For me Hip Hop and Anime is life and when you mix those two elements together it creates a something that is nothing less then dope. Not to long ago while searching thru my IG page I came across one of the best art works I have seen in years.
I mean look at it..Cudi rocking Asuma’s Gear! I mean this shit is really dope work and me being a Otaku I was first jealous because I suck ass at drawing and second I was captivated by the superb detail in each drawing. So after a few minutes of searching I found the man behind the jutsu.
Jordan Charles or better known by his pen Name Peezy. We spoke with Peezy about Hip Hop and Anime , his online success and influences.
IHHR: What was the first Anime you ever watched?
Peezy: Tenchi Muyo! I remember coming home from school, turning on Cartoon Network and see this odd looking cartoon. Then I remember seeing titties damn near popping out here and there. My young my mind was confused and didn’t know what kind of cartoon this was. However, I slowly began to adapt over time. I started reading Naruto before watching Tenchi Muyo, but at the time I didn’t know what manga and anime styled cartoons were. I just though comics were comics, and cartoons were cartoons.
IHHR: What was the first thing you have ever drawn?
Peezy: I’ve been drawing all of my life. So I can’t remember way back to the beginning. But I’ll always remember the story my family always tells to me and others. My mom said I would draw things way beyond the level of my peers back in preschool. While the other kids were drawings scribbles, I would draw people, animals, and vehicles. So the first thing I remember drawing is a firetruck. But my mom said shortly after starting preschool I started drawing scribbles instead of the normal objects I would draw. She assumes it’s because I saw what the other kids were drawing and thought what I was drawing wasn’t “right” so I began to copy them to fit in.
IHHR: Goes with the saying that kids have impressionable minds. Do you have any influences?
Peezy: Many influences! Every creative has them. By trade, I’m an
architectural designer working towards getting licensed. And as you know, I do illustrations and anime/manga based works on the side. So my influences are a bit split. But in the realm of anime/manga I’ve been influenced heavily by Akira Toriyama, Masashi Kishimoto, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki, and Takashi Murakami to name the ones at the top of my head. But I’m also influenced daily by the art I see people post on Tumblr. People way better than I am in terms of skill and technique. I only hope to progress and grow and hopefully be able to look back at my work and say I’m better now.
IHHR: What gave you the genius Idea of the Naruto Crossover illustrations?
Peezy: Man, I’m not sure of the exact occurrence of the revelation, but I remember thinking about the Kendrick and Cole album. I was like “Yo, will this mess ever drop?”. During my brief moment of anger and desire for the artist’s collab, a bulb went off in my head to make a short manga with Kendrick and Cole. I figured that would appease me for the moment. However, as life always does, it reminded that I don’t have the time for that. Since comics take time in general to do seriously (and I wanted to do a serious one) I had to come up with an alternative. So I eventually just made Kendrick and Cole Naruto characters. They were the first.
IHHR: So lets say That Cole and Kendrick had a battled as Shinobi who would pick to win?
Peezy: That’s not fair man. I hate being forced into these scenarios. Well if I take a step back to try and quickly assess each one as shinobi right off rip I would see Kendrick being extremely versatile (as he is as a musician). This is part of the reason I made him Sasuke and further more an Uchiha. This isn’t suggesting that Kendrick “copies” like an Uchiha but that he can utilize multiple flows the same way that an Uchiha can utilize multiple techniques.
Cole is more direct, less use of symbolism and metaphoric veils so in this token I see him as Naruto. But that wasn’t the question, you want to know who would win. Man, it could end up just like Sasuke and Naruto. Both going at it and both suffering the same injuries resulting in a draw. If a winner had to be chosen and there couldn’t be a draw, in a shinobi world, I think Kendrick might have that W. I think versatility would go far in the ninja world. Also, Kendrick’s home village would be notorious in the ninja world for its harsh environment and coming up out of there alive would be an achievement within itself.
IHHR: Did you expect such a big response to your work?
Peezy: Not at all. It was all purely for my enjoyment, which is why I didn’t put my signature on it initially. I didn’t even post it online right away. After I came up with the Cole and Kendrick versions I showed them to a friend asked what he thought. After getting praise from him I continued adding characters to the list. Eventually I had enough to just post them in bulk. So I posted them to my Twitter first, trying to get the attention of one of the artists. No one bit. It didn’t get any traction really other than a few re tweets and favorites/likes. A few months passed and I decided to come back to Tumblr (since I took a nice break). As soon as I posted the pic on Tumblr, it took off.
IHHR: I actually saw your first pic on Cudi’s IG and I flipped! Have any other artist re tweeted or responded to your work?
Peezy: Lupe re tweeted it not too long ago! I was too geeked. It wasn’t from my page though, it was from someone else s page. I tried to hit him up like “Yoo! That was me!”. But my tweet got drowned out in the midst of everyone’s responses. I was pissed at first that he didn’t know it was from me but it’s all good, it’s still cool knowing he saw the work.
IHHR: Damn still dope and Lupe is a smart dude so I am sure he knows whats up. So who do you listen too?
Peezy: My current playlist has Cole and Kendrick, of course, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, Jay Rock, Lupe, Joe Budden, Bad Meets Evil, Obie Trice, Kanye, DMX, Cozz, Bas, Big Sean, Ryhmefest, Childish Gambino, Fabolous, Chamillionaire, MF DOOM, Frank Ocean, Schoolboy Q, Chance the Rapper, D12, Jay Z, Nas, Pusha T, Outkast, Cudi, A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd, Bryson Tiller, Young Dro, Jadakiss, and Sisqo (Don’t judge me. That Unleash The Dragon has a hold on me)
IHHR: Lol Sisqo had some lo key jams so you good. We discussed before the interview my issues with some of the the choices..Like desecrating my beloved Orochimaru..Have you been getting any negative feedback?
Peezy: LOL Desecrating! But yes, like you, others have not been happy with some of the choices I’ve made. I’ve been called an idiot more times than I can count. Some people wanted Fetty Wap to be Kakashi, Bronson to be Choji, Hopsin to be eradicated from the images all together yet alone be classified as the genius Neji, etc. I try to stress to people that I’m not making scientific decisions with the choices, it’s all for fun. Some people have more similarities with this pairs and others only share surface level similarities.
But because of some of the disagreements I actually wanna do multiple versions of some characters. That way the people that wanted to see alternative versions can. (As a side comment, I was surprised to see how many people didn’t know who the rappers were at all – like Gambino and Earl. It wasn’t a matter of recognition because I had the titles of each character listed, but people genuinely didn’t know who they were as musicians. A lot of people didn’t know who PaRappa was as well.)
IHHR: How long does it take to create your illustrations
Peezy: It all depends on the characters. Some characters are very easy if they have easily identifiable traits. But some artists are a bit harder to get the resemblance down so I’ll probably spend a lot of time on something small like eyes trying to get the resemblance to show. On average though, it’ll take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. So not terribly long at all.
IHHR: Would you consider ever doing a manga or comic?
Peezy: Hell yeah! The only thing I need is time. If you read stories about how long it takes the pro mangaka to complete their works it’s insane. But even they have assistants. They have someone working on tones, someone working on backgrounds, someone working on characters, etc. So if someone came to me with a proposal like “Yo, if I give you X amount of cash and a few assistants, would you produce your manga?” I would be on it. I have a few ideas already locked in the chamber.
IHHR: Do you take request and do you sell any of your prints
Peezy: I do take requests! But everything is determined by the amount of free time at the moment. So if I’m good on time, I’m all over requests. But if I’m busy then I’ll be a little reluctant. I let every know at the time though when they ask. And at the moment I have a few prints available for sell here: https://society6.com/robopeezy I think I’m going to start handling the prints myself though in the near future to cut out the middle man.
IHHR: So what will be your next cross over or project?
Peezy: I haven’t quite decided yet – I’ve gotten a lot of requests for One Piece, Bleach and DBZ. I think I’m leaning toward DBZ just because I don’t follow One Piece and Bleach as closely as I would like to for crossover material. Or there’s always the option of dividing the focus and instead of focusing on one series mix it up with multiple series. I’ll have to decide eventually.
IHHR: Anything you would like to say to all of your followers?
Peezy: Everyone else that follows me for the support and love. It feels good to do something that brings you enjoyment and have it resonate with others at the same time.