and that makes it what it is to me.

What was your favorite aspect on working on the Mixtape 3 video?

Basically, just going on trips with this group of people and doing whatever we wanted! 



Growing up in Tampa and as a part of the SPOT scene....does the Shaqueefa project give you a sense of Tampa pride? 

 It definitely does. The people I grew up watching skate in Tampa always repped shaqueefa. 

What would you say you guys' goals are with the Mixtape videos? 

Just to have fun and show people what Tampa is like. 

Jereme Knibbs - Bump up to 5/0 a tall Tampa garbage can / Photo: Aaron Austin

Jereme Knibbs - Bump up to 5/0 a tall Tampa garbage can / Photo: Aaron Austin

What was your favorite aspect on working on the Mixtape 3 video?

  My favorite part was being able to skate with the people I've grown up with. Buggica was the first person to take me out filming when I was young, so I think it's pretty sick we still get to do that. 

What's the worst part of living and skating in Tampa?... and what would you say is the best part?  

The worst part of living/skating in Tampa, is the fact that you have to leave Tampa to have a chance at making it in skating. The best part.... love everything about Tampa, it's all the best. 


Jimmy Mastrocolo - Bump to F/S nosegrind, downtown Tampa / Photo: Chaz Miley

Jimmy Mastrocolo - Bump to F/S nosegrind, downtown Tampa / Photo: Chaz Miley


So I've heard that you're a fire fighter by day now? How do you still manage to film a full part for this video?

Yes FireFighter/EMT, it actually worked out good because I work for 24 hours straight and I have 48 hours off. So I have a good amount of time to skate and film.

Wow, that's so rad! Well, what's it mean for you to have a part in the Shaqueefa Mixtape series?

It means a lot to me. I looked up to all these guys in the vid since I started skating. The thing about the mixtape that makes it so tight is we are all friends and skate together all the time. It's not just some random dude that films and is like "oh I wanna film a part with this guy and this guy" it's just our crew out skating having fun, going out each day looking for new spots and fucking around. 

What was your favorite aspect on working on the Mixtape 3 video?

Skating with my friends and filming with Dj and Buggica

I think the Tampa scene tends to get overlooked by the skate industry. What would you tell those people who don't realize that there's a real scene there?

I would tell them to get a copy of the video...  And get back to me haha


Now enjoy Jimmy Mastrocolo's part below and get hyped for the rest of Mixtape 3.