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Barricade Culture Shop: The Mom and Pop Board Shop

By: Ethan C. Campbell (DJ Casey)


There is a rad, little board shop that is easy to miss on the corner of Kansas and Solano. They have artwork covering the walls, T-shirts on every bit empty space, stickers, and a half pipe in the back. I’ve driven by many times not knowing there was a gem sitting there. In charge of it all is a man named Saba. He was wearing a fedora, wayfarer glasses, a brown suit jacket, jeans, vans, and a shirt he designed and printed in the back. I got the feeling that his mission was simple: Being a hungry artist while making really cool stuff. Barricade is a place for everyone to hangout and feel the New Mexico street culture. Too many people are under the impression that there is not a style or culture in LC. Santa Fe has cathedrals, whole foods, and vegan restaurants. ABQ has more concerts, breaking bad, and blue tortilla chips. But LC has dope spots too–places like Barricade, Art Obscura, West End Art Depot, The Farm, and Trainyard (now closed). All this comes from the desire to have a bonfire with friends by the river, and wanting to be inside a unique venue while maintaining the fact that most Las Crucians, and college students do not have a lot spare income. These shows are free if you go by during the week and grab a flyer. I’ve heard from foreigners that America has no culture. It becomes clear by Saba’s shirts that New Mexicans experience the same struggles, and have the same eye for art and taste. We have this culture that many are not aware of, and whether you’re a fan of hip-hop skate boarding and graffiti or not, there is something at Barricade for everyone, they have a wide range of paintings and shirts. The underlying objective of this article is to tell you that there is in fact something to do or see for free. You don’t need to be 21 or have a dollar in your pocket. Their past shows included a movie premier, art show, skate tournament, EDM, open mics, taco night, and lots of hip hop.

I went to a free hip hop show there at 9 o’clock on a Thursday night and the turnout wasn’t bad for something almost no one knew about. The people in attendance included a couple of 19 year-olds skating the halfpipe in the back. An old KRUX DJ named “Jose Camacho” who was telling me about how he would spin vinyl records live in the current booth that now has digital sound systems. The other 29ish-year-olds met Saba like an old friend and everyone there took me in quickly, I felt like a part of the community instantly. The truth is most of us are a part of this greater community whether you know it or not.

Because of how small the audience was the concert didn’t happen, instead we jammed to their tunes, talked to the artist, and took place in their music video. It was a very organic and home grown experience. We were able to make the most of a poor turnout which, this place is usually packed. The concert would have been really dope, this group had just opened for Murs earlier in the week. I met Mazzi an MC from Jersey City, Watzreal from the Bay area, A. Billi Free a brilliant singer from Chicago, and Def-I from our very own ABQ. If you like organic, conscious hip hop then these guys have it all, there very eclectic between the four of them. You get East coast, West coast, soul, and Southwest. Each of these people were unique and yet all cohesive with each other often featuring on each other’s albums. They are playing El Paso on Sunday for free (2/25/18) at Neon Rose (2430 Wyoming Ave; El Paso, Texas 79903). For people that loved when ASNMSU had G-Eazy, Hoodie Allen, and the Ying Tang twins, I expect to see you there.