On a cool San Diego night, deep down "America's Finest City's" notorious El Cajon Boulevard—past the flittering neon signs of dilapidated motels, The Pho King, clinica medicas, taco shops and tattoo parlors, "Log Rap: The Movie" premiered at Happy Battle Surf Co. Gorgeous Easter egg-tinted logs and fishes neatly line Happy Battle's wall, piles of old Surfer Magazines, fins and unfolded t-shirts occupy its retail space. Mixed among the merchandise was a stack of pizzas and an Igloo filled with cold beer for the occasion. Happy Battle is a surf shop with soul, and you couldn’t pick a better venue for an independent, genre-defying film.
Through the backdoor and into the parking lot flanked by an apartment complex with bars on the windows, the inevitable partly cloudy forecast of April 20 had materialized. Nineties hip hop played in the background and filmmaker Ryan Cannon's Ford Aerostar Van—a retired fleet vehicle still stamped with "Community Services" on the door (you'll see this beauty make a few cameos above)—was parked next to the projector, which was cued up with "Log Rap: The Movie". Bodies poured through Happy Battle's backdoor and filled the lot, the vibe was more block party than video premiere, a refreshing change for a surf flick screening.
Heads bobbed and hooted as "Log Rap" played. The extensive list of young up-and-coming kids dedicated to traditional single-fin logging ripped in the film. Somehow, "Log Rap: The Movie" both reverently honors the fun-loving tradition of California surf culture without placidly recycling it. This isn’t solely due to the hip hop soundtrack, but also to the pace and style of the editing, filled with VHS interstitials and visual gags that made it feel unlike any longboard film before it. Log Rap finally brings something refreshing to Southern California surfing, which makes that “Community Services” label feel poignant.
Hit play to watch “Log Rap: The Movie” in full above, and for an interview with Cannon about Log Rap, click here.
The film stars Kai Takayama, Kaniela Stewart, Blake Michaels, Tommy Witt, Josh Seemann, Saxon Wilson, David “Veed” Arganda, Will Hennessey, Nick Melanson, River Covey, Kevin Skvarna and Barrett Miller.