Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne‘s skateboard project in New Orleans has reportedly suffered multiple setbacks and turned into more of a nuisance than luxury since its launch last summer.
According to reports, the skateboard facility located in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, has incurred problems related to housing violations and staffing.
The building that houses the park didn’t pass a city electrical inspection and had to be re-wired, and only a handful of children are able to skate at a time because of a shortage of staffing. Many days, the Trukstop skate park — named after the rapper’s skateboarding-inspired Trukfit clothing line — hasn’t been open at all. “We really put the cart before the horse on this project, and right now we’re at a crossroads,” said Ward “Mack” McLendon, who manages the facility. But, he said, “Everybody wants to make this work.” McLendon says Lil Wayne dropped by the facility and skated with some kids while in town Super Bowl weekend. “He’s on board, and he really wants this for the community,” McLendon said. (WFAA)
Although the park is open, issues with keeping a full-time staff have limited what times people can utilize its features.
McLendon said the insurance issue has been resolved, so the park is open. Staffing continues to be a problem. The park is only open when there is adequate supervision, and organizers are relying on volunteers. Miatta David, spokeswoman for Glu Agency, said the sponsors are working to help establish permanent staffing. “Everyone involved in this project is committed to ensuring the park is available to our community members year round,” she said. “As such, we will soon be shifting from a volunteer to a full-time based staff.” (WFAA)
Wayne officially opened the park up for business in late August 2012.
In conjunction with Mountain Dew, for whom he is a spokesman, Lil Wayne yesterday announced a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new skate park in the Lower 9th Ward. The event will take place August 29. Wayne’s “DeWeezy” partnership with Mountain Dew, as well as the planned skate park, was announced in early March. The brand had an aggressive presence at the SXSW music conference and festival in Austin, TX later that month; at a Young Money/Cash Money SXSW showcase, Wayne trumpeted the project on the microphone and even rolled across the stage on a skateboard. (In The Nola)
Following its launch, Weezy F. Baby discussed what inspired the new skatepark.
“I didn’t think that skating was too popular in my city, so I wanted to make it something that everybody loves like I do. I just wanted to help out my city, help out the people, the kids, and give them something to do, something they haven’t done before. It’s always good to learn something new. … It’s a lifestyle. It’s not just something to do. I thought it would be just a hobby and I thought only people with skill can do it. When you finally get into it and you learn to like it, you’ll quickly learn to love it and you find out that it’s a lifestyle.” (Associated Press)