Back in the early 2000’s I had a poster of him above my bed, I would also play his character in ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3’ on the PlayStation and still today, Jereme Rogers is considered one of the most gifted skateboarders the sport has ever seen. The celebrated athlete was on his way up to be one of the greatest, but he took a different turn with early retirement in 2009 when he was only 24 years-of-age. The money, the sponsors , the pressure, it wasn’t fun anymore and he turned his back at everything to chase another passion – music. His life choice was criticised by many in the skateboarding industry and was spread across social media and still to this day people say he screwed up.
Here, ICON lays it bare to understand his point of view, a decade later.
ICON: You were considered one of the most talented skaters in the history, but you retired from a pro career when you were at the top to focus on your music. What went wrong? What did you start disliking about your life as a professional skater? When did you say to yourself “f**k this”?
Jereme Rogers: “Nothing went wrong, everything was right. I was not nearly as right on the inside as a man, as I am today, but that was only something I learned through the growth yielded to me after following my heart; character, class, love for self and others. At this point I don’t litter, lie or kill insects. As for what you wanna know, I had a break down sermon in church crying, next day had a music bug, don’t do hobbies and knew it’d be a problem, and right when skateboarding became a job, I stopped, didn’t milk it, and spent my days pursuing my new passion, boldly and proud. I was like a kid switching from hockey to baseball, with no concern for the social repercussions. I encourage the same faith to all.”
ICON: What’s your life today like and what are your passions?
JR: “Better than ever, and I live with nothing but passion. I have a band Fondu with Danny Way and some other incredible previously successful musicians. I’m creating 10 companies, all in a class of their own, some being charity based, some being just innovations, and none will ever get to know what failure taste like … luckily I’ve already done that dirty work for them. Oh, and women, I passionately appreciate those awe inspiring creatures and all their worth.”
ICON: Have you ever said to yourself “what if”, and do you ever miss the pro skater life?
JR: “I don’t miss it.”
ICON: I personally think that you were very brave to do that, but you seem to have a lot of haters these days, why? And if you had the chance to face them all what would you tell them?
JR: “Grow up, live free, chase dreams, fear of human opinion disables success. What one man can do, another can to. You don’t speak about what you don’t think about. I don’t talk about golf because I don’t think about golf, and you wouldn’t speak your fears and doubts out for me, in you didn’t have them in you. Love starts with self and ends with everyone else, hate works the same … you can’t hate me, without hating you. All is one.”
ICON: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
JR: “Way too far from here to even make a falsely underestimated judgment. But having generated grossly over a billion for myself and others, one charity alone Humana Beats should have generated a billion for the property stricken and other causes. And also most importantly to me, being responsible for a lot of the world’s most powerful impactful music, moving and touching souls, feeding the hungry, and strengthening the weak. Bless you earthlings, we got this! That includes you.”
You heard it here.