View Full Version : September-October Challenge: Roots of Hip Hop

09-22-2010, 05:55 PM
My New York map will showcase the birth of an art form - rap. Now I'm not stereotyping, but I have a feeling most of you in the forum do not like rap. I'm an avid music lover - not so much rap anymore, but man did I use to be. In 1984, I was a ten year old white kid in the suburbs, with my fat laces and boom box - I was b-boy fresh. My first 2 cassette tapes that I bought and cherished were New Edition and Fat Boys. Ha.

New York is where rap was born. I want to have an urban vibe to the map, sort of african feel - and cartoony in a sense. I'm just getting started on this - but hope to have a winner when I'm done.

* This map is reduced just for a quick reference.

09-22-2010, 06:05 PM
I was 14 in 84 and I remember that it took me a long time to learn how to windmill. At this time roller skating was still the main thing here so our crew would bust out the moves in the center of the rink and battle crews from other schools. I haven't been into rap since Bone Thugs n Harmony back in like 93. Love your idea and it's be really cool to see this as sort of a birthmap of the famous NY rappers. I was thinking about doing punk rock clubs but there's only one that ever really mattered...CBGBs, so that'd be a quick map :)

09-22-2010, 07:12 PM
Great and unique idea. It never would have occurred to me...but then I'm not a rap fan at all. It's not the music form just most of the content. I have appreciated the occasional Eminem song and Walk This Way was awesome (besides, it brought back Aerosmith).

09-22-2010, 10:05 PM
That's a great idea!! maybe it can be a series..I'll handle the San Fransisco Thrash scene...:)

09-23-2010, 12:14 AM
I like it...only it looks like mine. LOL - only because we are both doing NY :)

Steel General
09-23-2010, 08:00 AM
Neat idea...even if I'm not much of a rap music fan. :)

09-23-2010, 10:15 AM
sounds like a great idea... and I love the occasional hip-hop song ... done my share of electric boogie too ;) ... those were the days ...

New York, New York, big city of dreams... and everything in New York ain't allways what it seems... :)

09-23-2010, 11:25 AM
This is a pretty awesome idea. I'm extremely jealous that I didn't think of it!

"No Sleep 'til Brooklyn."

09-24-2010, 11:56 AM
I'm struggling with this - but loving it at the same time. I've changed the perspective of the layout. And am working with style now. But I've honestly been thinking about this one in my sleep.

(edit to put in image) -
Again, scaled down 1/2 size for viewing. Very rough, but wanted to show progress.

09-24-2010, 12:09 PM
That's a pretty neat style you've got going. I like the little border and the water markers.

09-24-2010, 01:22 PM
Did you move Staten Island on purpose or is that just some artistic license?

09-24-2010, 02:08 PM
god thats embarrassing. thats the reason i posted wip. Thanks Jax. I get caught up in the details, while the entire layout is screwed. I'll fix it

09-24-2010, 02:42 PM
but it looks really nice... love the colors and borders :)

09-24-2010, 08:56 PM
Hey man, there is nothing wrong with doing an abstract map of New York.....oop....did I just say that?

09-27-2010, 02:33 PM
Okay - I moved Staten Island back to it's home, beside Bayonne.

* Adjusted view (again)
* Added textures & grunge
* Redrew piers
* Started labeling and thinking about bridges to include

(forgot to remove that dotted line along Queens border - but I am going to eventually add blocky patterns to parts of the map)

Now I need to soon start to fill some negative space. I'm thinking the title and directional compass in the upper right, and a large graphic in the lower left. possibly something in the lower right as well - not sure yet. Need to see how to balance this thing.

09-27-2010, 07:16 PM
well i think I'm migrating away from rap - and towards just an artistic rendering. I don't know how I'm going to incorporate rap into this map. But whatever comes of it, so be it. I've rotateted the map so north is now up - i was getting too much flack for it being rotated sideways

Aval Penworth
09-27-2010, 08:01 PM
I thought that you were just going to draw a cool looking map and label the important locations. Clubs, places where ground breaking videos were shot, rap artists nieghborhoods, recording studios, record stores, movie locations etc.

09-27-2010, 09:27 PM
Yes Aval - I am/will do that. I just need to focus and do my homework and I can get this done.

10-04-2010, 06:13 PM
Well.. Nice colour palette anyway :)

10-07-2010, 05:42 PM
Well I finally got my research done, thanks to the cool homies over at oldschoolhiphop.com - Now I have to apply it somehow. Fun stuff starts now. I plan to have a bit of text and artwork around the big empty Queens / Brooklyn area, and the title will be top left (NJ area). Map size is double this - just reduced by 2 for the forums.

10-08-2010, 04:07 PM
Still mapping.

Wife said she literally hated the gaudy colors I've been using, especially the red ocean. So I switched it up and went with subtle earth tones. This pallet is much easier on the eyes.

Not sure if I want to make all of NJ red (instead of the brown it is now). If it was red and matched Brooklyn/Queens, then the overall piece might be more balanced. Besides the only areas I'm going to draw attention to are Manhattan/Bronx.

10-08-2010, 08:23 PM
Now.. I must turn my white ass into a black DJ... :)



10-08-2010, 08:55 PM
Your face is even more white now, :)

The map is looking great and I like the toned down version.

10-08-2010, 08:57 PM
I like how the toque you're wearing is pink and the one of the recreation is black. :D

10-08-2010, 09:14 PM
yeah - i don't have a hat like that. (toboggan?) so It's my kids. Don't spill the inside secrets though :)

10-11-2010, 03:48 PM
Quick Update. Title will be spraypainted over brick in upper left. More labels to add (all of bronx). More graphics to go over brooklyn/queens. Moving along nicely.


Aval Penworth
10-11-2010, 09:13 PM
This is coming together really well. Another great map from MixMaster RJB.

10-11-2010, 09:19 PM
Awesome (I've been using that word a lot tonight.. :) ) I love the "feel" of this If we get more than one vote this might be mine...

Steel General
10-12-2010, 08:08 AM
Nice! It has a graphic novel/comic book feel to it.

10-12-2010, 05:47 PM
More work on the Title today. And polished up (rather demolished up) the brick a bit.


10-12-2010, 06:19 PM
Awesome! This one's getting in for sure.

10-13-2010, 11:04 AM
This has evolved from something not good enough to get my vote to something that probably will. Love the bricks, colour scheme, font.. everything really :) And the fact that this actually got a bit accuracy and history to it only makes it better :)

Aval Penworth
10-13-2010, 11:16 AM
Oh, C'mon... You have to mention Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Wu Tang Clan and The Beastie Boys somewhere.

The venues are great to mention but it's the neighborhoods of the artists that are the most important.

10-13-2010, 01:09 PM
thanks all. I've been getting a lot of flack for the (comic style) look of the map so I'm switching it up. My wife said it looked like the play bill to a comedy show. Wha Wha What !! So I'm moving darker.

As far as rappers - I'm going to have a subway car or 2 along the bottom right with names spraypainted on it.

Color scheme I'm moving towards...


10-13-2010, 03:26 PM
Are you changing this again? x) I think the last update and the brick wall looked awesome! This colour palette is indeed cool too tho..

10-13-2010, 03:34 PM
Hrm. I'm a bit old to know the basics of hip hop, but is it a "dark" art form? To try and get a "handle" on it I did an image search in google for "hip hop grafitti" and what surfaced looked - in general - extremely colourful and bright and, yes, comic-booky! 8)
I thought the brickwork was a great idea, perhaps the text was the problem? Too regular? I thought it looked fine, but on reflection, perhaps it needs to look more "hand done" - sprayed?
I think your basic instincts here are right! The sombre colours make it look more like a historical artifact than a living document?

Aval Penworth
10-13-2010, 08:03 PM
The comic book style was pretty cool. Who, apart from your wife has been giving you flack? If you do change direction, please don't go too far. Hip-hop videos in the early days often han a cartoony, over the top feel. They often used parody and comic expression as well as showing the gritty streets and hangouts and exposing social inequalities. You could have elements of the dark and light side.

And I like your idea of spraying the artists names on trains.

Steel General
10-13-2010, 08:38 PM
I thought the graphic novel/comic book style very appropriate. But it's ultimately your choice to change it.

Maybe do both styles... *shrugs*

10-13-2010, 09:32 PM
T Who, apart from your wife has been giving you flack?

I've asked for feedback in a few other forums as well, some graphic artists. Some like it & some don't. I have moments of both.

I swear I'm going to finish this map soon.... And I'll probably not post again until I'm done. Seem's whenever I ask for feedback, it normally steers me off course. But it's appreciated nonetheless.

10-14-2010, 12:53 AM
As I said, I think your instincts are good. Feedback is good if it takes you somewhere you agree is right, otherwise, well, just ignore it!

10-14-2010, 04:15 PM
Looking great all around. Can't wait to see the finished product.

10-19-2010, 06:44 AM
love the color sceme - but I liked the more "comic" map more - comic and hip hop goes well together and it also gave a much more distinct look to the map :)

10-19-2010, 01:22 PM
Since you are going for Hip/Hop I would think you want the Comic/Graffiti look. Still, it's looking really good.

10-20-2010, 03:34 PM
Looking for suggestions.

I'm adding a fairly big blurb of informational text to the map. Since the locations on the map are only on Manhattan and the Bronx, I have all of Queens/Brooklyn (bottom-right) to use as I wish. This blurb of text - I'm having trouble thinking of substrate for it. My first thought was brick wall - but with the top left brick, it's too much. Second thought was records, but they would appear out of place. 3rd thought was an original style flyer like the attached samples, but I also think they would be out of place.

Any suggestions from this group? Like parchment? or maybe a city skyline w/ close up billboard w/ text blurb on it?




maybe a brick wall with a flyer attached to it? That may be it?

10-20-2010, 09:21 PM
Liking the colors more and more. I've been wondering what mine would look like if I Sepia'd it.

10-20-2010, 11:18 PM
thanks Jax - I've decided to go with the flyer in the bottom left. These flyers were actually a huge part of the early hip hop movement. These artists created them with ink pen, rulers, and stick on letters. Some of them are very detailed. They took serious pride in the flyers, the same way we do in our maps. So it's fitting to include a flyer graphic on the hip hop map.

Anyway - I've started it tonight. I'm getting close to finishing the map - and it's been a ton of fun. Here's where i've gotten with the flyer. Creating it in illustrator and placing it into the photoshop map.

Also - I plan on going into the city the wed before thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure that the maps will be on display then (and hope mine will be there ;)), so I'll get to see it. I'll take pictures of everything I see though -


10-21-2010, 03:26 AM
Pretty cool map, although the cut on the bottom of the flyer could have gone a bit lower?

10-21-2010, 03:49 AM
looking really good - and cool flyer ... makes me think back to when I had to technics 1210 with Stanton pickups in my living room - and speakers the size of houses *lol*

10-28-2010, 11:13 PM
I may have extremely small tweaks in the next day or two, but I doubt it, because it's halloween weekend and I have 3 small kids and we're jam packed with exciting scary stuff to do.

Overall I'm happy with this map, but If I could do it over, I would have not left so much empty areas in queens & brooklyn. Problem is I only wanted to include streets and locations that have meaning. Not just random area names to fill up space. I'm also happy with the feel of the map. I was going for something that could be displayed in an underground record shop or somewhere that hip people might appreciate. I don't think the average person will get this.

If anyone see's any type-o's or something blatenly wrong - please call it out and I'll try and correct. Thanks all - this was really really fun.

O yeah - i spent a lot of time on the flyer, and it came out looking authentic, but I just couldn't get it to fit into the map. If I had more time, I may have created a whole street scene in the lower right, and had the flyer taped to a light post or something, but for now - this is what it is.

### Latest WIP ###

10-29-2010, 02:09 AM
Well that just came out excellently. It looks really nice and I can totally see it on a record store wall.

If we don't get 45 maps I don't think anything will be showing will it?

Aval Penworth
10-29-2010, 07:33 AM
Awesome job.

Rep from me!!!

10-29-2010, 08:29 AM
looks fantastic, love the colors, the composition and the border :) ... takes me back :)

@jax - we're just planning what to do as we obviously will not hit the 45 mark - but we're close to finding a solution :)

10-29-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks all for the heads up on the few type-o's. No matter how hard i try, I just can't type!

### Latest WIP ###

10-29-2010, 04:19 PM
no wait a minute... here's my final :)
changed the blurb font.

I could do this for hours ya know - change little things here and there.

### Latest WIP ###

10-29-2010, 04:32 PM
Looks really awesome, well done :)

10-29-2010, 05:11 PM
Very beautiful indeed!

10-31-2010, 09:18 AM
That's an absolute stunner, RJ! Great work!

10-31-2010, 09:46 AM
That's pretty amazing. I love it from top to bottom.

10-31-2010, 11:54 AM
Very beautiful. The palette is amazing.