Gettin’ Down With The ‘Kings,’ As Crowned By Borbay

On Wednesday night, after a glut of media coverage and unanimously positive reviews, artist Borbay closed the showing of his #KingsOfHipHop show at Publicis Modem in NYC. His collection depicts the seven arguably most successful hip-hop artists working today, wryly using reclaimed headlines from the New York Post -- known for its sensationalist, alarmist stance on hip-hop culture -- to enshrine the very figures the paper often vilifies.

I was lucky enough to have a final private viewing of the collection with the artist (who was recently named Time Out New York's "Most Creative New Yorker") as he explained the thought process behind each piece, and the collection as a whole -- an algorithm that saw him predicting the Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings list with near-perfect acccuracy.

Photos do not do justice to what I stood mere inches from. The work was painstaking in its detail, perfect in its imperfection, and boundless in the room it left for interpretation -- an especially impressive feat for works so visually busy.


Borbay himself did not disappoint, proving even more endlessly quotable than that classic comedy The Color Purple, with random thoughts on everything from live music ("I'm very uncomfortable with people singing in front of me") to dietary choices ("I have a problem with the idea of soup -- I drink liquids and eat solids"). Still, fascinating (and, yes, hilarious) idiosyncracies aside, this is absolutely someone you'd want to have a beer with, given the chance.

But if the opportunity never presents itself, you should see about viewing the #Kings series. Or what's left of it, at least. They're selling like crazy -- I walked away with one (and may come back for another). Wanna guess which I chose?

More importantly, which would you?

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