There are some people born full-throttle. Donta Hill is one of them. He's a boxer, which is cool enough, but also a world-class skater.
Those following Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton adventure will already (if even unknowingly) be familiar with Hill, whose relationship with the house goes back a few years. In a new video edit by multidisciplinary artist Michael Cukr, we join the South LA native as he skates and boxes during a homecoming tour. Cards on the table, if I could both shred and throw haymakers in the ring, I would flaunt my talent and act like a dickhead constantly. Yet the strait-laced Hill is the opposite; it's clear he's a down-to-earth guy who is proud of the fact he grew up in and around Crenshaw and Slauson. Watch the short film exclusively below:
On Cukr's behalf, you only need to take one glance at his Instagram feed to understand he's the kind of anti-lame militant who sees it as a born duty to highlight cool shit (recent uploads include a day at the park with Mid90s and Killing of a Sacred Deer star Sunny Suljic and an interview with former Rolling Stone journalist Charles Perry). He's a well-known face in the LA skate scene, and isn't too bad on a board himself. Joining him on the project was the indefatigable Julian Klincewicz, who somehow found time in between his punishing schedule to capture a few scenes.
With work at the likes of Apartamento and Monster Children under his belt, as well as his own channel, Xorbent, it's clear Cukr, like his homie Klincewicz, is destined for big things. I caught up with him to get a better insight into his career so far.
How long have you been shooting skate videos?
I started filming skateboarding when I was 10. So, about 16 years now. All my friends and I wanted to get sponsored so that’s just what you would do. I ended up drifting to the camera department.
What’s the idea behind Xorbent?
It’s a home for this style of personal video work — primarily profiles on skateboarders. Working at a magazine in the past and seeing the exclusivity and politics with advertisers, etc. I wanted to create a home for my work that was void of all of that. I want to be able to make exactly what I want to make. Another factor, at the end of the day, in 2021, content is mainly going to be seen on Instagram or the internet. People repost, share, screen record etc. By the time it gets seen by a lot of people it’s already been deconstructed from its full form and lost authorship and it’s just another digital artifact that will entertain somebody for anywhere from 0.5 seconds to 6 minutes.
The only true author and home for the work at this point is the internet itself. I want it to exist as freely as it can in that world. You know, sort of like crypo currency... it doesn’t have any jurisdiction, it can be broken down, shared, etc. This is sort of like that, but made by me and it’s content, rather than money. So, I came up with a moniker ‘Xorbent’ which sort of just acts as a subfolder in my brain for this style of work.
What’s your relationship with Donta like; how did you guys meet?
I initially met Donta for the first time shooting him for Louis Vuitton with Julian [Klincewicz], but we had a ton of mutual friends — Mason Silva, Louie Lopez, Ryan Lee etc. So we clicked right away. We stayed in touch after that shoot. He’s got a lot of charisma and is such an amazing person, so I felt like this video had to be made to introduce him and his story to the world.
Julian is already pretty known to the HS audiences. How long have you guys been working together?
I met Julian at this skate spot called ‘Home Avenue.’ in San Diego 7 or 8 years ago. I was filming with Dolan Stearns and Julian was there skating. He was still in high school and in a band called "Christy." I hired him to play a few shows back in the day and then he graduated high school and went on his way– pursued modeling, film making, photography, fashion, etc. He’s a true visionary and everything he touches is so original. Watching him create work and the path he’s on has probably been one of the most inspiring things to me. It’s crazy what he’s done at such a young age. He hired me for the first time to shoot for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week in 2018, I believe. So we’ve done a ton of stuff together over the past 3 years or so.
Donta has a relationship with fashion through Louis Vuitton — any upcoming LA labels/brands he knows that are worth checking out?
According to Donta, Wckdthghts and Maxallure. "Maxallure is a brand that I happen to currently be the only one from LA to ride for," he says. "Maxallure represents coming up out of places people don’t make it out of and elevating to the highest level."