me & my Purple Tape

ABOUT THE ARTIST: I've been creating graphic designs for newspapers, magazines, websites, and all sorts of side projects since '95. But since I'm not bidding on a project or applying for a job, all of that is fairly irrelevant.

As it relates to this project, I've been refining my techniques (observe the detailed views to the right of each print) over the past few years on projects unrelated to HipHop.

It was in the days following the tragic and senseless death of Run DMC DJ and HipHop legend Jam Master Jay, as friends and I reminisced on our memories of Run DMC and how they were the group that ushered us into the HipHop fraternity during our pre-teen years, that I created the first piece in this series ("RIPJMJ") in tribute to a HipHop pioneer.

While sharing the piece with some friends, one of them asked to buy a print to frame and hang.

Naturally I started thinking, "Hey, if one person thinks the piece is hot enough to hang in their spot, there might be others."

And just like that was born.

Now just because I'm selling my prints doesn't mean I'll do anything for the money.

What that means is that I'll only do pieces of MCs and groups I consider to be "real" HipHop artists that represent the true spirit and art of HipHop culture, not these wack cats with no skills, exploiting a gimmick for money, platinum teeth, or whatever.

To put it more simply, there will be no pieces featuring Nelly, Trina, Mannie Fresh, or any other such champions of wackness.

What you will find is my attempt to capture the essence and spirit of what various MCs and crews have represented to HipHop, musically, lyrically, and culturally.

And hopefully in the process I'll be able to give HipHop lovers a way to show their love of the culture with a little more style than a bootleg poster slapped on the wall with thumbtacks and Scotch Tape.


James Carter