Waajeed aka Jeedo

Waajeed Explores The Harmony Between Art And Music

Waajeed is no one-trick pony. He’ll tell you that himself. The visual artist, DJ, photographer, producer, painter, and illustrator is incredibly prolific, taking his talents beyond the purely creative to also manage his record label, Dirt Tech Reck. A few months ago, I was able to sit down with the Detroit multi-hyphenate to discuss his crossover approach to his craft.

When Waajeed first started making beats, he got a scholarship to the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit for Illustration. “So my mind kind of set the two [visual art and music] in the same place,” he explains. “To me, music and art is the same thing,” says Waajeed, “Taking a photograph and making a beat is really the same thing. To take a photo, you got this rectangle that you have to make your composition fit inside of. And it’s similar to making a beat.  You got 4×4 bars that you gotta make this composition happen within.”

The idea of comparing photography to beatmaking not only intrigued me, but it inspired a sense of creative calm that I hadn’t had since I first moved to L.A. a couple months ago. To demonstrate the sentiment, Waajeed has dug up his old visual works, some of which go back to his high school days. These works of art incorporate many different mediums of art including drawing, photography, and video production. He has paired each of these works with a song he’s produced (and one he hasn’t) to echo his profound love and connection to art, in all of its forms.

 

 


Eighteen / Garden of Eden (by Jeedo)

Eighteen Waajeed Art

Eighteen is painted with Ink and water. The second of a series of Tutankhamen paintings done when I was 18. It’s approximately 18 X 36 on crescent board.


I’ve Seen Rivers/ MFA (Electric Street Orchestra ft. Theo Parrish, Andres, and Duminie)

I've Seen Rivers Waajeed Art

I’ve Seen Rivers is done with Mixed media. Based on a portrait and poem by Langston Hughes.
It’s approximately 15 X 24 on crescent board.


“The Composition” (May 1999) / “Proud” (by Jeedo)

The Composition Waajeed

Proud I’ve taken thousands of photos of Slum Village and Dilla for almost a decade during the ’90s. One of the most enriching experiences I’ve had was in the studio with Preemo, Alchemist, D’Angelo, and Dilla in Electric Lady Studios in May 1999. I don’t believe in invasive photography. Like with street photographers, they don’t care what you’re doing. They’ll just run up and take a picture to catch this look on your face. So, when I was in that session, I was filming on the low; eventually I pulled Dilla out of the studio and I was like, “Look man, should I be taking pictures?” He’s like, “Man, this shit is history, and you’re the only person here to get it, and I wanna see these pictures when we get home too, so get everything.” I got video footage and photos of that session for three days straight. I was doing double duty. This photo was a once in a lifetime moment in music history. I’m was one of the only photographers to document it. I’m happy about that.


One Million Men/ Weep (by Jeedo/Church Boy Lou)

One Million Men

A lithograph from a photo I took at the Million Man March. I made 40 prints of this one. A short run for friends and family. It’s approximately 11 X 17.


Bling47 Breaks: DJ Amir Talks About “Love” by J. Dilla/ ”We Must Be In Love” by The Impressions / “Jorgy” by Dabrye and Waajeed

 

This video was inspired by:

I started documenting with film and in the early ’90s. There is close to 80 hours of footage in my archive primarily of Slum Village, Dilla, and Detroit’s emerging hip hop scene. Freestyle battles, Studio sessions, trips to Europe, and other paramount moments in our careers. I had the vision to make a documentary with my archive in 2011.

I started a series of short videos called Bling47 Breaks as a way to my practice editing, animation, and creating music to film. I did a new episode every Monday.

Fuck! This wasn’t easy. No budgets and each episode took close to 10 hours to create. Dilla was the subject, but not the purpose. The goal was to inspire. The combined views at one point were over 1,000,000. My goal was reached.

 

 

Related Posts

Features
Features

Nick Speed, 14KT, and Waajeed on the Legacy of Detroit’s Electronic Music

Features
Features

Honesty, Poison, and Medicine: A Conversation With Elzhi

Film
Film

Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’ Is Pretty Much Like A Trip To McDonald’s

Features
Features

“Wastedland 2” Turns Detroit Factory into Graffiti Wonderland

Music Video
Music Video

PREMIERE: Artist Noir Doesn’t Want to “Overdose” in His New Video

Ad

Latest News

inspectah-deck Music

The Wu-Tang Clan Swing Swords at Martin Shkreli on “Lesson Learn’d”

“When the streets goin’ to learn, the Wu-Tang don't play?”
young-thug-carnage Music

Are Young Thug and Carnage Planning a Sequel to ‘Young Martha’?

Check out the dynamic duo’s new EP
kingsmen-eggsy Film

Film vs. Comic: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’

How the new batsh*t film sequel compares to the latest series from Mark Millar
diamond-d Features

Diamond D and Jazzy Jay Remember The Making of ‘Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop’

The 25th Anniversary of a slept-on classic
mexico-earthquake Features

Mexico City After The Quake: “We Must Help One Another”

Mexico will rise again
nypd at the site of the troy ave shooting by irving plaza a matter that is usually under the watch of new york city's hip hop police/ rap unit News

Complaint Reveals Racial Discrimination In NYPD’s Infamous “Rap Unit”

Are you surprised?
kari-primary Features

Kari Faux Hits Her Stride on ‘Primary’

The ‘Insecure’ favorite went back to her childhood bedroom so she could feel like herself
ay-z numb encore live lounge Music

JAY-Z Delivers Emotional Performance of “Numb/Encore” at BBC Live Lounge

“This is for Chester”
chanhays Music

PREMIERE: ChanHays ft. The Cool Kids “New Bag”

“I’ma rap, f*ck the trap”
trippie-redd Features

Trippie Redd and Goose the Guru on Lil Wayne Collabs & ‘A Love Letter To You 2’

“We want to be timeless”
cuz lightyear Music

Cuz Lightyear Drops ‘WHAT UP CUZ’ EP

With Metro Boomin, Killer Mike and more in tow, Cuz makes his Mass Appeal debut
g-herbo Features

Chicago’s G Herbo Aims High On ‘Humble Beast’ Debut

First track on Chicago rapper's debut inspired by ‘4:44’
samiyam Music

Samiyam “The Boat Can Leave Now”

Fresh slice off the ‘Pizza Party’ beat tape
ewonee Music

PREMIERE: Ewonee ‘Molecular Structure’ Album Stream

Zone out to this
alchemist Music

Alchemist Goes on a Eurotrip With New Mixtape

Red Bull paired the Cali producer with the best underground MCs in Paris
nas-lost-tapes Features

That Was an Uncanny Era: An Oral History of Nas’ ‘The Lost Tapes’

The making of an unconventional classic, 15 years later