File Under Illustration

The Microphone Explodes

for The Vera Project

Knowmads is rap duo based out of Los Angeles made up of Tom Pepe and Tom Wilson. In discussing their work, Pepe prides himself on making "brutally honest hip hop music," and appreciates that "rap has allowed me to tell my truth to thousands of people I have never met." The duo's intent to use music that is powerful, passionate, and true1 served as the inspiration for this image.2

1. A "truth bomb," if you will.
2. I also couldn't get the opening of Rage Against the Machine's song "Bulls on Parade" out of my head. "The microphone explodes, shattering the molds."

One of my favorite things about creative work is the way that concepts morph and evolve across projects. It's the sentiment behind Charles Eames' famous "We work because it's a chain reaction" quote. If you look closely at my sketches for the KEXP Turn It Up project, you'll see where the seeds of this idea were planted. A concept that falls flat for one project can become the perfect realization of an idea for another, so never throw away those sketches, y'all.

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