Artwork for Summertime 06′

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The talks and praise of Long Beach rapper Vince Staples have been fully realized in his debut studio album Summertime 06′, which drops June 30th. It is one of the year’s best releases so far; it is a tale that brings you into a glimpse into his world, almost an origin story to one of the artist whose unapologetic deconstruction of ‘gangsta rap’ is unrelenting, poignant, intelligent social commentary. His music goes to police brutality, sex, gang violence, poverty, classicism, the struggle of black people, without dipping into the realm of preachy heavy handedness that you’d expect of such a layered work. He doesn’t attempt to glorify the realities and brutality of gang violence of his neighborhood or upbringing like how trap music has been doing recently. Nor does he attempt to chastise the hood he comes from or renounce it. He sits on an in-between of commentary and personal vulnerability that I can only compare to an act such as Killer Mike and Chance the Rapper. Even acts like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, two astounding rappers who speak consciously, don’t reach the balance and delivery of Vince Staples, and they are considered two of the greatest rappers of this generation.

Alot of fans, critics, and hip hop artist hope that Vince Staples is the future of hip hop music, and I honestly hope he is. It’s refreshing because he stands on his own and if he collaborates with fellow artists such as Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Jhene Aiko, or Common, he always delivers a standout performance. The recognition has been a long time coming for the rapper and I fully support his work. Pre-order his album Summertime 06 here.

Keep scribbling.

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Earl Sweatshirt: Solace Artwork

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Earl Sweatshirt is one of my favorite musical artists of all time. The Los Angeles based 21-year artist has broken away from his past of the young, prodigious Odd Future rapper clouded in mystery and intrigue and has become a fully realized rapper and producer (he produced most of his last two releases I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside and Solace). His dark, lo-fi productions, emotionally charged and decisive rhyme schemes make him one of the most talented and most uncompromising artist currently working. His music is a snapshot of his life according to his interviews, of drug addiction, losing friends, the death of his grandmother, not eating, fame, a brutal breakup, and various elements that are accentuated by his mixing and producing.

Maybe it’s because we are close in age, my admiration of him, or that I also lost my grandmother, but his music holds a special place in my heart, and there are very few artists I also hold that association with. Besides, his more recent depressing ‘sad boy’ releases, he has aggressive, jazz-inspired lyrics that make him pretty versatile content-wise. In short, he’s fucking tight. This artwork is inspired by Solace, go listen to it. 

the artistic rut and other corny blog post titles

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As an artist I think it’s easy to fall into a rut. I see a lot of painters, musicians, illustrators, comedians- amateur and professional alike- who after a while, start preforming and putting out the same thing. Which is fine to a certain extent, everyone has unique backgrounds, personality traits, and influences which define their artistic components and that make them who they are. And once you have an audience and have a certain niche, it’s going to be hard to break away from that. Especially if said art puts food in your mouth hole.

And while finding your niche is important,  for me I like playing around with a lot of different styles, mediums, canvases, and concepts. I think it’s good to try it out. I’m 20 so I have a long way to go before I find out what makes me me. I’m constantly exploring and discovering new stuff I really dig, but I find myself going to the same shit I like to draw. Like ice cream, desserts, anime, manga, politics (look at my twitter and my attempt to be a activist behind a computer screen) , nature, animals and music.

Attempting to go outside of the aforementioned list is like doing a new exercise during your regular regime. It’s weird and you have no force it, but it’s the only way to make some variety in what you put out. (There’s the making of a poop joke somewhere in that sentence, but I don’t have the delivery to make it funny)

My point is, it’s easy for me to discuss trying to try out new things, and fearlessly going off the beaten path and experimenting, because I have an almost non existent online or offline following. So I could start using Hackxsack to sell ceramics of eggplant and no one would fucking notice. But being a business major and a creator of artwork, I feel a pressure to find a niche that works. But I’m not there yet and there’s no point in finding a trademark if I suck or don’t explore what works and what doesn’t.

But I think I’m going to keep scribbling until something sticks for me. Hopefully this applies for some of you readers

Check out my Instagram on the right to see what I’m cooking up in that photo

a ghost supply illustration

SCAN0039I’m a fan of [ghost supply] clothing for their well shot photographs, their animated music videos, their beautiful models, of course their outfits that are aesthetically drench in adult swim, cartoon network shows, anime, alternative hip hop style, and pop culture. So I painted a model wearing my favorite shirt by them.

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We share similar influences and I’d enjoy learning a thing or two from their brand.

You can check out their brilliant work, support them, and purchase their merchandise here. This print will not be for sale because I used their t-shirt design.