Monday, May 21, 2012

Hip Hop in the Park 2012: Battling with the Elements

Hip Hop Loves You (8x4ft, aerosol on board, 2012)

Good day! What's new? Hip Hop appreciation week was last week - I was lucky enough to be a big part of a few of the events leading up to the fifth annual Hip Hop in the Park, and last week was sooo dope!! I painted live at an art and fashion show two saturdays ago (see my last post), judged a freestyle battle as well as a production battle on tuesday, painted live at a Turntable Choir on thursday (see the piece above), and again at Hip Hop in the Dark on friday night.  Every element of Hip Hop culture was on display throughout the whole week, but the weather ended up being a huge element too! Luckily, Hip Hop (and Bruce Lee movies! Jeah!) can teach a lot about how to play it by ear and how to freestyle, finding resilience in flexibility and the ability to adapt. The piece above was painted for the Turntable Choir presented by Hip Hop in the Park, which was a really fresh event that involved several local DJs and producers kicking beats collaboratively. This piece was a huge challenge to paint due to the wind and the temperature - at the beginning, it was all good, but as the night wore on the wind picked up and started blowing the board along with the heavy metal easel right to the ground! Using aerosol paint in wind like that is definitely no cakewalk either... Luckily, for a few stretches my homie Mo as well as my man DJ Budakron, who organized and MC'd the event, hooked a brother up and held the board steady against the cold winds (Thanks homies!). This piece was auctioned off at the show, and after a fair bit of back and forth, it went to my dude KazMega, an ill local MC and beatmaker - check out his video by clicking right here

 (photo credit: the fisheye of my man nutly from

Hip Hop in the Park 5 was blessed with a beautiful, sunny day, but the wind definitely threw down a little as well. The piece you see being created above was a banner for Rellik, a musician from around the way, who saw me painting another piece earlier in the day (which sold at the festival - I'll probably feature it in another post if I can get some quality photos of the final piece) and commissioned me to quickly paint his show banner. He had it tied to the fence, and it seemed fairly taut, but when I started painting it the wind rolled through and made things mad tricky. Basically, I ended up having to paint a moving target, as this banner was billowing in and out at least a foot almost constantly. I really wish I had it on video, because it would probably be hilarious to watch me dodging back and forth trying to paint this thing as it whipped around in the wind. Somehow, I managed to make the paint stick mostly where I wanted it to, and Rellik was stoked with his new show banner.

I'm pumped that making both of these pieces work amidst unfavourable circumstances ended up being possible - there are a few little details I'd loved to have been able to touch up, but for the most part I'm happy with the results. This year's Hip Hop in the Park was easily one of the best yet, and the graffiti section pulled out some serious heat!! I'm proud to say I helped organize it. Until next time!

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