Bridging the gap between the fine and the less refined


What if your favorite musician was a painter?

So I wanted to try something cool an integrate two worlds that don’t meet enough. Fine art and hip-hop. How you ever thought about what it would be like if your favorite rapper was a painter? It’s ok, I already thought about it for you. Now I am not a modern art expert but I do have a strong general kowledge. Here is it:

Kanye West=Jean-Michel Basquiat

Its an obvious correlation. They are both genius. Both grew up in middle class homes. And both rejected the notion of traditional education. The most striking similarity is how both express their creativity in previously unknown ways i.e. Kanye West’s 808’s and Heartbreak (2009). They are constantly being pressured to be creative and there is sometimes lack of acceptance and certainly the potential for Kanye to collapse under his genius. This is percisely what happened to Basquiat. Truly a gift and a curse.


Frank Ocean=Marcel Duchamp

Its not quite as easy for me to explain this one but Duchamp invented the concept of ready-mades, which is him making ordinary objects in art like an upside down urenal and bicycle wheel. Yes this is real. Frank has essentially done the same thing by taking pure human emotion and making it into art. He has illuminated the idea of being human (humanity) as beautiful.

Nude Deceasing a Staircase

Jay-Z=Paul Cezanne

The obvious connection is that both are the godfather’s of their respective realm. Kanye West & Pharrell Williams look to this guy as a mentor and they are each sold millions upon millions of records. While Cezanne of course mentored artist like Picasso & Matisse. Also Cezanne was an impressionist which, by definition, is someone who depicts life as it is. Jay-Z is the same way. His songs are about his life and the struggle of growing up in the projects in Brooklyn and now that he’s rich we get songs like “Niggaz in Paris”. Get it how you live…

The Card Players

to be continued…


TOKiMONSTA: By Way of Japan…

Have you ever gone to a show just because a friend invited and you had no idea what you were seeing? But then you realize that you may have stumbled upon a jewel?

This very thing happened to me multiple times. My accidental discoveries include J. Cole, Matt & Kim, Wale, The Foreign Exchange and most recently Tokimonsta. I can’t even imagine my life without these artist.

Tokimonsta, for those who don’t know, is a southern Cali girl turned bomb DJ. And boy does she put on a show. Let’s just say I’d put my money on her before I would on Skrillex…yeah I said it!

She has expanded on her beauty and put skill behind it. She uses tracks ranging from Kanye West to the Weeknd to D’Angelo to Erykah Badu to create her mixes. Talk about variety.

The Weeknd, who I have mentioned in a previous post, even recently posted a video of her remixing his song on his blog.


Tokimonsta x The Weeknd

What makes her so special is that she is genuinely good at what she does. There is no gimmick attracting people to her shows. There is no Tokimonsta bandwagon (though I wouldn’t mind personally starting it and yes I am taking shots a someone). The people patronizing her shows have recognized true talent. It takes major skill to get up there and match tempos, beats, bpm’s and smoothly blend/match songs together.

It gets better. Most importantly she uses loads of underground artist in her mixes. You are more likely to hear A$AP Rocky than Chris Brown in her tracks. She puts shine on artist who don’t have the backing of major labels for promotion. And then her original material….more visceral than pop. More hallucinogenic and natural than electronic.

There are certain things in life that make your heart beat and her music is one of them.

(you can take a listen here) Toki Sounds

From one BAB to another, I am truly proud. #teamtoki