Marvel Comics debuted new hip-hop variant covers by Mike Choi, Mahmud Asrar and Marco Rudy for three upcoming series -- "Guardians of Infinity" #1, "The Totally Awesome Hulk" #1 and "Venom: Space Knight" #1 -- on Uproxx.
In Rudy's "Guardians of Infinity" #1 variant, he homages "To Pimp a Butterfly" by Kendrick Lamar; Asrar was inspired by "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..." by Raekwon, and Choi drew from "Black Elvis/Lost in Space" by Kool Keith for "Venom: Space Knight" #1.
"At the very beginning of the process, we roped in a few artists we knew were hip-hop heads -- Sanford [Greene], Damion Scott, Juan Doe, Mike Del Mundo, Mahmud Asrar, etc. -- and did a lot of brainstorming about what iconic covers HAD to be included, which characters would work best for them, and that's when we nailed down homages to some of the most iconic covers: Sanford's 3 Feet High & Rising, Damion's Aquemini, Juan Doe's The Chronic, Mahmud's Long.Live.A$SAP," explained Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso. "That's also when we came up with the self-imposed rules, was that any recording artist that got a cover got just one cover, so we could pay homage to as many rappers -- and styles -- as possible. We could've done an homage to every single Tribe Called Quest album, you know what I"m saying?"
"As the project moved along, we shifted gears. [Assistant Editor] Chris Robinson, who assisted me and Rickey Purdin throughout the process, hatched a lot of ideas that made the cut, some of which came in discussions with artists. Other times, inspiration would hit. I was looking at the cover for Vince Staples' Summertime '06 and suddenly I saw 'Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' materializing in the hazy pattern," he added.
You can check out even more hip-hop variant covers in CBR's gallery.