kuba art kuba art
Kuba

Go Inside The Mind Of Kuba: An Artist Who Combines Pokemon And Hip Hop

The up and coming pixel artist has gotten attention from some of hip hop's biggest names. 

Jakub Jablonka, better known as Kuba, is a young artist who specializes in pixel art. He has gained a large following on Instagram for his brilliant idea to combine his favorite rappers with Pokemon. The simple thought has caught the attention of some pretty prominent artists such as Joey Bada$$, Travi$ Scott, and Theophilus London. The young artist is just beginning on a long career ahead into art greatness.

The pictures, which at first seem easy and simple, are actually incredibly detailed. Kuba takes his favorite musical artists, and designs their likeness from scratch in a way that emulates exactly how they would look as a trainer in the Pokemon video game. They are then matched with a faithful character companion that is chosen from a combination of what color schemes match up well together and what that specific person's personality or persona is like.

“The way I match them up is either I’ll choose what they think they will be with like something they say in their raps, like Joey Badass said ‘Young scorcher trying to evolve like Charmeleon’ so it just made sense to match them together,” Kuba said.

Jozif Badmon with Charmeleon

A photo posted by @mindofkuba on

Sometimes it isn't even what they say but instead Kuba takes into account what the artist's unique vibes are. However, his art is very peculiar -- and in order for the picture to look as clean as possible he needs to make sure the sprites match up well together. For his Travi$ Scott one there was really only one viable option for what Pokemon he would use: the flame horse Ponyta.

"The reason I chose Ponyta for Travi$ [Scott] was because the whole Western, Wild West, rodeo vibe, and the flames all that stuff just tied into together," Kuba said. "And the reason I chose Ponyta over Rapidash was because the way I was making Travis at the time it looks very 8-bit and the Rapidash looked too advanced for the way I made him.”

La Flame with Ponyta

A photo posted by @mindofkuba on

Streetwear plays a large roll in his art as well. Kuba loves fashion and he incorporates some of his artists exact detailed outfits into their spirit. On the Travi$ picture you can see he is wearing the Supreme T-shirt that featured a picture of Morrissey wearing the iconic box logo on the front of the shirt. This tee was a coveted purchase earlier this year and had hyp beasts going crazy to try and nab it back during its original release.

The detailed art can take Kuba anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete. It takes practice and intense concentration. He mentions how much better he has gotten and you can really see it in the progression of his art. There are many people out there trying to steal his idea, but the difference in Kuba's skill, and what is surely technique, is evident when you look at a side by side comparison.

What really got Kuba on the map was specifically his relationship with Theophilus London. Theo has reposted Kuba's work and even made it his Twitter avatar for a while. One of his best ones, Kuba praises Theo for being one of the main reasons he has any sort of following today.

"Theophilus London was really the first person to help me out. The whole time during his crazy fight with Ian Connor, my art was his twitter picture," Kuba said. "I got a lot of publicity, the timing was just ridiculous."

Kuba said that he hit Theophilus up on Instagram and once they got in contact a relationship was built. Theo originally asked to be with the Pokemon Mew but at the time Kuba wasn't doing repeats and had already made one of himself with Mew. He offered up Mewtwo and Theo was all about it. The Theo/Mewtwo graphic shows the legendary music artist/fashion icon with his signature mask and everything.

"I ended up doing Theo with a bunch of other Pokemon actually. We had a little project that was suppose to happen but it ended up falling through," Kuba said.

Theo with Mewtwo

A photo posted by @mindofkuba on

Along with his famed Pokemon pictures, Kuba also creates eerie pixel art of different settings and locations. He is really into carnivals, and says he gets a ton of inspiration from pre-2000 horror movies. The old films help to capture a specific aura that he successfully emulates in his art.

"The reason I do these certain specific other images, I always wanted to find some other art account that has everything that pertains to my interests," Kuba said. "I could never find it. I love carnivals, horror movies, so I get a lot of fans from those as well. The desert ones too, the whole Travis theme is dope."

vibe

A photo posted by @mindofkuba on

No doubt his art is benefited from the recent Pokemon Go phenomena, but Kuba actually doesn't "f*ck much with Pokemon Go." He says it has brought out a number of phony Pokemon fans, he talks about how people use to give him shit for playing the old Pokemon games on his Gameboy color, but now that its "cool" people are all about Pokemon now. Kuba is all all about being genuine.

Kuba has big plans on the horizon. He is continuing to roll out new pieces of art, his latest being a second version of Travis Scott featuring the Bull Pokemon Tauros. You can see how he custom made the desert background which gives a good look into his style for his other types of art.

Travis Scott with Tauros

A photo posted by @mindofkuba on

He is a humble dude who appreciates all his fans who have stuck with him from the beginning. Keep your eye on him and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter @mindofkuba. You won't regret it.

From the Web

More on Vibe

YouTube

Premiere: Discover KAMAUU's Lyrical Gems In "Bamboo" Visual

KAMAUU's latest video "Bamboo" is all about growth with a healthy dose of lyrical vitamins for the soul.

Directed by Child, we find the elusive artist in nature's garden sharing the fruits of his evolution. With his tribe close by (the producer of "Bamboo" DJ dashMOON makes a cameo), it's clear KAMAUU's mission to become his best self doesn't leave behind his day ones.

The mission is also rooted throughout the track. As the opener to his latest EP MíXD GRēēNS, the production of the track was made with detailed precision. There are lines like "Same time, keep a sane mind Sane mind keep a safe mine," and the dizi flute, also known as a Chinese transverse flute heard on the track– which also happens to be made of bamboo. It's just one of many mindful choices on MíXD GRēēNS, making it impossible to put KAMAUU in a musical category.

But "Bamboo" also carries a message of moving and growing with purpose. “The song ‘bamboo’ is about focusing and being aggressive in my evolution and the shedding of my lesser self,” KAMAUU shared with VIBE.

Previously known as KAMAU, the Brooklyn-based artist has lived many lives in the art space. In 2016, he released A Gorgeous Fortune EP which spawned the favorable jam"Jusfayu" garnering over 10 million streams. His powerful song "The Icarus" was also featured on The Birth of a Nation: The Inspired By Album. 

The VIBE NEXT alum would go on to release his debut album TheKAMAUU-CASSETTE: ŭRTH GōLD with more than enough favorable tunes like MĭNT ft. Talibah Safiya, GRā (GReY) ft. Nkō Khélí and BŭRGŭNDí.

Enjoy "Bamboo" below.

Continue Reading

Missy Elliott Continues To Push Visual Boundaries With “Throw It Back” Music Video

In 2003, Missy Elliott won her first Video Music Award for “Work It.” During her speech, the Virginia native said, “I’d like to thank God for giving me the talent and a creative mind.” Fast-forward 16 years later, and the music legend’s creativity has garnered her the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which she’ll receive at MTV’s annual showcase on Monday (Aug. 26).

To keep the momentum on a thousand, Elliott not only released a five-track EP titled ICONOLOGY, but she also dropped the video for the project’s lead track “Throw It Back.” The choreography is on full display from Earth to the moon, keeping in line with Elliott’s captivating moves and otherworldly creative direction.

#ThrowItBack VIDEO OUT EVERYWHERE!!!!SUPA FLAMES!🔥🔥🔥That #DRIPDEMEANOR SLAP SO HARD I promise💦💦💦💦 😅🔥🔥🔥🔥👽#CoolOff gonna have ass shaking both ways🙌🏾🙌🏾🤣 & #WhyDoIStillLoveYou is good down souf sanging! Go stream ICONOLOGY NOW my sis @TEYANATAYLOR in my new video 🔥🙌🏾

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 23, 2019

The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee's project arrives 14 years after her last studio effort, The Cookbook. In 2015, the "Lose Control" rapper dropped a single titled "WTF (Where They From)" but since certain things in life will happen when it's meant to, 2019 proved to be the year of Missy Elliott domination.

Stream the full project below and watch the video above.

Continue Reading
Alberto E. Rodriguez

New Music Friday: Rapsody, Missy Elliott, Raphael Saadiq, Jeezy, Jidenna And More

This week in music, one of rap's brightest voices releases a concept album, an R&B/soul legend makes a powerful return, and a rap icon releases his swan song. Look below for this week's new releases by Rapsody, Missy Elliott, Raphael Saadiq and more.

Rapsody – Eve Rapsody earned a Grammy nomination and critical acclaim with her last album Laila's Wisdom, and she keeps up her lyrical and conceptual wit on her new record, Eve. Her new album clocks in at 16 tracks, each of them inspired by and named after a powerful, culturally significant black woman. The first single "Ibtihaj (feat. D'Angelo and GZA)" is named after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, and the J.Cole-assisted "Sojourner" was released as a loosie in 2018. But other subjects include Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Nina Simone and Michelle Obama. This album is less of a lesson in black history, and more of Rapsody channeling the spirits of her elders, whether they're deceased or otherwise, into the skill set that she has already harnessed so well before. With production by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council and guests such as Queen Latifah, Leikeli47, K.Roosevelt, Mereba, Elle Varner, SiR, JID and PJ Morton, Eve has the potential to be one of the top albums of the year. Apple Music | TIDAL

Missy Elliott – Iconology With Missy Elliot receiving multiple honors over the next few days with the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards and the opening of the Museum of Missy, she's decided to celebrate with a "collection of new songs" aptly titled Iconology. The five-song project is her first in 14 years, since the Grammy-nominated and well-reviewed The Cookbook in 2005.  Apple Music | TIDAL

Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee It's been eight years since Raphael Saadiq last dropped a solo album, but for the brilliant singer/songwriter, it's always worth the wait. Jimmy Lee sees Saadiq getting personal and conscious at the same time. He speaks about social issues like drug addiction and social injustice, but he doesn't just bring them up as blanket terms or news headlines: he shows how they've impacted or killed his loved ones, and how he deals with the pain from those experiences. The album's namesake is Saadiq's older brother, who died from a heroin overdose. The compelling subject matter is paired with Saadiq's musical expertise, mixing soul with gospel to make the pain and hope even more resonant. Apple Music | TIDAL

Jeezy – TM104: Legend of the Snowman Almost all of us can remember the first time we heard Jeezy's timeless debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, and now the snowman's rap career is coming to an end. TM104: Legend of the Snowman is the fourth of the Thug Motivation series, and the eighth and final album in his storied career. "Why call it a tracklist, when it's more like chapters to the greatest story ever told," Jeezy said while revealing the tracklist, which includes guest appearances by CeeLo Green, Rick Ross, Queen Naija, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend, Gunna, Ball Greezy, and Meek Mill, who appears on the single "MLK Blvd." Only time will tell if Jeezy sticks to his retirement, but taking him at his word, this is his swag song. Apple Music | TIDAL

Jidenna – 85 To Africa While many may know Jidenna from the suited and booted "Classic Man," his new album 85 To Africa sees him tapping into his Nigerian roots with Afrobeats production and songs about no-heel slippers ("Babouche"), Nigerian savings arrangements ("Sou Sou"), and beautiful, spiritual women ("Sufi Woman"). Guests on the album include GoldLink, Seun Kuti, Mr. Eazy, St. Beauty and Mereba. Apple Music | TIDAL

BROCKHAMPTON – Ginger After 2018's Iridescence, self-proclaimed boy band BROCKHAMPTON has released their latest album, Ginger. The 12-song, 44-minute album includes "Boy Bye," "If You Pray Right," and "I Been Born Again," and is being described by critics as "honest" and "transparent." Apple Music | TIDAL

Trae Tha Truth – Exhale Trae Tha Truth's latest album Exhale is the first of his 20-year career to not have any features. But he needs the time to himself, with the loss of his close friend ("Nipsey") and a custody battle over his 1-year-old daughter ("Letter 2 Truth") weighing heavily on his mind. Full of the pain-wrought raps his fans adore him for, Exhale is a worthy addition to the Houston rap titan's catalog. Apple Music | TIDAL

Zac Flewids feat. Sylvan Lacue – "Eyelids" Toronto's Zac Flewids teams up with Florida Man lyricist Sylvan Lacue, who we've been listening to since his stellar 2018 album Apologies In Advance, for their catchy new song, "Eyelids."

Kemba feat. Portugal. The Man – "The Feels" After his celebratory last single "Alive" with Eric Bellinger, Kemba turns things down with "The Feels," his new somber single. Equipped with a spaced-out soundbed by Black Milk and Brasstracks, Kemba gets vulnerable and speaks about depression, suicidal thoughts, and childhood traumas. Apple Music | TIDAL

Continue Reading

Top Stories