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Mos Def helping bring hip hop art gallery to South Bronx

The birthplace of hip hop is getting a new art gallery that plans to “highlight the fusion of visual art and hip-hop, hoping to usher in underrepresented artists from marginalized backgrounds and under-appreciated mediums, like graffiti,” Hyperallergic reports. It’s called The Compound, and it comes to the South Bronx in “late August.” Its founder is emcee-turned-entrepreneur Set Free Richardson, and he’s making it happen in partnership with Brooklyn rap legend Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def).

The first exhibition will feature the work of hip hop photographer Jonathan Mannion, whose work was used on iconic album covers by Jay-Z (Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint, and more), Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show), Nas (God’s Son), OutKast (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), The Game (The Documentary), and many more.

Here’s more from the Hyperallergic article:

Richardson founded The Compound in 2008 as a creative marketing agency and space for artistic production across genres. The location hosted a recording studio utilized by hip-hop industry heavy hitters like Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys, Jadakiss, and of course, Mos Def. The enterprise existed as a site for artistic cross-production, where musicians, graphic designers, photographers, and other artists could work and collaborate in a creative environment — decked out with Star Wars paraphernalia and vinyl KAWS figurines. An art collector himself, Richardson began working on expanding the company into a gallery to celebrate the synthesis of art and music.

“Once the developmental stages of building The Compound Gallery started, Yasiin expressed interest on being a partner. I could not have asked for a better person to partner up with,” he explains. Bey has been involved in The Compound since its inception as a creative agency almost a decade ago.

Read more here and stay tuned for more info on the opening.

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