By Joe Lynch for Billboard | In the comics realm, crossovers are as common as a superhero delivering a cheesy riposte while fighting a bad guy. There are crossovers between titles, universes and even different comic book publishers.
This year, however, saw the ultimate collision of awesome when Marvel met hip-hop via a series of comic covers that paid homage to classic rap albums.
Today, Billboard revealed three new covers in that series. Above, cast your wondering gaze upon Contest of Champions recast as GZA’s cover art for his classic Liquid Swords album (one of the finest solo Wu-Tang Clan outings ever). This cover art was done by Denys Cowan (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks) and Chris Sotomayor (colors), and will be available in October.
Above, see The Mighty Thor rendered as MF Doom & Madlib’s underground masterpiece Madvilliany; below, check out Hercules done in the style of Lil B’s Black Flame mixtape. Theotis Jones created the Lil B art, while Mike Deodato Jr. did the Madvillian homage. Both of those will be on sale in November.
“The outpouring of love from hip-hop fans, global music-centric websites, as well as musical luminaries like Nas, Run the Jewels, Posdnuos, Questlove, DMC, and Pete Rock speaks volumes about the ongoing cross-cultural dialog that prompted these homage covers,” Marvel Comics EIC Axel Alonso tells Billboard. “That dialog will only increase as readers get the full picture of Marvel’s offerings in the coming year, and see what lurks beneath the covers.”
ON SALE: POLYVERSAL SOULS – INVISIBLE JOY
During the mid to late ’00s, Max Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Bros) was in deep study: after spending five years with Krautrock legends and “world music” pioneers Embryo on a 500 concert European and African bus tour, he visited South East Asia, where he studied classical Burmese Saing Waing music. This trip was followed by a time in London, living and playing with fellow Now-Again artists the Heliocentrics. He had studied with former Sun Ra Arkestra members in the USA before, in 2010, taking his first trip to Ghana, the deciding point to create his Philophon label. And to record all the music for his Ghanaian counterparts, Max formed a new Berlin-based band, The Polyversal Souls. The city’s vital music scene gave him the chance to bring together excellent musicians with a common passion and interest for sounds from all around the world. And now, Polyversal Souls’ debut album Invisible Joy – a manifest of what Max calls “21st century soul power.”
The album’s first track “Yelle Be Bobre” features Ghanaian griot Guy One on vocals.
New Madlib coming this Friday/Saturday. We hinted a while ago at a new Madlib production with a yet-unnamed MC. We’re dropping a track later this week in the Rappcats newsletter and presenting the limited 12-inch EP in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Where: Chicago. Friday, July 17. Madlib performs at The Mid, where he will be joined onstage by the MC (and it’s not you who think it is.) Records will be for sale in the venue, where Hit & Run will be live-printing the sleeves. TICKETS. Note: This show will be followed by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago on July 19.
Where: Los Angeles. Saturday, July 18. Rappcats, 5636 York Blvd, 12PM-4PM. We’ll have these records along with everything else on the Madlib Invazion catalog in a one-day record store pop-up.
The record is 3 vocal tracks plus bonus beats and instrumentals – 9 tracks in all. Sleeves are hand-printed by Hit & Run with artwork by Gustavo Eandi and Jeff Jank – about 10 variations of each sleeve. These will be numbered, with 150 in Chicago and 150 in L.A. Another few hundred are currently being printed and will be available on Rappcats website later this summer.