My illustrated tribute to some of the biggest names in hip-hop history.

Each highly-detailed, hand-drawn illustration, having taken between 12 and 24 hours, is set alongside a lyric from one the artist’s songs that I believe is pertinent to their career and best represents them and their legacy.

As part of a wider, ongoing series, four have been published so far – Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur, Nas, and Gang Starr. Further illustrations will be released in batches of 4.

I wanted these illustrations to stand as a testament to the enduring and restorative power of hip-hop; without which, many of us would see the world very differently. Choosing to work in this way, from dark to light, embodies the struggle that is present in a musical art form that still, to this day, refuses to be categorized. That stands for something more than the sum of its parts. But whether it’s Boom Bap or Gangster Rap, Jazz Rap or Rap Rock, there’s always been, without fail, a spark of light in each track laid down and every lyric spit.

I believe there’s no substitute for quality and everything about these has been selected to showcase each element to its fullest – from my approach to the illustrations and the typography, through to the final finishing details on the prints that make these stand out so well, I have endeavored to produce a work of art that more accurately reflects the taste and sensibilities of today’s hip-hop fans.

I’m an Oxfordshire-based creative with nearly two decade’s experience and as far back as I can remember I’ve spent my spare time drawing and painting. Maintaining an exposure to art, illustration and mark-making whilst building my career as a Designer and Art Director – it was my outlet. But balance is important and as time passed, the desire to work in a way that better reflected my natural approach to creativity grew.

And so here I am, Freelance Designer and Illustrator – keen to be chasing down ideas, tinkering with concepts and generally making the place a little prettier…

More info: stumason.com | Instagram

ALL EYEZ ON ME: hand-drawn illustrations of the one and only MC New York, Makaveli risen again, Mr. Tupac Amuru Shakur or simply, 2Pac

MOMENT OF TRUTH: hand-drawn illustrations of Gang Starr: Mr. Baldhead Slick and Primo , GURU and DJ Premier

HALF-MAN, HALF-AMAZIN’: hand-drawn illustrations of Nasir Jones, The rapper Nasty Nas, Nas Escobar in all his glory, and simply Nas to those of us that hold him dear

A MOTHERF**KING RAP PHENOMENON : hand-drawn illustrations of Mr. Christopher Wallace, Frank White himself, Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G.