ShrapKnel is a new joint rap project from long-time friends & collaborators Curly Castro (PHL) & PremRock (NYC), featuring a lush backdrop of beats provided by rising star ELUCID of Armand Hammer & veteran engineer/producer Willie Green.
Prem & Castro approached me in 2019 to create a bold aesthetic that would span the entirety of the release, including an LP with double-sided insert, a limited-run CD in four-panel Digipak packaging, & three digital singles to be released before the official rollout.
My goal was to create something just short of visually overwhelming that would reflect the bombastic nature of their incredible music. I wanted it to feel somewhat futuristic & modernist, but with vignettes of collage hinting at a greater narrative. In the end, I drew inspiration from a series of daily exercises I had done in April of 2019 to build a set of motifs — a loosely-implied grid, warped & recontextualized images of explosions, rectangular collage elements & thin geometric figures. The entire look is tied together by the looming presence of ISO 7010 – W002: the universal “warning, explosive material” symbol, which I’ve always thought was dope & was one of the first things that came to mind when I started working on the project.