Art: Hip Hop’s Sketching Sensation Will Prince

There are a lot of people in the hip-hop culture who all try to do the same things. Content becomes over-saturated and it’s hard for people to stand out. This is not the case, however, for Will Prince. The artist draws one-of-a-kind cartoons of hip-hop artists and has paved a lane of his own. The twenty-year-old London native would get lost in his own little world and create cartoon characters, drawing anything from ninja monkeys to banana agents. This interest was inspired with help from TV shows and movies such as “The Iron Giant,” “Kamen Rider,” and “Medabots.” Around the time when Kanye released “The College Dropout,” Prince really started to get into hip-hop music. He was influenced so much by Kanye in particular that he would come up with his own covers for Ye’s singles and albums. Cudi was his next big interest and he started uploading his portrait drawings onto YouTube with music to them. These were soon spotted by Mike Waxx, a head honcho of the hip-hop blog illRoots, and Prince was doing work for the site in no time. This expanded his knowledge, exposure, and the range of artists he would draw.

One of his biggest breaks yet, and his favorite drawing he’s done so far, came recently when he drew the cover for Asher Roth’s latest project “Pabst & Jazz.” The inspiration for the artwork came from multiple places. One was Asher’s “Gotta Get Up” video, where he took a screenshot of the video and used it as a photo reference. The other inspiration came from the poster for the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” He wanted to have that trippy feeling with strong expressive colors. There’s even a bit of a Big Lebowski aura to Asher on the cover. Prince adds, “I still think it’s mad scrolling through iTunes and I see an Asher Roth project with my artwork.” This wasn’t the first time an artist has recognized Prince’s talent, though. The first time someone reached out to him was when Kid Cudi hit him up on myspace back in the day before “Day N Nite” blew up. Take a look at some of Prince’s sketches here and you’ll immediately understand why this kid should be huge.