Hip-Hop Classics Meet Classic Art


20 Thursday 20th November 2014

Perhaps we can sum up the whole of Picasso's blue period with the smooth, repentant croons of Usher's Confessions (Part I and II). Maybe Surrealism could be manifested in to the two part psychoanalysis of Tyler The Creator, Goblin and Bastard? Maybe Van Gogh's eternal struggle in a world that didn't respect him can really be boiled down to the nonchalant approach Beyonce takes in Haunted, 'probably won't make any money off of this, oh well.' Gauguin's life's work could even be representative of the crude homage to interracial dating in the Black Eyed Peas classic, My Humps. Or maybe not. 

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper (1942) / Girls Love Beyonce - Drake 

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife - Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1648) / Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg - TLC

The King's Wife - Paul Gauguin (1896) / My Humps Black Eyed Peas 

La Vie - Pablo Picasso (1903) / Confessions Part II - Usher

The Empress Eugenie - Franz Winterhaler (1855) / Clique - G.O.O.D Music

Jolly Toper - Judith Leyster (1629) / Through The Wire - Kanye West

Of course, the most obvious collaboration between art and hip-hop in recent years has to be Jay Z's partnership with Marina Abramovic. The rapper, taking inspiration from Abramovic's series of performance art pieces, especially her famous MoMA retropsective, The Artist Is Present, rapped Picasso Baby in front of Abramovic at the Pace Gallery.

The song references Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, Jean Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, and of course, Pablo Picasso. It also states Beyonce is the 'modern Mona Lisa, with better features'. Basically, Jay Z bloody loves art. But then some say his performance was the day that performance art died. 

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