Hip-Hop History at MoMA

In a video for the museum's "Looking at Music 3.0" exhibit, Cey Adams discuses the evolution of the genre through the lens of his experience as Def Jam's creative director. Watch here.

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Cey Adams (the BVX)

Visual artist Cey Adams was doing graffiti on trains when he was discovered by a young Russell Simmons. He went on to serve as Def Jam Records' creative director for 25 years. And now he's hooked up with the Museum of Modern Art to talk about his unique experience.

The BVX reports that Adams was behind classic album covers like Run-DMC's "Tougher Than Leather," LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ready to Die" and Jay-Z's "Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life."

In a video created for MoMA: PS1's "Looking at Music 3.0"  exhibition, he traces hip-hop's evolution from being gritty, underground and New York-centric to the global force it is today. He's uniquely qualified because he's been around the entire time.

"Everybody was on the hustle, whether you were an up-and-coming artist or musician or graffiti artist. We were all kinda scrambling to try to make our name," he said.

Watch the video here.

 

Read more at the BVX.

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