In case you have been living under a rock the past few months, you may not have noticed the rise of Westside Gunn, his brother Conway, Benny, and the beat smith Daringer. All of whom encompass "GXFR" and continually release banger after banger of grimey, street, 90's sounding hardcore rap. I have been fortunate enough to connect with Westside through social media and being a loyal fan. I assume the feeling is mutual. My rendition of WSG and Conway on a bike was used for their first tour poster after signing with Shady Records, and we've shared ideas for future projects since. When West hit me up about a secret project involving everyone's favorite masked emcee DOOM; I was honored, astounded, amazed, speechless, you get the idea already! DOOM is one of my all time favorites and WSG is definitely making it on my list as well. I got the details and illustrated Westside in excitement with the mask on, broken and bloodied within a few hours. Sent it to the Buffalo native and the rest is history. This art I believe is the cover art for the "WESTSIDEDOOM" project. A collaborative album with Daringer and the Alchemist providing the production and DOOM and WSG with the nasty lyrics. I can not wait to hear more!
I do a lot of artwork when I'm not working my 9-5, or just being a family guy. Although I pride myself on being current with hip hop and pop culture, some gems I somehow manage to miss. This was the case with Migos' smash hit "Bad and Boujee" off their new album "Culture" I've seen the memes and giggled to myself. I was aware of the song, but just not heard it yet. That was until Kenny (thaexoticgourmet.com) hit me with the idea via text.
It was simple, illustrate Quavo's "Ratatouille" line, replacing him with the chef from the animated movie. He knew it would be a hit, and I agreed as I listened to Bad & Boujee continuously. I was entranced by baseline, melody, distinctive voices and syrupy vocals. I drew it Immediately, posted it to my instagram account, and watched. It amassed 886 likes to date, but it was when Quavo posted it himself that really set things off.
My phone lit up with @'s and messages. Neither Quavo nor the Migos account gave me or ExoticGourmet credit, and the excitement went just as fast as it came. It was time to move on. Fast forward 2 months later. I'm having a Destiny session on PS4, and my phone goes nuts again. For the same art but different platform. Quavo took the illustration and had an iced out pendant made in its likeness. It was impressive, gaudy, bright, and it had individual chains on! I've never seen anything like it. I probably stared at the post for about 45 minutes before I could do anything else. Everyone I knew was hitting me up about it.
I didn't know he was going to take the design and get it iced out. I was asked to ask for money, ask for credit, ask for more work, and a bunch of things I won't mention. Yes it would have been cool to get some recognition, but it didn't happen. It would have been awesome. A way of saying "Thanks." Am I mad or bitter? Not at all. This guy just immortalized what Kenny and I created. We are forever a part of the Migos saga. We and our boys, fam, followers all know where it came from whether Quavo acknowledges it or not. I love what he's done and glad he did it. The three of us (well four counting the jeweler) are all contributors to this culture.
The "icified" illustration
Growing up there was no bigger New York/ Patrick Ewing fanatic that I knew than my man Jerry. So naturally when this model dropped he had to have them. We both got them as a surprise Christmas gift from a close friend of the family, and I believe we were the only two in town with the all blue joints. When the Christmas break was over and it was time to stunt back in school, "Where did you get those?" was a question that got asked 1000x that day and of course I had the mini basketball and chain dangling. Easily one of my favorite shoes ever.
The Nike Air Raid came out when I was in middle school and I remember a lot of kids saying that they were going to get a pair to go back to school. They were hot at the time and it was one of the "must have shoes" to stunt on the first day. My Mom wasn't spending the cash for them on my "under $50" school shoe budget, so she copped me some look alike fake joints from Payless. (XJ900's) Needless to say I got roasted on that first day, and every time I see this shoe this is the embarrassing memory it brings back. Thank you Nike.
Wasn't sure what do here and i was a little intimidated by the option to blog altogether, but here I am blogging away! I'll just post updates here on what I'm working on and see where it goes. If you're reading this, thanks!