The world as we know it might be falling apart, which isn’t a bad thing. At the same time there’s a renaissance in real Hip Hop, and the new Mecca is Buffalo, New York, which is home to some of the illest spitters right now! The three elite MC’s that are setting it off are Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, and Benny the Butcher. But make sure you dig deeper that just those three so that you don’t miss out on Che Noir, 38 Spesh, Rick Hyde, Loveboat Luciano, Lucky Seven, El Camino, and so many more. What takes their releases to another level of special is how they partner up with killer labels in Europe that are giving them the vinyl treatment. Quick Label Roll call: Air Vinyl, Daupe!, FXCK RXP and Tuff Kong.
Not only are these renaissance wordsmiths pushing boundaries, so are the artists that handling their artistic vision. Sam Jones aka ral_duke is the graphic artist that creates the surreal eye candy that captivates you before you even hear a verse. His collage game is on point and is full of a juxtaposition that would make Dali proud. Something about his work has an 80’s Punk Flyer vibe about it. I dig the way he mixes up all different kinds of iconography to create his own vision of beauty, pain, and sometimes hate. There are layers to Sam Jones’ work and you might not notice the meaning he’s trying to convey at first glance.
In order for the art form of Hip Hip to move forward, the way that it’s packaged has to move forward as well. With every record cover he creates, Sam Jones is pushing the culture forward!