Guest Star: "We Emphasized His Sky-Walking Ability On The Cover"
Monday, Dec 12, 2011 5:30PM
[With their new David Thompson album finally on store shelves, Kooley High's Charlie Smarts and DJ Digitz break down the science behind the project's eye-catching cover art.]
One thing with Kooley High, we have all bases covered. We talked to [our cover art designer] Helen Shaffer, and we were like, "We want it to encapsulate a feeling."
We don't exactly use design terms, symmetry and things of that nature. We know how we feel when we see it. So we'll see something and we'll tell her a feeling that we get from it. We'll try to steer her into the direction so that everybody's happy.
When you're dealing with a group, you have a whole bunch of opinions. So if you can get through the gauntlet of opinions from everybody, you're going to have a dope piece of art. That's pretty much what happened.
We talked to Helen and it's a cooperative thing. She does most of the work but we all share ideas about the work. That's how you come out with that. -Charlie Smarts
As far as the cover, if you look at all of our artwork and stuff, we try to incorporate a vintage and retro feel. Most of our stuff has some quirky designs and elements to it. They're very artistic.
A lot of cats just have their picture on the cover with just the name of the album. We really never do that. We usually try to do something from left field as far as an interesting and intriguing element. This cover is definitely a representation of that ideal.
It really has that vintage feel but the colors pop and we wanted to have [former North Carolina State University basketball player] David Thompson on [the cover] and we were feeling how the background print is stars and birds. It has almost like an atmospheric, galaxy feel to it and then you have David Thompson just floating up there.
We emphasized his sky-walking ability on there. That was kind of our idea for the cover. -DJ Ill Digitz
Kooley High is composed of six former N.C. State University students, who met on campus by way of hip hop. They started out as a student-run hip hop organization, known as H2O. The North Carolina group is made up of three MCs, Charlie Smarts, Tab-One, and Rapsody, two producers, Foolery and The Sinopsis, and a DJ, Ill Digitz. In 2008, they were introduced in the documentary "One Day" filmed, edited and directed by Napoleon Wright II founder of BecauseUs. Tab-One and Charlie Smarts are also in the hip hop band Inflowential. Rapsody is signed to 9th Wonder's JAMLA Records / It's a Wonderful World.