Friday, January 29, 2010

Nephew's Hidden Talent

Here's something different. My sister in Finland e-mailed me a scan of her teenage son's drawing, and unbeknownst to me (and to her too, until recently, it appears), her son, my nephew, Antti, seems to be a quite talented drawer. I asked her for more scans, and here're some of them. They're all drawings of rappers, based on photos on the net, I assume. Their subject matter is a bit odd, if you think about it; a very nice intelligent young teenager in Finland making portraits of American gangsta rappers. Well, we're all young once, and furthermore, I don't actually know the story of how the images came to life, so for the benefit of doubt, I take them as a series of portraits of interesting characters. And anyway, if their music was the instigator (as I suspect), it shows that he recognises the genuineness of sort in it, it's about the world as they see it, as opposed to the chart topping calculated pop/rock merchandise. Well, then again, it is exciting music as itself, I admit.

However, after researching these persons, I decided to include some negative Wiki quotes about them all, especially because of the performer Elephant Man, who has apparently been promoting violence towards gays.

Having said all that, I do think these drawings are very good, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

Jayceon Taylor
Stage Name: Game
Game, Snoop Dogg, and Tha Dogg Pound, were sued for assaulting a fan on stage at a May 2005 concert at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington. The accuser, Richard Monroe, Jr., claimed he was beaten by the artists' entourage while mounting the stage. He alleged that he reacted to an "open invite" to come on stage. Before he could, Snoop’s bodyguards grabbed him and he was beaten unconscious by crewmembers, including the rapper and producer Soopafly; Snoop and Game were included in the suit for not intervening. The lawsuit focuses on a pecuniary claim of $22 million in punitive and compensatory damages, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The concerned parties appeared in court in April 2009.
On October 28, 2005, Game was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Greensboro. At one point, police said his companions were pepper sprayed when they surrounded officers in a threatening manner. Mall security officers said the rapper was wearing a full-face Halloween mask, filming shoppers, cursing loudly, and refused to leave when asked. Game continued to act up and was arrested, a police statement said. Game claimed that officers overreacted and that he did nothing wrong when he was pepper sprayed by the mall security. The five officers involved in the incident ended up suing Game for defamation, which has yet to be taken to court.
On May 11, 2007, Game was arrested at his home reportedly in connection with an incident at a basketball game in South Los Angeles in February 2007. He is alleged to have threatened a person with a gun. The arrest took place after his home was searched for three hours. Game was released early the next day after posting $50,000 bail. On January 9, 2008, a Los Angeles judge scheduled February 4 as the beginning date for Game's trial on assault and weapons charges. After pleading no contest to a felony weapons charge on February 11, Game was sentenced to sixty days in jail, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation.

Christopher Wallace (1972-1997)
Stage Name: Notorious B.I.G.
According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but developed a "smart-ass" attitude at the new school. At seventeen, Wallace dropped out of high school and became further involved in crime. In 1989, he was arrested on weapons charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to five years' probation. In 1990, he was arrested on a violation of his probation. A year later, Wallace was arrested in North Carolina for dealing crack cocaine. He spent nine months behind bars until he made bail.

O'Neil Bryan
Stage Name: Elephant Man
Bryan has been criticised for his lyrics calling for violence against gay people. In 2003 British LBGT group OutRage! called for the arrest and prosecution of several dancehall stars including Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man for violation of hate crimes statutes. In 2004 he was dropped from the MOBO awards. Since then pressure from his record company and agreement with gay rights groups to avoid songs with lyrics deemed to incite homophobic violence have allowed him to perform in the UK. In 2009, his scheduled appearance at Toronto's Caribana festival was canceled for similar reasons.

Clifford Harris Jr.
Stage name: T.I.
On October 13, 2007, federal authorities arrested T.I. four hours before the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. He was charged with two felonies — possession of three unregistered machine guns and two silencers, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. The arrest was made in the parking lot of a downtown shopping center, which a witness identified as the Walgreens drug store at the corner of North and Piedmont Avenues. Harris was arrested after allegedly trying to purchase the guns from a "cooperating witness" with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. According to federal officials, the witness had been cooperating with authorities since Wednesday, when he was arrested on charges of trying to purchase guns from a federal agent. The witness had been working as Harris' bodyguard since July, authorities said. T.I. walked out of the Atlanta United States District Court after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman on October 26, 2007. Judge Alan J. Baverman required T.I. post a $3 million bond, $2 million in cash and $1 million in equity on property he owns. The rapper was required to remain at home except for medical appointments and court appearances. The only people allowed to live with him were his girlfriend and children. Visitors were required to be approved by the court.


Luke Crouch
Pascal and DJ Hype - Hackney, 2004
Oil on linen, 30 x 30 cm
Esa Jaske Collection


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