Somethings never change. When I was a teenager I had a poster of Eminem on my wall. I was all about the adoration of rap superstars and it fit very nicely with my rebellious nature. Now, I've grown up a bit but my walls are still lined with images of rap's greatest.
Have you heard of the Tumblr 99 Problems? It's a brilliant collection of illustrations by Ali Graham that outlines the 99 problems of one un-named but very obvious rapper. The concept harks back to the 2004 song by Jay-Z and plays on the lyrics from his other songs as well as modern day issues. A lot of the problems are bizarre and surreal while others are simple annoyances you probably face everyday. Some feature other artists (almost all the ones with Kanye have already sold out) or deal with twerking, facebook and hashtags - you know, the true great problems of our age. When I saw the site I thought it was a hilarious idea and was so pleased when Graham decided to do a limited edition run of prints.
What I love about these is that I feel like they tap into the current zeitgeist. I grew up on rap and the concept of fame has always had a certain allure. These pictures feel very relevant to our generation. They deal with issues like social media, passport photos, Homeland, and Miley. I'm sure they aren't the sort of thing that everyone would appreciate but to me they are just perfect. That's why I purchased three and have them proudly hanging in my hallway. I can't afford to buy fancy expensive art but, at the same time, I feel like I've outgrown the stage of having posters on my wall. These feel like a nice intermediary.
If you're still looking for a Christmas present for a rap junkie on your list I can't recommend these enough. They cost just $19.99 and come numbered and signed by Graham. There are only 99 prints made of each problem and he has vowed not to produce any more prints once these have sold out. So, go on, give the gift of art and let someone you love hang one of these babies on their wall.
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