LIL DJ - YOUNG WORLD: This print is special because it is based on a picture I took of my son a few months before his second birthday when he decided to climb up on his potty and acquaint himself with the wheels of steel – The upgraded version of the turntable setup featured in the Bedroom DJ print.

In terms of the composition of this print, I stepped away from the piece about two-thirds of the way through the coloring due to other projects and commitments. When I eventually returned to finish up, I found the “work in progress” look of the piece particularly appealing. By attaching a copy of the actual photo I felt that observers weren’t missing out on anything visually because anything I didn’t finish fleshing out and coloring could be seen in the Polaroid.

The lyrics featured in the piece are from the Slick Rick classic Hey Young World. That was the first song that came to mind when I thought about this piece, but I thought there might be an even better lyrical fit. When I came up with blanks I issued a challenge to my 9-man HipHop council to recommend a positive HipHop song dealing with children — a proposition that proved particularly daunting. Nas’ I Can and something miscellaneous from Arrested Development was all that came back.

From that experiment I learned that I probably needed to redefine what I considered a “positive” HipHop song. It seems the songs I previously classified as positive were really either cautionary tales or dealt with sociopolitical topics which, considering the alternative subjects, probably did qualify the songs as positive … by HipHop standards. Nevertheless, that wrangling didn’t change the fact that Hey Young World was still the cut that fit this piece best.