June 12th, 2012
Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Snapshot
Snapshot: Jay-Z, Diddy, and Kanye West by KAI for ‘Now Royalty’
By Claire


Jay-Z, Kanye West, Diddy, and more as Royalty, rendered by LA artist, KAI. He says, “I guess the ‘Now Royalty’ collection brought my art into a new light, which is going to be fun and will be interesting to see what happens. I hope it will open some creative doors for me. I just want to keep going back in the studio and create more work. Whatever comes of it, I’ll be thankful for.” Read more about the project in Dazed, and see close ups here:


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34 comments

34 Responses to “Snapshot: Jay-Z, Diddy, and Kanye West by KAI for ‘Now Royalty’”

  1. Katie says:

    Why did the artist use European Royalty? There are plenty of West African royalties. O_o

    And do we need another reason to inflate these rappers’ egos?

  2. Shayla says:

    Am I the only one who thinks he made them look gay? Especially Jay-Z looking sweet with his hand on his hip…?

  3. lol….I can appreciate art as much as the next person, especially because Im an artist myself….but this is just weird…..

  4. A-Danielle says:

    I thought the same thing Shayla.

    Jay looks like he’s saying Diddy you are serving in that hat hunty *3snaps in z formation*

  5. Deb says:

    Jay’s head looks too small for the body….or am I the only one seeing that…LOL
    Diddy and West are dead on

  6. A says:

    Jay-Z’s hand isn’t on his hip. It’s in his pocket. It’s an allusion to traditional portraits of European royalty.

  7. D says:

    Laughing at all of the responses!!! and Deb I thought the same thing about the “disproportionate” head on J…!

  8. Lola Grace says:

    Omg JayZ looks awful. Laughing at his small head & pose. I could def see him snapping his fingers & sashaying away lol.

  9. Enigma says:

    I couldn’t put my finger on why Jay-Z portrait looked off but it’s the disproportionate head!

  10. Ayana says:

    Ok so Jay Z looks real Gay!! like he’s secretly saying ” How U Doing?” (Rasphusha voice) * LoL… And poor Diddy & Kanye there photos suites there Over the top personalities very WELL… Also agreed with @Katie

  11. TeeMarie says:

    Guess I’m alone on this one.. it’ weird, but kinda dope. I’d hang it in my apt.. lol

  12. Ms.Missy says:

    Ok…Im glad I wasnt the only one thinking these pics are giving me a GAY vibe….not so much Diddy’s but JayZ n Ye….SMH!

    Im w/Katie about why the have to be European Royalty? There are plenty of West African royalties!

  13. Savage says:

    Looking gay?!?!?! Ok this is too much, google renaissance art…I can agree with @Katie on the Euro Royalty tip though.

  14. wallflower says:

    They’re a little weird, but I like them. I also like the comparison between entertainment stars and European royalty.

  15. Queen B says:

    Although these poses are similar to that of European Royalty, the art still has a feminine vibe to it. The European artists’ rendition of royalty was always regal and affluent. These look gay.

  16. Cee says:

    His pieces are a more literal translation of the works of Kehinde Wiley. Kudos on the efforts of the young man– but I’d personally like to see his work a little more refined and more original.

  17. RF says:

    @ Cee, I second that opinion. Still an amateur that Mr Kai, go back to school and pick up some more skills.

  18. Nikki says:

    They’re cool. As to why the artist channeled Euro Royalty instead of West African kings, or even the ancient Pharoahs, do any of these artists seem to want anything to do with African culture? I think they’d be more honored by the Euro royalty parallel than a West African one, tbh.

  19. Marthe says:

    I totally agree with Nikki. I don’t think these american rappers even feel a touch with Africa. The West-African royalty link would be nice with some musicians who really respect Africa, not these overexposed men who like to call themselves “n***a’s”. I like the concept, I’m studying my exam of history for finals and I really laughed at this because I see the same thing here again. Jay Z is totally Henry the VIII !

  20. Dionne says:

    Kehinde Wiley has been doing this, so when I first saw it I thought it was his work. Nevertheless, I like the artist’s play on history.

  21. Lisa says:

    Great idea but I totally agree with Nikki and Marthe. They don’t deserve to be linked to African Royalty…

  22. Anna says:

    People not condoning their white friends for using the N-word and actually encouraging the use of this painful word, people parading with trashy women and wanting to marry them : They should not be portrayed as African Kings nor any King. They are garbage no matter the size of their bank accounts.

  23. Tammy says:

    @Dionne I had to double take as I thought it was Kehinde Wiley’s work as well. P.S. I hate how Jay-Z was depicted.

  24. Shayla says:

    It’s not just the hand on the hip with Jay-Z, it’s also how his mouth is turned. I sense shade.

  25. Dash says:

    Kehinde has done the same concepts but with far better execution. These are far too sketchy for my liking. They need vibrancy in color, more contrast, and more depth. These are just hip hop heads on faux euro-royal bodies.

  26. Kayla says:

    I thought Jay-Z was Andre Leon Talley! lol.

  27. mi manning says:

    gay, gay, and more gay!

  28. whatevs says:

    @Anna we are ><…why do we continue to put these men on a pedstal I'll never know…I wouldn't pick this mess up at the dollar store…

  29. Tammy says:

    whatevs is funny

  30. Tammy says:

    But I disagree, not gay.

  31. Izhause says:

    Lmao at A-Danielle’s dead on statement!

  32. Izhause says:

    Maybe Diddy needs to jump in jays photo instead.

  33. Indigo says:

    This nonsense needs to STOP!! “Watch the Throne” was one of the worse albums of 2011! It a nice coaster though. These dudes are really believing their own hype.. And their music is suffering because they feel they don’t have to put in work anymore,just show up.. GTFOH! They forgot the job we pay them for. I don’t care how many units they push,because we all know it’s all politics with “them”..

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