If you know how and why Hip Hop began, you know how powerful storytelling - for the sake of justice, culture, and entertainment – can be. Thus, you can appreciate why Sulaiman Jenkins and Mutah Beale produced and wrote their book Life is ЯAW: The Story of a Reformed Outlaw. They donated a signed copy to the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
“Caricaturing allows me the opportunity to capture a subject’s unique characteristics in a fun way. In today’s society, we focus on being politically correct or perfect; this type of artwork allows me to step outside of the box.”
“I find inspiration in different things: comic books, anime, ways that people – especially kids – won’t turn on each other by making someone feel smaller, and disrespecting one’s unfortunate situation. Just because one may have less money than another doesn’t make them any less of a person. My version of Hip Hop is about flowing and the art form; it has nothing to do with money.”
This Hip Hop collective’s producer, the RZA, sampled Vargas’ drum beats for tracks such as “Bring Da Ruckus” and “Wu-Tang 7th Chamber”, as well as a then-unreleased version of the hit “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me).”
“The reason that Hip Hop culture struck me when it did is because it’s about inclusivity and different people expressing themselves in different ways – art, sound, dance. To be involved in this was part of my foundation. To share my art with an establishment that is dedicated completely to this inclusivity and people’s various artistic expressions was my responsibility and my honor.”
“Coming from an analogue upbringing, I appreciate the tools that aren’t digitized. Example: I can go to the library and find a book about something I could also read online. And I choose to go to the library because that’s one way I can really turn things on by turning something off.”