Drive by Ian Wilding
Prints available at Society6
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Donnie Darko by Brandon Michael Elrod
Ego Trip | UNCOVERED: The Notorious B.I.G. – “Life After Death” with Art Director Ebon Heath
One of the most anticipated albums in hip-hop history, The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 double disc sophomore effort, Life After Death, was supposed to represent a spiritual rebirth for the 24-year-old rapper. Life after the despair of a brilliant but generally bleak (save for the radio hits) debut, Ready to Die; life after the Bad Boy vs. Death Row feud; life after the death of his one-time friend turned enemy, Tupac Shakur.
The tragic events of March 9th, 1997 would brutally quell this rebirth before it began, as a gunman’s bullets claimed Christopher Wallace’s life in Los Angeles. Released two weeks after Big’s murder, Life After Death came instead to represent a memorial, its unforgettably elegiac album cover art and packaging making explicit reference to the specter of one’s mortality. That it was entirely finished before Big’s death makes it an even more haunting piece of work.
Art director Ebon Heath, along with partner in crime Michele Thorne at revered New York design studio (((stereo-type))), headed up the design team responsible for this most iconic of rap LP covers. With this month marking the fifteen year anniversary of the album’s release (and also, sadly, Biggie Smalls’ death) we asked him to share the story of how it all came together, and reveal what Life After Death might have looked like in its originally conceived form.
Mechanical Heart Paper Sculptures
Tomasz Wagner - IMALINE
What day is it?
Illustrated by Stanley Chow.