Social critics irrationally blame hip hop for everything from promiscuity, to violence, to lavish material excess, an aspersion leveled at emerging genres since Bach's emerald-encrusted codpiece. All that other stuff aside, hip hop's definitely inspired some sweet paintings, from Aniekan Udofia
Churning out vibrant, urban-flavored acrylic-on-canvas originals, Aniekan was originally driven to paint by the aesthetics of 80s/90s rap album covers, as he watched the emergence of American hip-hop from his childhood home in Nigeria, where none of the surrounding tribes were called quest. Classic shouts include NWA with the whole crew fronting orange-tinged palm trees; a bright, abstract rendering of a jump-suited Run DMC; and a gold-chained Big Daddy Kane, whose absurdly powerful flat-top was tall enough to host its own House Party. Fresh masterpieces dip into related subject matter, like a series studying train-yard graffiti culture (e.g., an overcast sky engulfing three jittery spray-artists), and multiple tributes to 70s icons, like a feelin'-it James Brown towering above a mini speaker-city, a pistol-packing Pam Grier, and a rhinestone-hatted Stevie Wonder fronted by two angels bearing a flowing keyboard -- even though everyone knows the real stairway to heaven is a blistering guitar solo
Aniekan's also one of the featured artists at tonight's Biggie art show (it's the anniversary of his death), which'll also trot out B.I.G. tunes and a cash bar, leading to the real danger of hip-hop: you trying to rap it.
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