Friday, March 9, 2012
Today is the 15th Anniversary of the death of Biggie Smalls. I chose to honour his life the best way I know how: with a slice of metal and a jeweller's saw. I wanted to include a Biggie-inspired necklace in the Love & Money show at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in December 2010, but unfortunately I didn't finish it on time. Actually, aside from a couple of crude sketches, I never even got around to starting it. Armed with a dozen saw blades and a fresh new sheet of brass plate, I decided to spend the entire day listening to Ready to Die in it's entirety over and over for about five straight hours while I got the job done. The pendant reads Things Done Changed. Which is my favourite Biggie track. Which includes my favourite Biggie line: Because the streets is a short stop / Either you're slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot. I credit the moment I heard that song, that line, as the moment I started to pay attention to rap; the moment I began to value it as storytelling, social commentary, as something I needed to know about. Lyrically, it might not be Biggie at his best, but if that line doesn't smack you across the face, then I don't know what to tell ya. The pendant is carved entirely by hand. After making a sketch of the lettering, I stuck the sketch onto the metal, and started by sawing out the inner negative space, like this: As a personal challenge, I like to carve the whole thing out in one piece. If the lettering is done right, it's usually works out and I don't have to solder or connect any parts together. After it's all carved out, whatever's left of the sketch is peeled off, the edges are filed, and I attach some chain to the top. I probably won't wear it.
Posted by Ghostface Knittah at 12:26 PM