Major Project 1

Updated: Apr 12

Project's theme ideas:

  • HipHop Music Artists (modern/old school)

  • Basketball (NBA)

Question Ideas:

  • How has Hip-Hop influenced graphic design today?

  • Hip-Hop marketing history

  • Hip-Hop Artists with a message- How they portray that message

  • What factors influence the design on NBA jerseys

  • Music artists album covers

  • NBA website

  • How can visual communication influence people's thoughts on an album cover?

  • How can visual communication on an album cover inform people of the contents etc?

Hip-Hop Artists with a message- How they portray that message

Political Rap through history

Context on what's happening at the time

Album Covers


Clothing designs

Social Media posts

Magazine Covers/ Spreads

Wikipedia Political Hip-Hop: "In hip hop music, political hip hop, or political rap, is a form developed in the 1980s, inspired by 1970s political preachers such as The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron. Public Enemy were the first political hip hop group to gain commercial success.[1]Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released the first socio-political rap song in 1982, named The Message, which inspired many rappers to address social and political topics."-


Tupac Shakur

Kanye West

Public Enemy

A Tribe Called Quest


Kendrick Lamar

Lil Wayne

Joey Bada$$



Gil Scott Heron

Childish Gambino

Run the Jewels

Black Panthers

Louis Theroux programme

Music Videos

East Coast Vs West Coast

Rodney King Riots

Albums that reflect the politics of race:

Primary research:

Surveys (Surveymonkey)


Design studio/Gallery

Reddit/Social Media

Secondary research:

Books and Magazines

Online articles

TV Programmes or BBC Sounds


"Pulse of the People: Political Rap Music and Black Politics"- Lakeyta M. Bonnette-Bailey

The Birth of Hip-Hop

The roots of rapping

Thousands of years ago in Africa “griots”, where village story tellers who played basic handmade instruments while they told stories of their family and local current events. This style of talking while music is playing is rap music as we know it at its root form. The griot is still a major form of communication in Africa still to this day.

This griot tradition carried over when Africans were captured against their will, transported to America & forced into slavery. One way they would cope with the tremendous amount of pain & heartbreak of slavery would be to sing. While they were working in the fields they would often sing using “call to answer”. One leader would call out a certain part of a song and the rest of the slaves would answer with the next line. In modern times performing artists call this emceeing or crowd participation.

DJ Kool Herc

On August 11, 1973 in the Bronx, New York history was about to be made. DJ Kool Herc (now known as the first DJ & founding father of hip hop) & his sister Cindy began hosting back to school parties in the recreation room of their building. It was these gatherings that would spark the beginning of a new culture we know today as Hip-Hop. One night during DJ Kool Herc’s set he tried something new he called “merry go round”. He used two turntables playing the same break beat section of the James Brown record “clap your hands”. When one turntable would finish playing the section he would switch to the other turntable and play the same section. This allowed him to extend that section of the song as long as he wanted. This technique is now referenced to as looping and is used by record producers in almost every beat.

As DJ Kool Herc continued to do more parties he realized that speaking on the mic was just as important to keeping a party live as DJing was. In order to keep up with the demands of the crowd he reached out to his good friend Coke La Rock to be the first dedicated MC of these parties. During one of these parties Coke La Rock spit his very first bar, ” There’s not a man that can’t be thrown, not a horse that can’t be rode, a bull that can’t be stopped, there’s not a disco that I Coke La Rock can’t rock”. This one bar made Coke La Rock the very first rapper in Hip-Hop and birthed a new genre of music we know today as Rap music.

What record companies thought was just a fad rapidly grew into the most popular music genre of this decade. Rap music’s beginnings were humble and focused on bringing families together and uplifting each other’s spirits in times of heartache and pain.

Kool Herc discovered a way to emphasise the "break" (the part of a record where the kick drum is most prominent) to get inner-city kids on the dance floor at his parties, and used this point to mix one song with another, with the help of two turntables. Throw in his "rapping" – rhythmic announcements that later became the sole job of the master of ceremony, or MC – and you have the revolutionary birth of hip-hop music.