See Inside the Mind of the Man Who Made the “Rap Yearbook” (Video)
Last month, writer Shea Serrano released The Rap Yearbook, an illustrated guide to the best Hip-Hop songs of every year, beginning with 1979. In addition to the classic high-school yearbook format, the book also includes charts, illustrations, and extensive notes that explain the thinking process behind each song’s being chosen to represent its year of release. Featuring a foreword by Ice-T and illustrations from Arturo Torres, the book has been a huge success, becoming a New York Times bestseller and a Washington Post bestseller. In celebration of his achievement, Serrano visited Fader, who invited him to participate in a unique interview, done in the form of a live illustration serving as a road map to the book’s creation, and the journey is fascinating to watch.
The nearly 3-minute illustrated interview features Serrano answering five questions, the answers to which he both illustrated and vocalized. With a Sharpie and some blank paper, Serrano’s words about things like where he’s from and his favorite music come to life quite literally, and he draws everything from his home state of Texas, Vanilla Ice, a family portrait, and much more. It’s a quirky and whimsical package that helps readers visualize where the man behind the book’s uniquely creative concept formed, and while he is not a professional illustrator, his drawings are relatable, illustrative, and just plain fun. Check out the one-of-a-kind interview below.