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Life and career
Kareem Campbell was born in Harlem, NYC and was raised in Los Angeles, California. He first started skating when he was 16 years old at Venice Beach. He received his first signature skateboard in 1992 at the age of 19 for Blue Skateboards with his fellow professional skateboarders Jason Lee and Chris “Dune” Pastras. After Blue folded Campbell's next sponsor was World Industries, appearing in their video New World Order in 1993. He continued on the World Industries team until he founded Menace Skateboards. Menace Skateboards was forced to change its name due to a trademark legal conflict with a brand of jeans also named Menace. The team was then known as All City Skateboards. Then due to another trademark legal conflict with Russell Simmons, they came to an agreement where Campbell still owned the name but he licensed it to Russell Simmons for his license agreement with champs, and then he started City Stars that he still owns and is sponsored by.
In addition, he founded Axion Footwear, a shoe line that grossed nearly $48 million in sales in three years after its launch. In 1994, Campbell was awarded first place in the first year debut of the Slam City Jam street competition, held in Vancouver, BC. In 1999, Campbell began his first of a string of appearances as the first African American as a playable skater in one of the top-selling video game franchises ever, The Tony Hawk's video game series, beginning with the debut game, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and also appeared in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, and Tony Hawk's Underground. Campbell has had cameos in music videos from N.E.R.D., Fantasia, 2 Mex, Wu-Tang Clan, SWV, and Mase. He had a cameo in the 2003 Warner Brothers film Grind; the film also starred Bam Margera, Tony Hawk, Adam Brody, Mike Vallely along with various other skaters.
As a teenager, Kareem was featured on an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos attempting to boardslide a rail. He missed the rail with the board and ended up hitting his crotch instead. He got sponsored in '92 to World Industries, he also made the video "New World Order" with them in '93.
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