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The Rap Lyric Embroidery Project Part 1

April 24, 2013

I love embroidery but I don’t care much for traditional flowers and whatnot on aprons (or whatever else people put this stuff on). It takes much more creative skill, in my mind, to combine “old school” imagery with the more modern graphics and words, and still make it cool looking. So when I came across this DMX embroidery “hoop art” a while back, it made me want to do something similar. I don’t listen to rap much, but if you take the words out of context there can be some very interesting lyrics. My brother-in-law (whom we shall refer to as Radd, Noran Radd) is a huge rap aficionado and was very excited to hear my idea and give me some of his favorite rap quotes.

From the list he gave me, I randomly started with this bit by Ice Cube from the song It Was A Good Day (I tried reading the lyrics, but I don’t get it, maybe it has to be heard instead of read… Noran will explain it to us). I think the most fun part of using rap lyrics is finding some silly graphic to pair with it that either plays on the meaning of the words or doesn’t go together at all. I found this rose from a flickr group called Vintage Embroidery Patterns, I didn’t think to keep the link to the actual image but it’s in there somewhere.

This time around I went to the trouble of hemming my fabric to make it a little wall hanging type deal. The canvas was much easier to embroider than the “feed sack” towel I used last time, and I think the zigzag print is really cool.

And now some insight form Noran!

What is the song about?

The song is titled “Today was a Good Day” by Ice Cube, 1993. Its about a day in the life of a young black male, in the early 90’s, in south central LA going through a regular day.

“Just wakin up in the mornin, gotta thank god, I don’t know why but today seems kinda odd, no barkin from the dog, no smog and momma cooked the breakfast with no hog.”

The song lays out the details of his day from morning till night, highlighting how fortunate he feels, everything fell into place. “Today I didn’t even have to use my AK, I gotta say it was a good day

What emotion does the wall hanging make you feel?

Happy. It makes me feel happy that I live in Nebraska, where its not commonplace to have shoot-outs in the street. Using an AK isn’t part of everyday life here. Still, one of my favorite songs.

Who would you consider to be the best rapper of all time?

Tupac Amaru Shakur.

We all know the story of Tupac, Tupac was a born the son of a Blank Panther, his rap career started out as a political statement but he quickly became one of the best poets to ever grace the microphone of hip hop, rap and r&b. The life of this influential actor and musician was cut short at the age 25, when he was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Many books and documentaries have been made chronically Tupac’s life, career, and death, I don’t know if I own more Tupac albums or documentaries.

But, the best rap group of all time is, of course, the Wu-Tang Clan. But that’s another story.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. The Oldest Sister permalink
    April 24, 2013 6:13 am

    What a beautiful RLEP!!!
    Excellent historical recap!!

    • April 24, 2013 6:17 am

      Aren’t you excited to have it hanging in your living room?!

  2. leuinda permalink
    April 24, 2013 6:00 pm

    This is awesome. I hesitate to show my husband because it will certainly turn his attention to my projects. He opened his latest play with a rap quote,
    “Okay. You want me in the cage.
    Then I’ll come out in beast mode.” ~Lil Wayne.

  3. July 8, 2013 10:50 am

    This is brilliant. I want to embroider rap too!


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