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Columbia, MD – It all began with “You Know My Steez” from Gang Starr’s 1998 basic, Moment of Truth. Growing up in Taurean Washington’s family, the sounds of Hip Hop and R&B have been a relentless. As the burgeoning Maryland-based artist acquired older, he started to concentrate to the intricacies of the lyrics and really studied the craft.

“My love of Hip Hop began when my father performed me Moment of Truth by Gang Starr,” Washington tells RealStreetRadio. “His favourite observe of that track was ‘The Militia.’ But ‘You Know My Steez’ did it for me. Then it led to the Nas, JAY-Z, Biggie, et cetera.”

In 2008, Washington started to entertain the concept of being a Hip Hop artist — solely in visible type. He wished to make use of his artwork as a solution to categorical his love for the tradition. Eleven years later, he’s main the “Art-Hop” motion.

“It struck me to mix artwork and Hip Hop, coining the phrase ‘Art-Hop,’” he says. “I see myself as a visible lyricist. My paintbrush is the microphone, my lyrics are the picture/composition and the beat is the colour.”

Last October, Washington devoted a whole artwork present to Kendrick Lamar’s magnum opus, To Pimp A Butterfly. He wasn’t ready for what would observe. Shortly after his work was posted on-line, he acquired a observe from Ok. Dot’s label, Top Dawg Entertainment.

“I jumped up and down in my home,” he says with fun. “I used to be really excited. They will need to have checked out my publish the place I confirmed my characteristic within the native newspaper for my exhibition primarily based on Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly. But for somebody to be an up and comer that nobody actually is aware of, it confirmed me an indication of what’s to return.”

Next month, Washington will unveil his newest works at his “Yeezus Taught Me” artwork present, an homage to Kanye West.

“To me, Kanye West is prolific and controversial on the identical time,” he says. “Kanye’s Yeezus album epitomizes that concept. It’s very uncooked and brash. This was the album that was fascinating to interpret and provides a ‘visible rap’ to. I created 10 work, every an interpretation of a track off the album.

“During the present, I’ll have the precise album enjoying so individuals can catch the vibe and see the place I acquired the inspiration for each bit. Typically, artwork receptions play both classical or jazzy music. For my reveals, I would like Hip Hop to be current and actually make it a particular expertise.”

Following the Yeezus exhibition, Washington is planning two extra reveals within the fast future. One can be devoted to J. Cole’s KOD, whereas the opposite can pay tribute to JAY-Z’s four:44 album. Ultimately, he needs to get his work in entrance of as many individuals as attainable — and stop his day job.

“I wish to pursue my artwork full time and stop my 9 to five, however I’ve to safe the bag first [laughs],” he says. “Also, I need to captivate the occasions as an artist and positively influence our society and popular culture. Overall, I would really like for my work to achieve the plenty and soar off the Art-Hop motion.

“JAY-Z is speaking about artwork in his raps now. Diddy bought a Kerry James Marshall portray, breaking data on the public sale. The artwork and hip-hop fusion is already happening. I’m simply giving it a reputation.”

The “Yeezus Taught Me” exhibition takes place on February 2 from 1 p.m. to three:30 p.m. on the Slayton House in Columbia, Maryland.

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