Merriam-Webster defines the term history as a chronological record of significant events often including an explanation of their cause. According to this definition, one could compare history to an experience. Which is something Hip-Hop fans from all generations can relate to. Do you remember where you were the day Kanye West declared,“George Bush doesn’t like black people”? Or how about the day Dipset released Diplomatic Immunity? Throughout the years, rap has proven to be a staple within the world of entertainment and brought forth some of the biggest records and intriguing moments to date.
As Hip-Hop continues to evolve and dominate the Billboard Charts, it’s important to honor the history that emerged from the culture.With Rap365, Vancouver-based street artist Mega McGrath and graphic designer Lauren Coutts bring your favorite lyrics to life to help you honor that history.
“RAP365 is an in depth look at rap music through the ages – a genre that transcended the boundaries of a style of music, and became a culture.”
Mega began scripting at a young age and shares below how her sister’s love of Hip Hop grew into her street art:
Jaz: How did you get into scripting and what inspired you to incorporate Hip Hop into that arena?
Mega: Growing up I was an avid doodler but instead of drawing faces or anything I would always draw letters, words or lyrics. Naturally it kind of took to the music I was always listening to and growing up I had a sister who loved Hip Hop and I would go in her room and steal her Wu-Tang CD’s and stuff. Then I would go listen to them and write out the lyrics so it has just been something I’ve always really done. That eventually translated into my street art project because growing up I felt like these (lyrics) needed to be publicly displayed and I wanted to do that.
Jaz: Can you tell me any Hip Hop artist and or album that has been the inspiration behind your work?
Mega: There are so many amazing artist and albums that have served as inspiration. Nas is a huge one. Obviously Illmatic was a great album. Jay-Z…like I love vintage.
Jay-Z, I think he was so good when he was younger. I love Reasonable Doubt. The Black Album was really inspiring. I think he is one of the best lyricists. Biggie obviously…Pac is a bit harder to quote because he is more of a storyteller. It’s different with every artist but I would definitely say Nas and Jay-Z are the most inspiring because they’re so recognizable. You know it’s their line right away.
Jaz: Aside from the Rap365, what other Hip Hop scripting projects have you developed?
Mega: There are two t-shirts and a clothing line I’m working on right now with a guy here who has a company called Dipt and they make the t-shirts for Vancouver merchandise essentially. Aside from other avenues it’s just the street art and the calendar.
Jaz: Hip Hop has been around for over 30 years now with so many moments emerging day by day. What was the origin behind the 365 day calendar?
Mega: The essences of it is a chance to celebrate and pay homage to a culture that brought you up whether if you grew up in the 80’s, 90’s, or 2000’s –rap meant something to you because you loved it and I think it’s important to honor that history as the culture grows older and we don’t forget all of the things that have happened in the past. Essentially, it’s a day by day breakdown that allows you to celebrate some of your favorite moments and favorite album releases, birthdays, death anniversaries and everything that has happened within the 30-40 years of Rap Music. There is so much that has gone down so it gives you the opportunity to honor that and pay homage to that every single day.
Jaz: Nice. Now, you don’t have to provide all of them, but can you share any Hip Hop moments that are highlighted within the calendar?
Mega: My favorite, favorite, favorite one I think is like September 5, 2005 when Kanye West was on live TV and he said “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” That was one of favorite things. Wu-Tang releasing 36 Chambers, 3 6 Mafia winning an Academy Award, the day College Dropout was released. That just happened recently also. The day that J Dilla died and the day he released Donuts. The day Dipset put out Diplomatic Immunity…there are just so many.
Jaz: Ok, now can you name me three Hip Hop albums that come to mind instantly?
Mega: Jay-Z –Reasonable Doubt, Migos –Culture and Kanye West –Late Registration
Jaz: Zodiac Sign?
Are you feeling any 90’s rap nostalgia yet? You can see more of Mega’s street art and purchase the Rap365 calendar by clicking here.