It's Chuck D's 56th bday today(woooohappy bday!), and it's just now dawning on me that I hadn't posted about the CCD Art Show that I was part of from last month. So I will do so now.
This was the second show that challenged artists to reimagine existing album cover art(last year I chose to do Queensryche-Operation: Mindcrime), and I initially told Tommy and Mike that I would pass on this year's show. Excuses and reasons were given, but the truth was that I did not feel inspired at all to do this.
And then current events changed all of that with the multiple police shootings of unarmed black men. And I found myself listening to Public Enemy a lot again. And now I knew what I wanted to draw.
There were many starts and stops before I ended up with this idea. The concept being that I would draw the most non lethally threatening creature that could be, kids. And they'd be kids with their hands up, with a range of facial emotions. And I really liked how this drawing(ebony pencil, charcoal, oil bars, and a razor blade) ended up.
But then I poured white paint on the bottom, and hand smeared it all over. Because, to me, that's a big attitude I hear from a lot of my friends. Nobody wants to hear about #blacklivesmatter or how people "that were no angels" are being killed by, what are supposed to be, the exact opposite of criminals. More than a few have, in an expression of exhaustion and frustration, asked why they keep having to hear about this. And I get the surface of what they're saying, but I can't think of any problem, big or small, that gets better/solved by ignoring it/wishing it would go away/cover it up with something else(and fuck yourself if you've posted #blacklabs matter to try to "lighten things up". You're supposed to feel uncomfortable. That's the fucking point). So I smeared white cover up paint all over.
Anyway, give FoaBP a listen to if it's been a while. Not only does it really hold it's own with the best stuff now like Kendrick, it still feels fresh and incredibly relevant.
Halfway through, I had an idea of changing this a bit/adding to it. So I reworked the album art in scale for a print, which let me continue working on it. The top panels are, of course, classic PE. The bottom are noted influences on Chuck's masterful lyrics. I fucking love how this turned out, and I'm eager to show this to people the next time that I'm exhibiting again.
Oh, and I got to talk to MistaChuck once, and it was fucking magic.