Lego Hip-Hop

Format Magazine posted 20 hip-hop album covers recreated with Legos, photographed by Nick Hanekom. My favorite is Common’s Be. And Stankonia made me laugh. I need to get my Legos…

Madlib – Beat Konducta Vol. 1, 2, 5, 6




Stones Throw put up a short article about how Jeff Jank created the covers for Madlib’s Beat Konducta series. All four depict the same album after varying stages of decomposition after being damaged by a leak in Peanut Butter Wolf’s closet and then sitting on a porch for a year. A perfect match for Madlib’s beats. It would have been cool if Vol. 3 and 4 stayed with the trend.

You can see how they made use of the vinyl covers in the CD version of Vol. 5 and 6, originally set to release on my birthday (!) but pushed back to Febuary…

Jeff Jank
Madlib

Fantastic Planet – Fantastic JJ Project

Back in 2004, I crawled through the used section of my local music store and came across an album called “Past Futuristic” by a North Carolina group named The Others. I wasn’t sure what to expect from an album made to look like a comic book cover. Turned out to be one of my favorites that year. It also may have been my introduction to the now defunct Third Earth Music, who also released music by Science Fiction (Wale Oyejide) and Jean Grae. After that, I didn’t hear much from them, other than a instrumental release by member Madwreck. I lost track after that.

I checked out their MySpace pages today and was happy to see they’re still making music. I also got an update from a guy on the Stones Throw forums. DR is still DJing around NC, Madwreck is still making beats, and Mattic moved out to France to work with Wax Tailor. He also became part of a group called Fantastic Planet who released an EP which used beats from one of my favorite albums, Jneiro Jarel’s Beat Journey. A nice full-circle deal for me, personally. You can download the EP for free below.

DOWNLOAD

As for the cover of Past Futuristic, it was illustrated by a comic artist named Scott Johnson who’s worked for a lot of comic and game companies. He has a wealth of work in that vein on his website.

Fantastic Planet
The Others
Scott Johnson

Dam-Funk – Purple

If Dam-Funk created the soundtrack to Sega’s classic Outrun… I think it’s a good match. Stones Throw has been hyping this guy up an awful lot. I’m excited to see what he’ll be up to in 2009. His addition to the Rhythm Trax series is out now.

Samon Kawamura – Unfold

A fold-out poster from what of one my surprise favorites of 08′, Germany-based Samon Kawamura’s Unfold. Didn’t know who he was before hearing the album. Then I noticed that I kept listening to it repeatedly. Now I play both of his albums continuously on shuffle. Beats inspired by Dilla, Jneiro, Madlib, etc. Featuring artists such as Ta’Raach, Aloe Blacc, Oh No. He’s also associated with Jazzy Sport in Japan, home of Gagle. It was impossible for me to not love this. I’ll be excited to see what’s up next for him.
The artwork was done by Frederik Frede, a designer out of Germany who has an impressive portfolio and a few other album covers under his belt. Samon even wrote to him to say how happy he was with the work.

Samon Kawamura
Frederik Frede

DJ I-Dee – Swollen Dome

A video for Miami-based artist DJ I-Dee for his album, Solitude, done by a friend of mine, Mykola Dosenko. Great classic video game themes throughout. He put a lot of work into this, and I think it was quite worth it. Below is a video he did for the DJ Shadow video contest a few years ago and won.

Mykola Dosenko
DJ I-Dee
DJ Shadow

Plan-B Magazine Albums of The Year

Illustrations of Plan-B Magazine’s favorite albums of the year, done by Duncan of Crayon Legs, who I talked about previously when I thought Sarah and Duncan were one person. More covers on his blog.