For this episode, your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is joined by designer, photographer, illustrator, film director, fashion designer, Mario “Khalif” Butterfield to talk about the branding and marketing history behind Detroit hip-hop. We get into how he first found himself in the Detroit hip-hop scene as a designer and photographer, who he met, what he learned, and how he networked throughout the city. Once he got comfortable in his skills, he was able to help improve the visual aspects of Detroit hip-hop starting in the mid 90s advocating that the full product package is important for a music artist.
Mario Butterfield has designed a vast amount of album covers for Detroit hip-hop artist under his own name and under the skinnyboysgrafix company that he started with Waajeed. You’ve probably seen his work (many examples below). He shared a lot of lessons he’s learned about design and photography, and how it was implemented into many of the Detroit classic hip-hop albums we all love. So many great stories told in this album because Mario Butterfield was always around and observed a lot, so we get a historical take of Detroit from another perspective.
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