BLACK LANDLORD is a local band I love for many reasons. They're hip hop, funk, and all Philly. They're fun, intelligent, and full of many talented musicians. In college, I was a Goats fan, so I really like what MAXx is doing this go round. He is backed by a full-on funk band (one of them being their mega-talented, multi-instrument playing sax man Ken).
I was supposed to get some sample work to the band well over a year ago, but for one reason or another, I just couldn't decide on what approach to take. I had a cartoon character of MAXx, sinsiter looking, like he'd scare the rent out of you. But Ken said they wanted to project more of a fun vibe. So when I had some down time betwen yesterday and today (about 6.5 hours), I used a concept from an earlier drawing I did, but took a much more fun approach. I drew it in pencil first, then ink, then scanned it and did the colors in Photoshop. I'm not sure if they're going to use the art for anything, but I threw some quick text on here to push their show. You should go if you even remotely like hip hop or funk music. It's always a great time. CLICK HERE for info on the show.
There have been a few quotes on their myspace page with "landlordy" sayings like "Rent is Due" and "Apartment for Rent." So that stuck in my mind. I took the landlord concept and made a really cartoony version of MAXx as a puppeteer, pulling on the strings of Philly houses and projects. I pooled my influences from a few different places: the band itself, Maurice Sendak (as I often do), Miles Davis' "On the Corner" album cover, photos I found online of Philly projects, my own photos of rowhomes, and Max Fliescher type dancing houses from the old-tymie cartoons.
Also, every second I was drawing this, I was listening to music to fuel me. Here is a sort of mix tape of some of the songs I was listening to while doing this:
No War (live in Rittenhouse Square) - Black Landlord
Hard Times - David Fathead Newman
Daylight - Aesop Rock
In Walked Bud - Thelonious Monk
Concrete Jungle - Bob Marley & the Wailers
Confessions of a Pig - Monkey
Today Was a Good Day - Ice Cube
Summertime - Billy Stewart
In the Ghetto - Eric B & Rakim
Compared to What - Les MacCann & Eddie Harris
Dear God - Black Landlord
My Automobile - Parliament