The Downrock Records
Hip hop, to me, is life. All my favourite things were introduced to me through hip hop culture. The Downrock Records is a network of all my favourite things from sports, street style, film and television and, of course, hip hop music. I hope you like what you find here as much as I like sharing what I love with all of you. - Simon Thompson
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Saturday, October 5, 2019
If you're not familiar with hip hop, you don't know the deep connections between the street culture and pop or fan culture.
Since it's humble beginnings in the run-down sections of the Bronx in New York, it's early artists dreamt about reconciling their style with the heroes in the pages of comic books, film and television. Often, straight-up copying a popular moniker or replicating whole outfits as costumes to entertain at underground parties.
The tradition hasn't changed. Whether it be members of the Wu-Tang Clan who've borrowed a lot from old Kung-Fu movies and comic book lore, like Ironman. To artists such as MF Doom, who's known to sample soundtracks from classic cartoons and movies.
One of my favourite people, an artist himself, I'm very envious of is Deep of 2 Hungry Bros. fame who's a multimedia wizard, creating art in the form of music, video, graphics and more.
I got down with him to talk about one of our favourite hobbies, comic books.
The Downrock: What is your favourite comic book title?
Deep: Right now, I am always looking forward to reading Wildstorm, the Ellis reboot, or Injection, whenever he opts to restart that again. For someone who's collected as long as I have, one title, name drop won't suffice.
I'm always looking for anything Johnathan Hickman writes for Grant Morrison. I would really love for Hickman to start up Black Monday Murders again.
The Downrock: Who is your favourite writer?
Deep: Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison are my favourite OGs. Ellis is always throwing stuff you oughtta lookup because nothing is filler and he does so much research to put into his books.
Grant Morrison is also like that and incorporates his magic ideologies into his writing and that's why you get mind fucked most of the time. I can't wait for his Green Lantern run with Liam Sharp to begin.
Johnathan Hickman has to be my favourite, relatively, new guy. What he did with Fanatastic Four and Avengers is mind-blowing. I loved the dualities of Dr. Doom and Reed Richards presented in Secret Wars. I can say so much about Hickman. Manhattan Projects was Hilariously entertaining and Black Monday Murders, really puts capitalism in perspective. But for great lighthearted reads, I was really going in on Gleason's Superman and Supersons.
The Downrock: Who's your favourite artist?
Deep: Chris Bachalo was my favourite artist for a long time. Oliver Coipel on Magic Order is killing it. Mike Del Mundo is reppin' for the culture on Thor but I don't know if it fits the book.
Stuart Immonen just retired so my favourite is a battle between Esad Ribic and Carey Nord.
The Downrock: What is your favourite local comic book shop?
Deep: My fave local shop was JH Universe especially Staten Island store because I worked there but I really love Royal Collectibles in Queens. Both are great social hubs that need a coffee shop or beer tap inside.
The Downrock: Do you tend to search out shops when you're in another city for a show?
Deep: Yeah, most definitely. And it's not just because I'm missing an issue, I just want to see what cats are digging in that city. Then to support the shop I'll buy something BPRD or Hellboy. Dark Horse takes forever to put there stuff into trade.
The Downrock: What do you tend to pick up? Do you go with ongoing series, mini-series, new titles or a mix of all?
Deep: Bro, everything that's dope. My regular pickups are Wildstorm, Magic Order, Avengers (Jason Aaron), Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo team up to get my son into comics and Teen Titans Go, for him. I also read a lot of Valian titles like Ninja K, Harbinger Wars, XO Manowar, Britannica.
The Downrock: Do you collect figures or statues?
Deep: I stopped. The prices doubled after 9-11 and the oil wars.
The Downrock: One of the best things about being a comic book fan today is the fact that we get to see them on the big screen. What's been your favourite flick over the past few years and why?
Deep: I find that I'm easier to satisfy and not so nit-picky when it comes to the on-screen live adaptations. Netflix Punisher is great, minus, awful soundtrack. I also love Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Michael Pena as comic relief. Winter Soldier was one of my favourite flicks.
The Downrock: Do you have a favourite classic comic book movie? Why do you like it?
Deep: I love Guillermo's Blade 2 and Hellboy. Sadly, Guillermo's Hellboy 2 was also Blade 2 which made me not like them. So, okay, nit picking. Unbreakable is a dope comic book movie because it's about the application of the rules of comic book lore brought into reality. Ie David Dunn is Bruce Willis' character and his name is alliterative.
The Downrock: You know I'm a fan of your music and the way you package and promote it, with your own original artwork and videos, most hip hop artists have comic fandom in common and claim to be influenced by it. Would you say it influences your own creativity? And how, if it does?
Deep: It does. In fact, we have a project called Dummies with PSO The Earthtone King coming out that is full-on nerdcore. It summarizes onscreen comic book fiction for people who act like they don't know or think they're too cool to watch what we fanboys love. On the 2 Hungry Bros. soundtrack, we already have two tracks already up called Star Wars for Dummies and Daredevil for Dummies.
I also did a mean single called Project Draw with Breez Evahflowin. Breez is an illustrator and actually did some work for Marvel books in the past. He did the art for the project and we did a whole campaign on Instagram two years ago for it where we dropped a beat and did a sketch of Marvel vs DC counterparts, duking it out. That was for 100 Days of Project Draw. My project with Breez is on http://deepof2hungrybros.bandcamp.com/ and it's called Deep Breez "Bring Out Your Dead".
The Downrock: What do you have coming up next?
Deep: I have another Deep Breez coming out soon with features this time from Punchline, UG, Von Pea, DJ Static and more which will be coming out via Icy Palms Records. But for right now it's about my beat tapes, latest being Theology Too.
(This interviews original post date is Sunday, October 7, 2018.)