The Classics is a series of gallery styled events in Washingston D.C. aiming to
bring visibility to and celebrate the role that iconic album cover artwork has played as a cross-cultural communicator, between artists and fans, specifically within the genres of Rap, Soul/Funk, and Reggae music.
Today, part 4 of the series – Reggae – will go down at Lounge of III 1013 Ust NW, between 7pm-12am.
As with all Classic events, for the Reggae event, too, there is a special mixtape to download (put together by DJ 2-Tone Jones), a special drink menu (e.g. including a »Super Cat« and a »Jimmy Cliff« this time), and a bunch of interviews to support the event.
Besides the one with Afflicted Yard, my favourite interview is the one with Jim DeBarros, a designer from New York City (now Vice President of Off Air Creative for MTV) who created the identity for Super Cat’s first US releases and who e.g. talks about how much creative control he had when working on Super Cat cover art:
Other than the choice of the photos, talent was pretty hands off. Marketing just wanted to make sure that his name was big enough to be read. [...] I had some liberty. Outside of being asked to keep an ‘urban’ look, there wasn’t that much input from management or marketing. Cat had one specific request that the photographer I hire not be gay and that we not shoot any red bricks since they don’t exist in Kingston.