Reduction printing inspired digital edition of Influential East Coast Hip Hop.
Originally this edition started as some planning for some reduction printing. I really enjoyed printmaking while in College and was looking forward to returning to it. The collection quickly took off and before I knew it, I had a complete collection finished.
Instead of selling prints of each image I decided that it would work nicely as a published poster book, 6x9 on quality paper, easily collected, easily framed.
This is a walk through the printing and selection process of each image/artist.
1. Sean Price
Sean Price was a must have for this collection. You can't talk about New York Underground Hip Hop without P coming up. From his membership in the Bootcamp Clik, his work with Rock in Heltah Skeltah, Random Axe and his solo projects, Sean P created so much memorable content before his passing in 2015.
2. Jam Master Jay
Run DMC is New York Hip Hop. From his work with RUN DMC to his record label that brought us Onyx and 50 Cent. Jam Master Jay was a huge inspiration in hip hop and passed away in 2002.
3. Reverend Run
Reverend Run, like JMJ is a must have for the collection. As one of my favorites from RUN DMC. RUN DMC discography is a must have, but if you haven't seen it you should go...later, but go check out the Rev. Run and sons vs. Ice Cube and sons BET Cypher.
The Beastie Boys would be my initial introduction to Hip Hop. The punk band turned hip hop group toured with Madonna and pushed the boundaries of hip hop over their career. It was rough when MCA passed, so much that May 3rd has become MCA Day.
5. Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane was a trend setter and is still mentioned in talks of the best emcee. Big Daddy Kane would go on to influence many other emcees to come, with tracks like "Smooth Operator", "Aint No Half Steppin" and "The Symphony."
6. Queen Latifah
The Flavor Unit, Ladies First, Native Tongues, but I think it was the album Black Reign that was my introduction to Latifah. Deep content, first emcee to rap at the Superbowl, various Television appearances and movies. Queen Latifah, a Jersey native was a must to include when discussing East Coast Hip Hop.
7. Phife Dawg
A Tribe Called Quest was an epic group, setting of what would later be coined "alternative hip hop." Too many hits to mention as a group and a couple dope albums from the "5 Foot Assassin." Phife Dawg passed away before the reunion album could be completed in 2016.
Massachusetts rapper, 1/2 of the epic group Gangstarr would drop a handful of amazing albums and go on to drop a half dozen Jazz influenced albums on his own. I had tracks here and there on mixtapes but I think it was "Hard to Earn" that was my first album I owned from Gangstarr. Guru passes away on Feb. 28, 2010.
9. Lisa "Lefteye" Lopes
Given her name from New Edition Michael Bivins Lefteye was 1/3 of the group TLC. Known for her stances on Safe Sex and abuse and burning down Rison's house, Lopes would go on to sign with Deathrow Records. She would die in a car crash April 2002 before here Deathrow project under the moniker N.I.N.A could be completed.
10. Busta Rhymes
Named by Chuck D, I have always been a fan of Busta Rhymes from his time with the Leaders of the New School, The Coming, Flipmode through ELE2, though I still think he should have not cut the dreads. Bustas unique style and many many iconic features makes Busta an important influence to hip hop.
11 MF DOOM
Doom is a very interesting person and has a deep story and has played a huge part in Underground Hip Hop. Known for his unique style, persona and iconic Doom mask. I'll never forget the story of his 'character' getting booed off stage in Toronto and other locations. Doom passed on Oct. 21, 2020.
12 Kool Keith
Considered to be one of hip hops most eccentric and unusual emcees, Co founder of the Ultramagnetic MC's. He has a handful of aliases and too many albums to list. Keith's name comes up often when discussing horrorcore, pornocore and concept albums.
After beating a murder beef Prince Rakeem would form the group that would go on to be one of the most iconic groups ever... The Wutang Clan. RZA would continue to produce for the members of the group for their solo projects and he would go on to do Gravediggaz, Solo projects, produce/write/act for film.
Questlove is probably my favorite member from the Roots, his work as group DJ and drummer. He has been a very important person in hip hop with his production, his work on Hamilton, OkayPlayer and OkayAfrica as well as his books.
1/2 of Mobb Deep were a force to reckon with during the 90's with hit after hit while juggling their fair share of beef. I have always enjoyed the Mobb Deep work, Prodigy's solo work and his time with The Alchemist.
16 Ol Dirty Bastard
Probably my favorite member of Wutang, ODB was such an interesting character and person in both his lyrics as well as his real life. The funniest story I remember is him getting caught stealing shoes while having a pocket full of money. Ol Dirty passed away on November 13, 2004.
17 Slick Rick
Iconic rapper Slick Rick is known for his story telling and is one of the most sampled emcees ever. The third artist to be signed to Def Jam, and credited as the creator of Narrative rap, Slick Rick would influence hip hop and emcees as Hip Hops greatest storyteller.
18 LL Cool J
LL Cool J was so influential for Hip Hop, he had to be included in Vol.1. His 13 album deal with Def Jam, his ability to both hard core street tracks, beef and songs for the women, and him becoming one of the early emcees to break into the mainstream. LL would go on to lead a huge career in music, film and television winning two grammys along the way. The first hip hop artist to be on American Bandstand as well as the first emcee to receive Kennedy Center Honors.
19 Kurtis Blow
Credited as the first emcee to sign a major record deal as well as the first Gold certification rap song, Kurtis has been an influencial emcee, DJ and B Boy and has gone on to become a Minister and release Gospel Hip Hop.
Now X was an easy selection. I have always been a fan of DMX, his voice, delivery, energy makes for great records and amazing stage shows. He was the first emcee to have two Platinum Albums released in the same year, his first 5 alblums all going Platinum. With all his troubles it was a sad day when he passed (April 9th, 2021), leaving us with the soon to be released Exodus Album.
21 MC Serch
Serch plays a big part in New York Hip Hop from being a member of the first successful interracial group, beefs and feuds with the likes of The Beastie Boys to MC Hammer. He would go on to work behind the scenes with writing, creating his own label that would bring us Non Phixion, solo albums, radio hosting and yes even The (White) Rapper Show.
I was gifted the first Fu-schnicken's album from my older brother and have been a fan of their albums ever since. Credited with popularizing Asian culture references in Hip Hop, quick paced lyrics and featuring Basketball star turned rapper Shaquille O'Neal.
Redman seemed to me like the perfect way to round out Vol. 1. Redman has played such a huge part in EastCoast Hip Hop, as well as New Jersey's scene. From solo projects, to Def Squad to Red and Meth, Redman is a must have in the CD collection.
At the the time of posting both Vol.1 and Vol. 2 are available in the Shop.