So what brought you to do Eminem now?
Well, I was kind of tired of my series in Architectural Abstraction and wanted to dive back into my Political Pop style. I chose Eminem as a topic as I related to a lot in his background being from a broken home with a crazy mother.
So did your mother pop pills like Eminem's mom?
Actually, no, but she had another drug... money. Anything she gets it just burns a hole in her pocket and she figures out how to go in debt on almost any expense. One Christmas she shows up at my Dad's house with nothing for anyone and saying how we always keep her down or some nonsense. Then my brother gives her $20 to buy something for his kids or family. She comes back with a bare Christmas tree that cost $20 and now we have to buy $10 more in lights and decoration just to finish the crap off. And the tree is about 3 feet tall. She likely pocketed about $15 on my guess.
So who got you into Eminem?
Actually my brother. I grew up on NWA, Beastie Boys and Dr. Dre, so the progression was natural. My brother had a much closer connection to Eminem's music since his ex-wife was a cheater like Eminem's wife Kim. He had a lot of anger issues related to that issue, but made the simple decision to split with the mother of his child and call it a day. Not sure why Eminem would punish himself going back and forth with Kim. My anger issues would just be having a mother that didn't listen and disowned any responsibility for her actions.
So why do you have an Apple on this?
Well, I took this as poking fun of the music industry and Apple trying to force musicians to sell music at a fixed price why promoting themselves as the divine fun provider to fans of music everywhere. I love the Apple commercials on billboards that are pure simplicity, easy to understand and to react to instantly.
What about the Apple lawsuit in 2009?
Apparently, there was some dispute between Eminem and his distributor Aftermath Entertainment to sell his songs on Apple's itunes platform. I had no idea of the lawsuit, but plays well into my painting about Eminem arguing with everyone. Of course, your copyrights is an artist's bread and butter to thriving vs. starving.
What is the 2BUCK in the background?
He is a semi-famous graffiti artist from Detroit. The background is straight from a Detroit wall that he painted in his roller style. I loved the really rough style of this graffiti style as only graffiti artists usually like this style as its before an artist gets to the piecing level after mastering bubble lettering and tagging. Sadly, this guy was painting in Puerto Rico on a freeway and was hit by a car and died. Ironically, all these rappers like Eminem are actually in a safer art form compared to graffiti artists. There are many, many graffiti artists that fall, die or are murdered doing graffiti.
So what images are in the background?
They are various influencing artists on Eminem and competition: 50 Cent, NWA and Dr. Dre. I added some of the places that Eminem was discovered like Hip Hop Shop. Other images are with his name M&Ms and Vicadin pills, one of Eminem's addiction that he learned from his mother. There are also 40s Malt Liquor in the background that I grew up on in the 90s hanging with some gang bangers.
So what is the lettering in the background?
The entire lyrics of "The Way I am" is hand-written right on top of the paper layer and then painted on top.
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