Russian-born painter Alexander Melamid painted the portraits of 12 Hip Hop stars represented by rappers, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Common and Lil Jon with his ever present "grill". There were also influential promoters such as Russel Simmons, designer Mak Ecko and some other dudes that I have frankly never heard of (excuse the low Hip Hop IQ). These portraits are part of an exhibit called Holy Hip Hop which was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit from February to April 2008. Right now, the show is being featured at the Forum Gallery in Los Angeles from Sept. 12 to Nov. 1.
"...the portraits -- rendered larger than life and cast in an amber light that references the Old Masters -- find the figures all about their business: on the telephone, at the computer, ready to take a meeting, poised for performance. They are decorated with the trappings, or iconography, of their time -- diamonds, cellphones, designer watches and shoes" says the LA Times
Reverend Run, a hip-hop pioneer as a member of Run-DMC. Star of MTV’s Run’s House
Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons
Easy Mo Bee
Don "Magic" Juan