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Dirty Ghetto Kids (DGK) is an American skateboard company, that produces skateboards and apparel. The Kayo Corp is responsible for the brand's distribution. The partnership between Stevie Williams and Troy Morgan of The Kayo Corp.
In 2012, during a "Est." segment on the Berrics website, Williams said that the concept for DGK "really came out of nowhere," going on to explain that the company was founded on the Gold skateboard wheels brand, which he and his friend Eli Soto owned. Williams stated in the interview that the "Dirty Ghetto Kids" name was thought of fairly immediately, elaborating that he "didn't really second-guess", as it was what he "really wanted to do". Williams further elaborated that he intentionally crafted a brand that diverged from pre-launch speculation, such as the rumour that Williams would only recruit African-American skateboarders.
In September 2009, it was reported that Williams's longtime friend and skateboarding partner Josh Kalis had been signed on. The Alien Workshop's Kalis skated with Williams in the '90s at LOVE Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Kalis and Williams worked frequently with William Strobeck on set. There are a tonne of skate videos from that time period featuring them, like the ON Video series and The Reason from Transworld SKATEboarding.
When Rodrigo Teixeira left Flip Skateboards in December of 2010, the company released a statement that read, "Everyone at Flip would like to thank Rodrigo for all the good times and wish him all the best for the future." Teixeira later joined DGK and gave an interview in January 2011 in which he discussed his decision "There came a point where I had to take action and do what I really wanted to do. Together with DGK, we share similar interests. We're all at the same spot, so we might as well skate together. This way of life is simply an extension of my own personality."
Midway through 2011, DGK worked on a project called "Fresh 'Til Death" in conjunction with Zero Skateboards, a company owned by professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas. After a successful U.S. tour together, the two brands released products, including the Zero "Dirty" and the "Dirty Zero Kids" series of skateboard decks. Kalis and Thomas first discussed working together during a flight in early 2011.
In 2011, Williams announced the opening of the "Da Playground," an indoor training facility in Atlanta, Georgia, US, specifically for the use of the DGK team. Despite this, there have been instances where skateboarders who are not affiliated with DGK have been filmed inside the facility.
Williams promoted the brand's arrival at Macy's department stores by promoting it in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in July 2012. Williams elaborated on the subsequent financial growth in response to a question about it:
For me, it's important that my kids are old enough to remember when their dad's company, DGK, was featured in billboards or TV commercials. Why? Because I can inspire them with true "Once upon a time" stories about people who overcame incredible odds.
On December 11th, 2012, at The Avalon in Hollywood, California, United States, the first screening of the full-length Parental Advisory video was shown to the public. Ben Baller made special DGK pinky rings for the cast and crew in advance of the screening, and then Juicy J and Trinidad James played music for everyone afterward. On December 14, 2012, the video was made available for purchase at retail. Keelan Dadd was promoted to professional after five years with the company, and the rest of the DGK squad filmed a "United Nations" segment for the Berrics website after the release of Parental Advisory.
In an interview with the European skateboard magazine Kingpin from 2013, Williams outlined the values that guide both himself and DGK, stressing the importance of having fun, making friends, and contributing to one's community.
Remembering what first got me stoked on skating as a kid motivates me to get out there and keep doing it. Today's videos tend to focus solely on the difficulties of skateboarding, rather than its inherent appeal. I just can't waste any more of my time on that. They seem to be going too far; perhaps we should return to an earlier time. It's lost all of its appeal as an activity. That's why I believe the DGK video did so well. Whenever we got together to skate, it was clear that we were having a great time at our favourite spots.
In July of 2014, DGK announced the addition of Boo Johnson and Marquise Henry to their roster of experts. On July 18, 2014, a video was released in honour of their elevated status. It was widely considered to be one of 2014's top music videos.
Campaign to "Free Fabes"
Williams' close friend and former professional skateboarder, Fabian Alomar, had legal fees to pay, so on October 5, 2012, DGK launched the "Free Fabes" campaign to raise money for his defence. Former Menace member Alomar was detained on a drug possession charge and faced a lengthy sentence under California's "3-strike" legislation. Williams was featured in a video alongside Alomar to promote the initiative. As part of the campaign, a previously unseen video part from Alomar was released online. It was shot at the peak of his career.
At the 15th annual Transworld SKATEboarding Awards, the DGK squad was named the best team. The award was presented as a result of a sixteen-page feature in the April 2012 issue of Transworld SKATEboarding magazine, which is responsible for its production.
Each team member had a substantial role in the final product, a lengthy video Parental Advisory (DGK was nominated alongside the Element and Chocolate teams). Nominated for "Best Video" was the 2012 DGK film Parental Advisory.
Former team riders
Kayo Corp Promo (2004)
It's Official (2006)
Fresh 'til Death – collaboration with Zero (2011)
Da Playground (2011)
Parental Advisory (2012)
Blood Money (2014)