At 6pm his time, 9pm mine, Oso Slick and I virtually sat down to talk via Skype. We discussed some random facts about his character and his successful efforts to not let the “funk” of daily life get in the way of doing what he truly enjoys, his music and skateboarding.
EDDIE CASTILLO: How’d you get the name Oso Slick?
OSO SLICK: Growing up everybody called me Rick, and everybody called me Slick Rick for a long time. Then when it came to choosing my rap name I just put it as Oso Slick because there was a Slick Rick out there.
EC: Where do you reside?
OS: I live in Modesto California.
EC: Did you grow up there?
OS: I grew up in Tuolumne county which is a little East of here. I lived in Santa Cruz for years but now I’m here in the Valley.
EC: How long have you been skating?
OS: Probably about, I don’t know… 24 years.
EC: How long have you been rapping?
OS: Since I was about 14. So, ummm..
EC: Sorry to make you do math.
OS: [Laughs] It’s been a while. I’ve been writing music for a long time.
EC: I know you go the extra mile to incorporate both of your passions, Skateboarding and Music into your life but which one takes up most time out of your time?
OS: Lately, the music. It takes a lot more hustle and grinding when it comes to music… As far as getting it out there. You know making the music comes naturally. With skateboarding, you get down time when you get injured so that’ll take time out of your schedule or whatever you’re doing. So I’d say music takes a lot more out of my time.
EC:Do you hold a number one spot in your heart for either skating or rapping?
OS: Well they both serve the same purpose. They bring enjoyment to my life. Skateboarding is very therapeutic: lets say you have a rough day and you out and skate and express yourself it probably gives off natural energy from going out and being with your friends or even by being yourself. So, yeah. And then music too. Music is a way to express myself also.
EC:So you don’t have a favorite?
OS: I don’t.
EC: In what cities are you performing the most?
OS: In my hometown Sonora. It’s easy to get a big crowd in your hometown. That’s where I grew up [performing].
EC: Where have you encountered the best audience?
OS: Definitely my hometown Sonora too.
EC: Literally, where is the furthest your music has taken you?
OS: New York. That was a part of the Warped Tour.
EC: How’d you like the East coast?
OS: It was cool. Out of all the stops of the Warped Tour, New York was one of the stops we actually got to spend time and visit. The Warped Tour went up to Canada and some of us aren’t allowed into Canada because of our records and whatnot, so we stayed after [the tour] and spent some time.
EC: Which one of your videos did you have the most fun shooting?
OS: Cali Boy was definitely the funnest because I got to skate in that one, and I got to work with my buddy Tyler who shot and edited the video so it was really easy to work with him. We basically wrote it out, the story line, what shots we wanted. You know it was cool to get some footie of my hometown in there. It was just cool to put [the video] out there. That’s where I’m trying to build my audience, in the skateboarding community, snowboarding community, surfing, all that kind of stuff.
EC: I saw your new “7 ply pirate” tattoo on your facebook. It’s a good one. How many tattoos do you have?
OS: Actually I don’t even know how many I got. I’d say about 20. Maybe.
EC: When did you get your first one?
OS: I got my first one at 17. It actually ended up getting covered up because, you know, I was young, anxious to get anything.
EC: So what was it? That was actually my next question, if there were any you wish you hadn’t done.
OS: It was just a picture of different faces melting into each other. It wasn’t anything like…
EC: an ex girlfriend name with heart, heart, hearts?
OS: HA, no, no none of those .
EC: Who are your favorite skaters?
OS: My friends really. They’re the ones that motivate me to go skate.
EC: What about rappers?
OS: You know, I listen to such a wide variety of music I can’t say what my favorite is in any one genre. I listen to OutKast, Mos Def, or more west coast like Andre Nikatina. All three have been big influences on my rap.
EC: What are you listening to currently?
OS: I’ve been listening to Yelawolf lately. I’ve been really stoked on that new Nas and Damian Marley album.
EC: That is a diverse selection. I heard you mention Bluegrass and Punk on the Bring It Back, Warped Tour video on Facebook.
OS: Yeah, I grew up listening to Bluegrass and Reggae and heavy Metal rock, Classic rock. I was actually in Punk band for six years when I lived in Santa Cruz.
EC: Please tell us about your Warped Tour experience.
OS: Last year  was my second time on Warped tour. We didn’t have people setting up stage for us, doing sound for us or hauling our gear around. You wake up, set up stage, do a sound test, sound check. I would be running sound all day, do my twenty minute set, run sound the rest of the day, tear down, load up the truck and then drive to the next tour. It was sixty days of that basically. [Laughs] Every day.
EC: Are you doing that again this summer?
OS: Looks like I won’t be doing the whole thing. I’ll be getting on for a couple of days. At least here in the West coast. I’m setting up a lot more shows here in California. I’ve been trying to get a bigger audience, fan base, here in California.
EC: Where will we see you next?
OS: What I have planned right now is that I’m trying to finish up this next EP I’m coming out with. I’m coming out with a six-song EP. After that we’re going to be doing my music video which I just built a mini-ramp in my back yard for.
EC: I also saw that on your Facebook page. Looks sick.
OS: Yeah, that’s supposed to be like the main scene for the video. We’ll be getting some footie from other parts and what not. But basically, I’ve put everything else on hold until we can get that hashed out. And then I got some shows coming up in my hometown, some shows down Santa Cruz, and I’m actually trying to get some shows here in Modesto going on.
EC: Is being a musician your only profession?
OS: I actually do construction. That’s what pays the bills. That and stagehand. I set up stage for the big names, you know, Tim Mcgraw, Kiss, The Black Eyed Peas.
EC: I hear that, you gotta pay the bills. What’s your life motto?
OS: Try to enjoy [life] in every situation, no matter what happens, no matter what funk you get into, just gotta pull yourself out of it and strive for what you really enjoy doing.