BASQUIAT & HIP-HOP! 12 Rappers Who Painted Words About The Famous Artist (PHOTOS)

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If you’re an art-lover or simply a fan of the late-and-great artist known as Jean-Michel Basquait, then you know today (August 12) is the anniversary of his untimely death. Basquiat died at the age of 27 – due to a heroin overdose – at his art studio in New York City’s NoHo neighborhood.

The iconic artist – who was of Haitian-American and Afro-Puerto Rican descent – was a self-taught artist whose creativity manifested from graffiti on the streets of NY to neo-expressionism in world-renown art galleries. His creative style consisted of the fusion of different elements – like the incorporation of words – that interloped with social themes or commentary.

Basquiat once said:

“Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star. I’d think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix… I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous.”

And that same romantic feeling about how his heroes became famous definitely resonates with him, especially in the world of hip-hop. Appreciation for the Brooklyn-born artist has come from rappers like J. Cole, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and of course Jay Z who’s periodically name-dropped the painter in a plethora of rhymes.

This being the 25th anniversary of his death, we at GlobalGrind decided to compile a list of rappers whose fascination about the artist and his work led them to make reference to him in their respective lyrics.

Check out the list below!

1.  J. Cole

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“Rich Niggaz”

 It’s like Sony signed Basquiat/ He gave it all he got/ And now the nigga don’t paint the same, damn.

2.  ASAP Rocky

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“Phoenix”

Painting vivid pictures, call me Basquiat Picasso.

3. Lil Wayne

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Mystikal’s “Paper Cuts”

Young Money Weezy/ B-gang bi-otch/ Abstract artist, call me Basquiat.

4. Rick Ross

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LIl Wayne’s “John”

Red on the wall, Basquiat when I paint.

5. Macklemore

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“Ten Thousand Hours”

See, I observed Escher/ I love Basquiat/ I watched Keith Haring/ You see I studied art/ The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint/ The greats were great cause they paint a lot.

6. Danny Brown

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“Die Like A Rock Star”

Basquiat freestyle, feeling like Jimi Hendrix and Anna-Nicole mouth.

7. Busta Rhymes

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Wiz Khalifa’s “Different Cloth”

Please appreciate this art and this Basquiat that I’m painting.

Raekwon’s “MTV Cribs”

Rare art of Basquiat feeding fruit to Madonna.

8. Common

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Hit-Boy’s “Make Something”

From Basquiat to Nasty Nas, we paint pictures.

9. Nas

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“Land of the Promise”

Promised Land I picture Porsches, Basquiat Portraits.

10.  Swizz Beatz

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“Street Knock”

Basquiats on my wall, Goddamn I’m fly.

“That Oprah”

I am a big boss/ Boy, get lost/ My new Basquiat, H.O.V know what that cost.

“Bang, Bang”

Well if you like me, this the shit you like to knock on your yachts/ Boat shoes on, walls full of Basquiats.

11. Kanye West

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“That’s My Bitch”

She say I care more about them basquions/ Basquiats, she learning a new word, it’s yacht.

12. Jay Z

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“Illest Motherfucker Alive”

When I say it then you see, it ain’t only in the music/ Basquiats, Warhols serving as my muses.

Rick Ross’ “3 Kingz”

Millions on the wall in all my rooms/ Niggas couldn’t fuck with my daughter’s room/ Niggas couldn’t walk in my daughter’s socks/ Banksy bitches, Basquiat.

“Most Kingz”

Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire/ Everybody took shots, hit my body up, I’m tired.

“Ain’t I”

I got Warhol’s on my hall’s walls/ I got Basquiat’s in the lobby of my spot.

“Picasso Baby”

Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner/ Go ‘head lean on that shit Blue, you own it.

It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel.

“BBC”

Versace plates/ Got the Basquiat collab from Versace’s place.

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On the chorus of Jay Z’s “Oceans,” Frank Ocean sings:

I hope my black skin don’t dirt this white tuxedo before the Basquiat show.

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