Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's looking like it's shaping up to be the week of the RZA (which is all good over here). Posting here earlier on his recent enlightening book release and intriguing subsequent interviews in support of the project, has sparked inspiration for this and one or two more posts (to come). And when one thinks about it, given all of the dope work the he and Wu have put down for many years and the varied spheres of influences that make up their creative world, it should not be suprising. Above is the one sheet (movie poster) for the very recently released 70's era Black cinema spoof Black Dynamite. The poster's cool and from what I can tell the movies very funny. Where this poster crosses paths with design and music is in terms of what it represents outside of the spoofing. If you ask any hip-hopper, retired hip-hopper, just about retired hip-hopper who's over 40, they'll likely tell you that some of their major influences are the Black 70's movies known as "Blaxploitation" (who dubbed it that is a good question) films. I mean, upon the marquee it read Coffey, Black Caesar, Hell Up In Harlem, Superfly, Shaft, The Mack, Bucktown and Willie Dynamite.

These films supplied members of the hip-hop generation with a world of sample ready soul (and funk) music to quilt beats with. And for their rhymes the films and music offered some plots and themes to base their street dreams and nightmares on. The list of examples of those emcees and beat makers who drank from this cup is long- just a few for you; Ice-T, NWA, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, RZA, WU-Tang and most def Ghostface Killah. The RZA expressed the inspiration he'd found in 70's era Black cinema with the album cover design for his 1998 solo salvo Bobby Digital. The album's design is an illustrated homage to the movie poster and their sister soundtrack album covers from that time period. It's one of our favorites as well.


A few years on and we just still love the cover photo for Ms. Key's album "AS I AM". Though the original cover has the title's type set horizontally across the top. This album stays in the player- on the laptop and has been since its release (like, it's playing right now). So due to some late night inspiration, behold, the post.