Love him or hate him, Rogers is back in the game of skateboarding. Jereme Rogers is focused like never before after taking a year off to pursue music, and Alli caught up with him as he cruised in to athlete registration and headed up to practice on the Dew Tour's park course. He shared some deep thoughts about what he learned in his year focusing purely on music, how he shuns the haters and why he's ready to be back at the top of skateboarding's elite.

First event back after a year off, what's your mindset coming into this?
I'm here to win, I'm ready to win. That would be a nice first event back, especially in Boston, in my hometown. That would be perfect timing, and maybe I'd get a little love from the crowd.  If not, I'm here to skate the way I want to skate anyway.

Have you got any opposition from the others guys when they heard that you're going to be back?
The ones that I consider competition are friend's anyways, so they're cool. And anyone that has an issue with me is probably someone I don't view as instant competition anyways, so God Bless Them, but I'm not worried about them, you know.

Are you switching your focus to skating now, or are you also going to still be rapping too?
I definitely prefer just making music or being an artist, but I'm just juggling both full time. It was something that felt right for me at the time to take that time commitment and just focus on it full time and craft it. Let people know how serious I was about it.

I refuse to believe that some young kid's mental state is more developed and secure, built on a rock, than mine. Jereme Rogers

This (skateboarding) is something I earned before so I know I can re-earn. It just got to a point where, for a moment, for me to stay skating when I didn't want to, it would have been only about the money, and I don't do anything for the money. Though money is great, I do what I want to do and what feels right to me. But I'm definitely doing music full-time now, and skating full-time, and I'm happy to compete and be physically active, it's healthy for me. I'm happy to be able to use both genres, but music is a newer mountain for me and I won't stop climbing it until I get to where I want to get.

After taking a whole year off in skateboarding, are you intimidated by new guys coming up and taking your place?
No, not really. I think new guys are good but when I go skate with Paul I still feel at the same level as any of them. So, I mean, new guys are just guys that watch what we do and then emulate it. That's how we did it when we were growing up, by watching Koston and different people. Now they do the same thing. And when it comes down to this type of stuff, it's a mental game so I refuse to believe that some young kid's mental state is more developed and secure, built on a rock, than mine.

I'm a better person than I was a year ago. -Jereme Rogers

Even with taking a year off?
Yeah, because I grew as a human being over the past year. I didn't grow financially, because I made a choice that was a sacrifice, but I grew as a human being. I'm a better person than I was a year ago. I changed, I grew, I'm better emotionally, spiritually, just a better person mentally. So the actual physical act of skateboarding and taking time off didn't change me as a person, in how I view it.