Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Beautiful Struggle

I don't remember when or how ended up buying Mos Def and Talib Kweli's Black Star album, but it was definitely altered what I was listening to. At first, Kweli seemed like a capable emcee whom I had to sit through in order to hear Mos Def rap. But soon, I grew to appreciate the content of his rhymes and his skill on the mic.

These days, I'm listening to Kweli more than I am to Mos Def (until Mos gets all that sub-par rock music out of his system).

So here's Talib Kweli, in a bit of a simpler style than usual.

I actually drew this twice. The first time, just as I was putting down the finishing touches, the power went out in my apartment. Four minutes later, it was on again. But the piece I had been working on was gone forever. There's something to be said about good ol' pencil and paper.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Prince

Prince Paul was basically a member of De La Soul for the first few albums and was responsible for their groundbreaking sound and album structure. Just when hip hop was
taking itself a little too seriously, the instant classic 3 Feet High And Rising exploded on an unsuspecting hip hop public with innovative samples, the first instances of "skits" in between songs (now a rap album staple), humor, and lyrics that favored flowers over guns.

I sketched this drawing a few years ago, probably while compositing something for some bad tv sitcom. I think the image was from the cover of Paul's Politics of the Business. Anyway, here's the sketch:

...which I decided to revisit in Photoshop:

I'm looking forward to Paul's Baby Elephant project.

Have a good weekend, kids. I'll be on the set of Ugly Betty today, pointing and sounding important. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The 18th Letter

Arguably the greatest emcee of all time and certainly the most influential. Rakim.

Based on that somewhat bizarre Sean John ad. (Hell, I don't know if it's bizarre. Rakim needs his fish.)

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Doctor

Doctor Dre, architect of west coast gangsta-funk.

Maybe Detox will actually come out some time in the next decade.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Predator

I know that his recent output hasn't exactly been classic, but he remains my all-time favorite emcee. His late 80s/early 90s song catalog is still as fresh as it was when it first came out. So to inaugurate this thing I'm hoping to update more than once a month, I give you Ice Cube. Based on the ubiquitous photo that everyone has seen.

I hope to represent the gamut of hip hop music that I enjoy, from the most mainstream to the obscure. (I'm lookin' at you, MC Paul Barman!) Enjoy.