"The Wedding at Cana" in the Music Industry

What are the common point between the rapper Logic and the couple Beyoncé/Jay-Z aka the Carters?

They both went to the Louvre Museum in France, and were inspired by the space for their music, but mostly, they both used the The Wedding at Cana painted by the artist Veronese. One was used for the videoclip, the other for an album cover. And one literally presented the painting as it is while the other slightly changed it.

Yes, I know: I have already talked about the Carter’s use of art in Apeshit, and the previous post was dedicated to Logic’s suicide prevention song (which I did not know it was). In two months, I have found twice The Wedding at Cana used in the music industry, without looking for it. Personally, I think it is really interesting that whatever topic relating to art and music in the U.S., I always find them linked with the same artists or the same art works. There are other relations that I will talk to you about later if you sign up to this letter; but for the moment, I will only focus on this painting. There are specifics reasons why the artists used this particular painting.

It’s Popular

Just as The Assumption of the Virgin by the Titien, The Wedding at Cana is one of those paintings where people might not remember the title, the author, or where they saw it; but could definitively recall. These works were painted in the 16th century in Italy, which correspond to the Renaissance, one of the most popular moment in Art History. Moreover, Titien and Veronese were famous artists that are still highly respected and considered as Masters. Finally, The Wedding is exhibited at the Louvre in the Denon Aisle, 1st floor, Room 711. This room is also called the Mona Lisa room. For obvious reasons, this part of the museum is the most visited one, and The Wedding is situated right next to it. For all these reasons, this is certainly why people recall The Wedding at Cana without exactly knowing about it. As artists themselves, the Carters and Logic want their message to be accessible for their fans. This is why they choose pictures that people can recognize.

It has multiple meanings

In their use of the painting, the Carters and Logic changes the initial meaning of the painting. Although there is a wedding, it is really hard to find the newlyweds, don’t you think? The reason is that the main topic in this picture is biblical. Indeed, in the Bible, the wedding is the moment where Christ, in the center, just accomplished his first miracle by changing the water into wine.

Yet, the central figure of Christ is accompanied by more trivial details. He is surrounded by people dressed in luxurious garnishments, either playing music, dancing, or eating and drinking in profusion in a fancy antiquity-style architecture. It is a wedding after all, which rhymes (not literally) with celebration and feast!

The reason why artists would take inspiration or reproduce The Wedding is less because of the themes rather than its visual appearance.

It’s crowded here

In Apeshit’s videoclip, the Carters used the over representation of the human figure to denounce how poorly black figures are represented in the tradition of western art. By doing close ups, they show what is missing.

For his album cover, Logic uses it in a more positive way. Explaining the story behind the album cover on his website, Sam Spratt, the artist who worked on the cover shares that the rapper it was breathtaking seeing it. Indeed, the painting is impressively 6,77 m high (266,5 inch) by 9, 94 m large (391,3 inch), which is more than human size (and much bigger than Mona Lisa btw). Seeing a big painting depicting so much people, Logic felt it was the perfect inspiration for his album Everybody which ambitious project was to represent everyone’s struggle. For the cover, he wanted to represent literally every person who worked on the album with him, or who were important to him.

Even if the Louvre’s website indicates that Veronese might have been helped by his brother, the artist outperformed a painting with 130 persons in a such complex and detailed composition in only 15 months. In comparison, considering the information and the technology accessible nowadays which can facilitate the work, it took approximately an entire year for Sam Spratt to create the cover that depicts a little bit more than 80 persons.

Because of its history, its theme that is easily reinterpretable and its composition, The Wedding at Cana is certainly a classical painting that can be easily reproduced and parodied for different contexts. Apeshit and Everybody’s cover are two examples within the music industry, but I am sure there is more.

Keep your eyes open!

Did you know...

  
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-4:10

When I feel sad, I like to listen sad songs.

It can sounds strange but listening to sad songs makes me feel better.
I am sure you know the feeling. So I was in this mood to listen to sad songs, and my streaming platform played Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255”.
Did you know this number was the suicide prevention hotline?
This song was released two years ago already so I guess if you are an American citizen, or if you speak fluent English you knew about the topic a long time ago.

.
.
.

As a non American citizen, learning English for real for a few years, I am used to listening to American songs that I like even without understanding them. Or should I precise without fully understanding the lyrics.

By the beat, the tone of voice, and the few words I would catch, I understand what a song is about.
In the case of “1-800-273-8255”, I knew it was about a guy so depressed that he wanted to die at the beginning of the song and fortunately changed his mind at the end. I literally thought like that, but did not think for one second about the key word “suicide”.

I guess I did not think of this situation as a suicidal attempt/prevention because where I grew up this issue is rarely publicly addressed, especially in rap songs.

Yet, even if I did not get the suicide prevention topic, I felt what it was about. I just did not put a word on it.
For me, music is this universal language that can be understood beyond words.
I listened to American singers as Sean Paul and Michael Jackson when I was a kid. I was doing what I call “yogurt”, that is to say noises that sounds like the words I hear or interpretations of the words I hear with one of my own language.
Then, I would go on the Internet to look at the translation of the lyrics. I never got disappointed. Understanding what is said in a song would just reinforce the pleasure, because I did not understand but I knew.

Now, luckily, I am to the point where I do not need to go on the Internet to understand the lyrics of a song. I just need to pay attention to understand it, which I do not always do because when listening to sad song when I am sad, I am not looking for a meaning, I just want to feel.

Take care,
The Wild Kid.

Share The Wild Kid Approach


Next, we will keep going with Logic but focusing more on his album cover Everybody, which “1-800-273-8255” is part of.




Missy Elliott - DripDemeanor

feat. Sum1

While the whole music world seems to focus all its attention on Kanye West’s new album/movie Jesus is King, I want to talk about other news on a big figure in the rap world.

Missy Elliott’s success

Missy Elliott has been doing music for more than 20 years now. Rapper, songwriter, producer for her own music, she also worked with big figures such as Timberland, and some famous artists such as Whitney Houston. In other words, she doesn’t have anything to prove. The importance of her contribution to the Hip Hop genre has recently been recognized by the  Berklee College of Music which gave her, along with Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire, a Honorary Doctorate Degrees.

Recently, Missy released the video of the song DripDemeanor, from her new album Iconology (, where she appears in featuring with Sum1)

DripDemeanor video: “Missy classic” but not extraordinary

I would say that the clip is quite “Missy classic”. She, being at the center of the frame with a group of dancers behind her is not really exceptional for the music industry in general. I think what is proper to Missy is her dress style, which in her videos is always original and fashionable. There are different costumes, but the main style is a really tight jumpsuit in leather, with chains. Missy Elliott’s themes mainly talk about women empowerment, body positivity, and sexuality altogether. Missy claims the hyper sexualization of the costumes and choreography, especially since the song is all about sex.

A surprising end

Although I enjoy the song, I didn’t really like the video, which in my opinion is not as successful as She’s A B**ch  or The Rain. I would not have talked about this clip if it wasn’t for the end, at the 4’08” minute.

We get to see a sophisticated woman explaining the portrait of “the Queen of the Queen” to a little girl. Similarly to for The Carter, art is once again used to establish the authority of an artist, but approached differently in this context.

First of all, let’s agree that Missy was queen before Beyoncé, and is actually one of those who opened up/cleared the way for the generation of women singer after her.

Now that has been said, the context is different because in an imaginary museum, in white space with only three paintings recognizable: Missy’s portrait, the scream Edward munch and a Pollock. The portrait remind me of a mix between conquerants and royal portraits because the face is represented in profile, with royal attributes more or less re-actualized: the crown, the strass costumes and the golds jewelries.

I am not quite sure of the meaning of the others paintings, but it could simply be the representation of some of the most famous and parodied paintings in Art History.

Or does it simply symbolize the interest of Missy for the painting? What do you think?

Fashion & Music

Collaborations between designer and rappers

This week, I won’t talk about music specifically, but about an aspect of music, through the scope of a fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, whose work is not limited to fashion but also connects to other worlds as architecture, marketing, and music.

Retrospective of a Fashion Designer at the MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (MCA) offered the public the first retrospective of the multi-talented artist Virgil Abloh. Displayed from June until September 2019, the exhibition titled “Virgil Abloh: ‘Figures of Speech’ ” brought a lot of people to the museum (more than 100, 000), which makes this show the third successful exhibition ever at the MCA, after David Bowie’s and Takashi Murakami’s. However, it is important to notice that Virgil Abloh’s exhibition didn’t just attract people from different backgrounds. Above all, it attracted a lot of young people, which is not that common.

The exhibition “Figures of Speech” presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago recounts the rising career of Virgil Abloh who, from a degree in architecture in Chicago, Illinois, became in 2008 the artistic director of the famous luxury brand Louis Vuitton based in Milan.

The link with the music, do you ask?

The style!

The Importance of Clothes in The Music Industry

After the beat and the lyrics, I think that nothing is more important for a rapper than their style. Sometimes, the latter is even prioritized over the quality of the music… I won’t give names though; I’m not this kind of person.

Over his career, Virgil Abloh did a lot of collaborations with rappers, with his most famous one being Kanye West. Abloh and West met during an internship at Fendi, another italian fashion company. Abloh worked for a time with West and collaborated on the cover for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album Watch the Throne. Yet, the two men followed their own path and had the career that we know today.

Despite the fact that he is the first black director for the Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection, Virgil Abloh is famous for mixing things that are theoretically opposed: “high” and “low”culture, and in the case of fashion, luxe and streetwear. His work is also characteristic of the culture of appropriation, where something already existing is taken over, parodied or transformed. A good example is this three meters long belt from the Off-White collection that looks like industrial ribbons.

The belt, which has been promoted by Wiz Khalifa who wore one, was pinned on the wall for the exhibition, like a painting or a sculpture. You can also buy one on the internet for the little amount of $200… I am telling you: the style is everything

Although, the gallery dedicated to Abloh’s commitment in the music industry showed that the artist’s fashion identity goes beyond clothes. It is a whole life style, that goes well with famous rappers’ one; that is to say pretending to be subversive while being stylish and wearing expensive clothes.  Next to the belt was a portrait of Chicago artist Chief Keef wearing a tee-shirt imitating the brand Supreme, but whose box logo has been readapted with the colors of the Pan-African flag, red, black, and green.

Virgil Abloh’s work, and somehow also his success, reflects that, nowdays, and more than ever, the Hip Hop culture is not only about lyrics or credibility. The clothes rappers choose to wear express their identity and their political ideas.


I see this newsletter as a space of sharing (since we can’t really talk right). So if you have any artist or song you’d like me to talk about, don’t hesitate to answer this email!!!

The Carters and the Louvre

Rewriting History with Art

Hi everybody!

In my last post introducing the purpose of this newsletter, I used the Carters’ song “Apeshit” as an example, but without going further. I didn’t want to drown you under too much information from the beginning because when we start talking about the Carters – i.e. Beyoncé and Jay-Z –  and their artistic work, there is a lot to say!

The video for “Apeshit” was mainly filmed in the Louvre museum, in Paris. By using a place symbolizing the occidental colonialism, the message of Jay-Z and Beyoncé seems pretty clear: it is all about their accomplishments as Afro American artists in the face of the western culture, built on white supremacy.

Going apeshit meaning going crazy, Beyoncé and Jay-Z break the conventional rules and present their success by showing off in one of the most important art institution in the world, but also create an interesting dialogue between them and majors art works that they carefully chose.

During the six minutes of the video, Beyoncé and Jay-Z construct a whole narration of the liberation of blackness through a dozen art works within the museum. Today, I choose to present you four of them.

Three icons reunited in one place

After few close shots situating the viewer in the Louvre, the worldwide famous museum in Paris, the artists appear side by side turning their back on Leonardo da Vinci’s painting.

This first depiction of the couple is really powerful. Usually, people go to the Louvre to see this masterpiece. Just as Mona Lisa, Jay-Z and Beyoncé can be seen as living icons of our society, and they affirm themselves as such by turning their back to it.

Majesty Queen B

One of the key artworks they use is The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of Empress Joséphine, by Jacques-Louis David which is a huge painting representing the moment Emperor Napoléon I crowns his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. Dancing along with eight other dancers, Queen B places herself just under the Empress.

We could see this scene of blacks dancers below a royal painting as a denunciation of colonialism – Napoléon I being known to be an incessant conqueror– but we would forget that, although the Empress Joséphine was white, she was born and raised in Martinique, a French colony. From her mother’s side, Beyoncé has also some French creole roots, and as Joséphine and Napoléon before them, she and her husband worked hard to succeed. The difference between Joséphine and Beyoncé is that the last did not need a man to proclaim herself as the Queen.

Black People Leadership

For his verse, Jay-Z is standing in front of The Raft of Medusa. In this picture the painter, Théodore Géricault, depicted the moment when the people who survived the wreck see a boat that could save them. Géricault, who was against slavery, chose to paint a black man as the figurehead of this representation of hope.

More than Jay-Z himself, who is a successful singer and businessman, the black figure in the painting is used to affirm that, despite the suffering they had to go through, black people can also be leaders.

From slavery to freedom

The viewer has to wait almost until the end of the video to finally see a black person as the main subject of the image. Titled, Portrait of a Black Woman, the painting was realized in 1800 by Marie-Guillemine Benoist. This kind of depiction of a black woman was rare for this period. It is even more powerful that the artist was a woman. Finally, I would add that if in 1800 slavery had been abolished for six years, a law reestablished it in 1802. As Beyoncé says in the song, they “made it” but through a continuous fight for black people’s freedom over centuries.

The Carters used the Louvre to rewrite an history of black power through, and with art. From the beginning to the end of the video, the black figures initially relegated in the second, or even third foreground, progressively emerge from the shadows and conquer their own space.

If you want to read more about how this video is a ideologic statement with high aesthetic qualities, click on this link.


I see this newsletter as a space of sharing (since we can’t really talk right). So if you have any artist or song you’d like me to talk about, don’t hesitate to reach me out!!!

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