Hip-Hop Bop Picasso Baby
The innumerable art references in JAY Z’s song “Picasso Baby”
December 20, 2017
“Uh, I just want a Picasso in my casa,” the beginning of the second song on “Magna Carta… Holy Grail,” begins the story for one of the most artistically influenced songs hip-hop/rap has come to know.
Back in 2013, JAY Z released the cover for the eminent album, “Magna Carta… Holy Grail” as a display in The Salisbury Cathedral in the United Kingdom. The Salisbury Cathedral houses one of four surviving Magna Carta documents of 1215 and the album cover was displayed directly adjacent to the document for months.
Hip/hop-rap album cover creator out of New York, Ari Marcopoulos, arranged the album cover for JAY Z. Marcopoulos included a dark black print of JAY Z’s name overlapping a photographed image of the subtle black and white faded Italian marble sculpture, “Alpheus and Arethusa.”
Marcopoulos allowed the honesty in which he interpreted from the array of cultures displayed throughout the streets of New York, to create a platform for a boundless album.
JAY Z was directly inspired by his album cover in the song, “Picasso Baby.” His often provocative lyrics found a moment of sunshine in remarks such as, “sleeping every night next to Mona Lisa… House like the Louvre or the Tate Modern.” References to other artists include, “Leonardo Da Vinci flows Riccardo Tisci Givenchy clothes… I’m the new Jean Michel, surrounded by Warhol’s.”
JAY Z finishes the song with, “I’m the modern day Pablo… Picasso, baby.”