Exclusive Meek Mill and Chino Interview
With time comes growth. In recent times, supercross has been experienced growth beyond the boundaries of the action sports industry and into music. In the last year, MMG hip-hop artist Meek Mill has introduced an entirely new fan base to the excitement of supercross in a movement that has become known as simply bike life. Along the journey, Meek found a young kid by the name of Chino Braxton from Baltimore to lead the movement. We sat down with both of them to learn about their connection between the streets and supercross.com
Supercross.com: Chino how old are you and where you’re from?
Chino: Im fifteen and from Baltimore City
Supercross.com: Meek what was your first bike?
Meek Mill: It was a 1988 KX80.
Supercross.com: Chino talk about growing up in Baltimore and your first experience with morotcycles?
Chino: Grow up I always liked bikes. I started riding bmx bikes and then switched over to dirt bikes when I was like six and Ive been riding dirt bikes ever since. Its hard here though, you’re always getting chased by the police.
Supercross.com: What did you guys initially see that made you want to ride the dirtbikes on the streets?
Meek Mill: My cousin had two bikes and he let me hold one and it became mine. I learned how to wheelie the first day.
Chino: When I was young riding a bmx bike I would always see the older dudes riding down the streets and it just made me want to quit riding the pedals and ride the streets.
Supercross.com: Chino how did you and Meek first connect?
Chino: Meek was at a show here and he kept asking people if the knew me. One person did, so he gave them his number and told them to have me call him. From there we just clicked.
Supercross.com: Meek, talk about Chino and how you’ve watched him progress.
Meek Mill: Yeah Chino the man now. He works hard for us. He takes a lot of risks on those bikes so it’s about time his dues get paid. He’s one of the best riders I’ve ever seen at fifteen able to handle a 450 like that.
Supercross.com: Chino, what’s it like to have such an influential group of people backing you?
Chino: Yeah its crazy. There’s a lot of people out there that like to be around until you call them and need something and then they’re not there anymore. Ever since Meek first met me he looked at me like a lil bro.
Supercross.com: How does it feel to be close to events like supercross now that at one time might have seemed distant?
Chino: It feels good. Its always been something I wanted to do, but never seemed that serious or realistic. Ever since I met Meek he always told me ‘Im gonna get you on and make you some real money’. He basically made me realize that was realistic. Ever since then I’ve just been workin’ hard ridin’ my bike.
Supercross.com: Meek, we’ve seen you and Chino start showing some interest in motocross and riding on the dirt? Do you plan on doing that more?
Meek Mill: I want to get into that as soon as I get some good equipment and find a place to ride at. I need a helmet before I get on the dirt. That dirt for real.
Supercross.com: Its obvious that as soon as you guys get on a bike, you have a passion for riding. Talk a little about that feeling.
Meek Mill: It’s everything man. Wheelin’, stuntin’, knowin’ how to get away from the cops. Anyone can express themselves however they want when they’re on the bike and that’s where passion comes from.
Chino: As soon as I hear a bike my eyes light up, like where the bike at? You just start trying to figure out where it is. Then as soon as you get to it and get that throttle in your hand it on after that. You jump on that thing and you ain’t got no worries [laughing].
Supercross.com: You guys both have pretty crazy schedules. Chino often times you find yourself going from private jets and tables at clubs right back to school the next day. How do you guys balance the fun with working? That must be a crazy transition right?
Meek Mill: I just like to live my life. When you get famous work takes over your life and I don’t want that. Im still young and want to live. I just keep the homies around to have fun.
Chino: I mean its weird yeah. People at school make it a big deal that I’m still in school, which it really shouldn’t be at all.
Supercross.com: How does it feel to see people start to respect your style of riding in the streets now?
Meek Mill: I love to see street riding grow. Its illegal so I think that makes it harder to grow but it still is. Its like a lifestyle – a religion.
Chino: It feels good. I feel like I can set an example for the younger kids because I’m doing this while I’m still in school. I’m not in the streets or getting into trouble. Keeping it positive.
Supercross.com: Chino you and Meek spent a day out in LA with the Young and Reckless guys riding some pretty historical street spots like the 7th Street Bridge. What was that experience like?
Chino: That was like the best feeling knowing that was gonna help me take street riding to another level. That was the first time I had ever ridden outside of my city. Like, I was sitting on a plane to go ride. It was crazy. I got to meet the Young and Reckless guys, Drama and Kevin and the rest of the crew. They’re all good guys. It was fun man.
Supercross.com: Talk about what happened in Miami recently. Explain the chaos that happened from you guys riding the streets.
Chino: Yeah it was crazy. I put up a tweet saying we were down there riding and everybody just came through. Miami is a huge bikelife city. It was cool to see everyone roll out like that.
Supercross.com: I saw a factory Honda rider named Trey Canard do a little swagger wheelie recently as a tribute to you Chino. How does that feel to have guys that you look up to give you respect?
Chino: Its really cool. I really respect them because they are all pro riders. I feel like we kind of set a trend with wheelin’ and swingin’ our hands and stuff. Its cool to see the main stream dudes into it.
Supercross.com: You flew into the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas recently to just hang out. How was that experience?
Chino: Yeah I flew in and met up with Ash from Monster and he hooked it up with a pretty sick bike. I got to ride with Twitch and some other guys. We got to drive rally cars and everything. We had a ball out there.
Supercross.com: Who was the coolest person you met at the Monster Energy Cup?
Chino: The day of the race was Twitch for sure. We had connected on instagram before that so it was fun to connect with him in person. As soon as I saw him he was like ‘Hey Chino you wanna ride my bike?’ So yeah that was fun.
Supercross.com: You also got to ride Blake Baggett’s factory bike at the race. How was that?
Chino: It was crazy. People that worked for his race team were telling me it was a $200,000 bike and that they never get to ride it. It was amazing that it was my first time out there and I was getting to ride a bike like that.
Supercross.com: At the race you found yourself in a circle with such legends as Ken Block, Twitch, and Vaughn Gittin Jr.? You fit right in with all those guys now.
Chino: It felt great. You always look up to dudes and then once you’re actually around them and are able to straight connect with them. Everyone knew what they were doing on the bikes so we just had a good time.
Supercross.com: Talk a little about giving back. Meek you kind of have a reputation for wanting to bring up all the people around you.
Meek Mill: I just like watching people grow and progress. If I’m in a position to help someone out that is gonna work hard then of course I want to do that. No matter how successful you become you gotta keep grindin’ and be a good person and then good things will come to you. Amazing things have come to me and I’m thankful for it.
Chino: Man, one thing I’ve learned about Meek is that guy will help you. He already made it and then he came lookin’ for me in the streets to help me out. He didn’t need to do that. If it weren’t for him I would be nowhere near where I’m at today.
Supercross.com: You’ve made quite a few connections recently with Matt Cook and Supercross.com, Ethika, and Monster. How did all those come about?
Meek Mill: Matt Cook and Supercross.com have been a huge help. That’s an unselfish dude right there that gave us bikes before stuff was really hittin’. Malcolm McCassy and the Ethika crew have helped us too. Bikes just started coming. By the end of the year we will probably have like sixty bikes in our garage. Then one day we’re just gonna do the biggest bike giveaway ever and make some kids dreams come true.
Chino: Just started in the streets in Baltimore and then we met the Ethika guys when we were in LA doing the Young and Reckless shoot. We went to a couple dirt bike shows while we were out there. I met Matt Cook over a phone call before we ever met face to face. We connected right a way. Great guys connect.
Supercross.com: Chino you are only fifteen. Who’s in your life right now that you look at to guide you in your future?
Chino: My uncle and my mom and the rest of my family are big influences for me. School keeps me on track too. I just try and keep a positive outlook.
Supercross.com: Chino who was your hero growing up and why?
Chino: As far as bikes go there was this dude named Keeyan that we called Lips. He is nice on a bike, like the nicest in Baltimore. That was the dude that taught me how to wheelie and ride. I always looked up to him and wanted to do what he was doin’.
Supercross.com: Meek what has the experience of releasing your first album been like?
Meek Mill: It feels good. Its cool that now people can get to know me. The hand on the album cover represents the hard times I’ve been through and the Rolex represents the good times.
Supercross.com: Did you ever think you would be playing in front of sold out arenas when you were younger?
Meek Mill: Yeah I always envisioned myself doing it. I always worked hard to make it here. I rapped everyday and it got us here. Hard work pays off.
Supercross.com: Where do you guys see yourself in the future?
Meek Mill: I just want to have plenty of money to live life and have fun ridin’ bikes. I want to be on the dirt supercross tracks by then hittin’ jumps man.
Chino: I just wanna be still riding my bike and push it to new levels. Bigger and better.
Supercross.com: Chino what do you want the fans to know about you and what you bring to motocross?
Chino: I just want them to know that Im chasin’ my dreams and setting a positive example for all the younger kids that look up to me.
Supercross.com: Thanks Guys.
Meek Mill: Thank you. Shoutout Matt Cook, supercross.com, Ethika, Young and Reckless, Malcolm, and the whole team. Shoutout to supercross!
Chino: Yeah thanks to Matt Cook and everyone at supercross.com.