more from the
Jan/Feb 2014 issue:
Render, R.A.P. Music, & "Reagan": Killer Mike & The Hip-Hop Imagination
by Joycelyn Wilson
Eye Candy Is Dandy:
Rashaad Newsome's Hip-Hop Heraldry & the New Black Swag
by Katie Cercone
January/February 2014: ART x HIP-HOP
Letter from the Guest Editor
Mic check, 1-2, 1-2 ...
Welcome to the Art x Hip-Hop issue of ART PAPERS.
As with my own work, this issue is dedicated to investigating hip-hop and
contemporary art—not as isolated encounters, but rather where they intersect,
how they complement and enhance each other, and, ultimately, how
in conversation they act to transgress the status quo.
What hip-hop brings to the art establishment is refreshing, inviting, and
In return, through its engagement with the high arts, hip-hop is elevated
beyond its status as a subculture and into a more serious cultural and
Over the last few years, and certainly in recent months, the mashup
between contemporary art and hip-hop has taken center stage.
We've had the privilege of experiencing some really compelling projects
and collaborations between visual and hip-hop artists that have pushed
the boundaries of both art forms. Whether we're talking record-breaking
crowds of hip-hop fans crammed into MoMA PS1's courtyard, multimedia
collaborations between Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami, or experiencing
Urs Fischer through the eyes of Kanye West, the game has most
I predict that what we've seen thus far is only the beginning. There is
certainly much more to come. I am proud and honored to have the opportunity
to engage these burgeoning questions in the pages of this journal.
Now seems an appropriate time to open a dialog that does more than see
hip-hop as novelty, or contemporary art as unapproachable.
I invite my colleagues in the arts community to shed your inhibitions about
hip-hop culture. In it is a liberating energy that calls to the unpredictable
and creative spirit of the fine arts. Likewise, to my friends in the hip-hop
community, I implore you to open your minds to the wealth of inspiration
and innovation that is born in the visual arts. Know that hip-hop culture
has its roots there and only from there can it continue to bloom.
Now, let's get this thing started ... and ... bass up the track a little,
I wanna hear that boom-chh-boom ... you know what I'm sayin'!?!
—Fahamu Pecou, Guest Editor