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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Used To Love H.E.R

"I met this girl, when I was 10 years old/ And what I loved most, she had so much soul" - Common

Is there anything more perplexing yet at the same time as intoxicating as the mysterious being known as  "Woman"? I think not. Combine that with the just as illusive notion of what is "Hip-hop", and you have a potent mix.

Ever since I dropped my TRUTH piece I've been getting a lot of mixed reactions...and I love it. As I said on another site, the job of an artist is to invoke some kind of emotion, whether good or bad, and I feel I've accomplished that. Because of the piece(which was originally done to be a part of a hip-hop art show with the theme "What does hip-hop look like to you"), I've received a lot of inquires as to what the image really means, and what hidden gems are to be found. Here's the breakdown.

1.) What does the gun which typically represents violence mean?
2.) What exactly is the "Truth" that She's spitting from Her mouth and bullets?
3.) What does H.E.R stand for in this instance?
4.) Is it necessary for Her to be naked for people to see/hear Her Truth?
5.) Do you believe one can fight overly sexualized imagery with more sexualized imagery?
6.) What's the significance of the nipple hardware?
7.) Why the beetle/insect(?) and the tentacles?
8.) Anything else I should be paying attention to?

Answer time:
1) Yes, a gun traditionally represents a weapon of destruction, but I chose to examine the basic mechanics of what a gun is, which is a tool used to rapidly propel something that will cause a major impact. The gun in this case is just a device to rapidly propel the bullets of cause a major impact of awareness. Kill you with the truth metaphorically speaking.
2) The Truth She's spitting and projecting is "Realness", "Honesty of self", etc. Example: Eminem spitting about his life in a trailer park as opposed to pretending he grew up in some kind of drive by gang.
3) It stands for Hearing Every Rhyme's Truth
4) This has biblical connections. Adam and Eve only covered themselves when they developed the sensations of "shame" and "guilt". Before that they were "pure" and saw nothing wrong with their bodies.The nakedness here symbolizes Her comfort with self and lack of shame to expose Her natural beauty.(She's not completely naked due my personal sensibilities and the fact I wanted her clothes to represent a hip-hop aesthetic.)
5) My statement isn't about overly sexualized imagery, so I'm not fighting that. If I were fighting that, I DO see the difference as comparing sex to making love. Both very similar but it's the message and intent that separates the two.
6) As stated above, the nipple coverage is due to my personal censorship, I don't draw a lot of cheese-cake art, and I don't think nakedness for the sake of nakedness serves any purpose. At first I had Her nipples covered with pieces of tape-- but simple tape didn't do the piece justice-- so I designed some Egyptian themed brass covers to elevate the flair, and connect her ethnicity to Hip-hop, which has African(-American) roots.
7) Lol, not a beetle, that's a heart tattoo with ventricles/speaker cables. The message being wear your heart on your (sleeve)chest, and spit the Truth/Music from your heart. I didn't want to do a cartoony Valentine's day type of heart as once again I felt that wouldn't do the piece justice, so I went with an actual heart shape.
8) A few things to pay attention to-
a) The speaker wires going into her mouth, connecting her heart to her voice which is the other instrument needed to deliver the message.
b) The arrows in her hoody and jewelery which is a connection to graffiti, one of the 5 elements of hip-hop.
c) The Adinkra symbol for "energy" on her belt buckle, which in this case is another term for "power", which is strategically placed near Her "womanhood".
d) The mic being used as a silencer which ironically is an amplification device.

If anyone were to see something I missed let me know.

So there you have it..I hope you guys feel where I'm coming from and continue to follow me on my journey as an artist.

P.S Shirts are available.

"But I'ma take her back hoping that the shit stop/ Cause who I'm talking bout y'all is hip-hop."- Common


  1. Nice Artistic Concept that as you say, invoke e/motion (energy in motion)that sparks something. Artistic meaning is subjective to one's experiences/thoughts, great art demands a response or critique. Keep at your craft. Stay Creative. Also, nice connecting your art/ideas with Common. Nice Philly/Chicago Connection.:)

  2. Well thanks for the breakdown but in all honesty you really didn't have to break down anything to anyone. Thank you and it's very appreciated.

    If I choose to draw a woman nude its due to my appreciation of the female form and my growing understanding of it. What you drew was i feel in good taste. Some people are gonna like your work while others won't. Neither should stop but drive you to move forward man. Either way you provoked a feeling in the person.

    This is like hip hop. Some feel its not all bad music coming out while others will dispute you that its all trash music. From the music artists to the material they talk about. It's a person's opinion like a nose, everyone has one. Whether its good or bad a feeling was evoked. Lol. Don't feel bad about what you do to express yourself as an artist. Trust this pic could have been WAY more graphic in my opinion.

    Later my artistic Bajan Brotha! See you at NYCC!

  3. classic song, evokes all types of feelings...your art does the same...

  4. Yo Nubian, I love how you flip words and come up with whole new ideas...inspirational.

    Yo Saint, thanks fam.

    Tre-- I didn't break it down as a means to placate anyone or something like was done so people could peep the symbolism I placed in the piece. Pull the curtain back so to speak.