Trail By merely glancing at T. L. ‘s Paper Trail album cover, one may Just see a portrait of the rapper and find themselves completely blind of the cultural ideologies and messages being conveyed through the art. Upon taking a first look of the album, the collage of papers depicting the artist seems simplistic, but in reality, a deeper look at the art reveals the portrayal of cultural ideologies, the Impact of society on hip hop artists, and defiant Identities.
All of these themes presented on the album cover have n equal influence on the artist’s appeal to his audience and the representation of his identity on a larger scale. Ian Wright, the Illustrator of the album cover, combined scrap paper and money In the collage to create the Image of T. L. Depicting the rapper In this way actualities a relationship with the title of the album, Paper Trail. By creating a collage likeness of the rapper, Wright was able to literally define the meaning of title of the album with scrap paper.
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This image of various artistic elements making up the portrait metaphorically Illustrates the Idea that T. I. Is Influenced by many different aspects In he world. If the image of T. L. Was merely a straightforward picture taken of him, the audience would not get the full effect of his influences coming from many different places to make up who he truly is. One aspect of who he truly Is follows traits of a hustler. The use of money along with paper scraps to make up this collage shows the Importance of money In his life and in the hip hop culture.
As a self-proclaimed hustler, T. L. Draws upon this cultural ideology of the importance of money through his album art. The idea of being a hustler has become Increasingly more popular In the lives of Black males. This Importance partially stems from the way that mass media teaches young Black males that money is everything and the way that it is made doesn’t matter (Hooks 17). This importance attributed to materialistic values has made hustling for money by any means necessary more acceptable In the hip hop culture, creating ease In T. . ‘s depiction of Its Importance. The ideas depicted on the cover of his post prison album gave greater power to T. L. When establishing an appeal to his target audience. As he went through trials in his life, some people shunned his behavior and perhaps even the hustler lifestyle hat he represented. The judgments passed on the rapper follow a mainstream ideology of society that was hugely influenced by mass media shown in the article, “Hippo and Race. The media described hip hop as created by “poor young blacks in the inner city” who didn’t fit into the mainstream society (Morgan and Fischer 510). This Idea that society took on has had a huge Influence on the perception of hip hop culture and the artists associated with it. This societal effect on the hip hop culture creates a link between T. L. ‘s musical and personal attributes and his target audience- 1 OFF his connection to the audience illustrates how many people can relate to T. L. In the way that he was Judged by society as a misfit.
Many hip hop supporters encompassing his target audience can identify with his experiences in the ways that they have not been fully accepted into society because of their skin color, beliefs, background, sexual orientation, or gender. By identifying a common struggle with his fans, T. L. Is able to appeal to his target audience before they even hear his music. All of the aspects of who T. L. Truly is as a person and rapper were depicted on his album cover in a way that yelled to the oral, “This is me! This straight forward and unapologetic manner of presenting his self-identity was shown through the chosen typography of the title on the cover. The bold black font presented the ideas of the cover in a way that showed T. L. Has confirmed his identity and is confident in what that identity contains. His defiance in displaying his identity reflects the idea that he is not like everyone else in his social class or hip hop cultural group. When many social scientists studied the urban class in the past, they would often link together many completely different types of people onto that one class (Kelley 137).
Ian Wright’s ability to illustrate the different parts of T. L. Through a collage proves how unrealistic it is for the urban class or any group of people to be linked together based on their socio-economic status or the neighborhood they reside in because each person is made up of so many completely different aspects. T. L. ‘s ability to show that his identity was created by many different aspects of his environment offers confidence to his target audience in being able to proudly show their true identities and prove that they don’t exemplify all stereotypes created by society.
Through the use of creative artistry in collaring and bold typography, the message that T. L. Was looking to convey through his album cover was effective. It proved his ability to relate and appeal to his target audience by drawing upon trends and cultural ideology. By presenting a collage of the artist with many different elements, the album cover was able to speak of the hybridism of T. L. ‘s personality, background, and influences. This representation bolstered the power that the rapper has in relating to his target audience and defining the relationship between society and people in the hip hop culture.