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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eazy E in Wild Strawberry

posted by on May 20 at 12:00 PM

rapcoverbetter.jpgAye Jay is the creator and illustrator of the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book, the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book, and the Indie Rock Connect the Dots. Coloring in Eazy E with a Violet-Red, Wild Strawberry, and Aquamarine combo fills a colorer with unparalleled joy. Coloring is the way. Fire Burnt Orange, not bullets. No Bloods or Crips, just fuschia. Aye Jay was kind enough to speak from his Chico, CA coloring compound:

What gave you the idea to do these activity coloring books?
Aye Jay: My inspiration was coloring with my son Cohen, who was two at the time. I had a thought like, “Why is there no coloring book that reflects the interests of the people in my age group?” I’ve been a fan of gangsta rap from the first time I heard it, in maybe 1988(?). It seemed like it would be a funny idea folks would like. I then spent the next couple of weeks making lists of inclusions and doing the drawings, went to the local copy shop and had one hundred copies made. I remember thinking there was no way I was going to be able to get rid of all one hundred. I was wrong.


After the book did well as a zine, it was published as an expanded version. I got to thinking about other types of music I like that I could make books out of. From there, I crafted a long term plan of several books in my head. I made Indie Rock Connect the Dots as the low key follow up, and a couple of years later linked up with ECW Press to make the Heavy Metal Fun Time Activity Book.

There’s been tons of positive response to the books. There’s been some negative feedback as well. Can you talk about that?
Getting positvie feedback from the people in the books I look up to is so rewarding. Iíve been surprised. The other side of that is the negative response due to people thinking the Gangsta book is socially irresponsible. Thatís a huge bummer, as it was intended to be silly. I was never thinking about the political ramifications. Several chain stores have dropped the Gangsta book due to pressure from family based groups. Topshop in the UK dropped it and Urban Outfitters here in the states did too.

IndieRockCover.jpgWhat are some of your favorite pages from the books?
Ice Cube and Suge Knight from the Gangsta book for the drawings, the Spinal Tap maze in the Metal book for the concepts, and Steve Albini’s foreword from the Indie book, cause it’s so well written and took over a year to get! Working with Andrew W.K. was cool too.

What’s next? Will there be any new activity books coming out in the future?
Yes. I just signed on with ECW for two more activity books. They are genres you know and love. But I gotta keep them a surprise for now. Get your crayons ready though.

RSS icon Comments


that's great. encourage kids to color and get familiar w/ home-wrecking, misogynistic, drug abusing, murdering heroes.

Posted by king ad hoc | May 20, 2008 1:01 PM

is it just me, or does biggie totally look like kojak in this coloring book?

Posted by douglas martin | May 20, 2008 2:27 PM


i'ma hand you what larry handed me:


the best part of this book is the forward by j-zone, one of the best out to get nerdy about the most ignorant of the ignorant. he gets all the humor and glorious wrongnss that breihan does, but doesn't apologize for it with lofty college talk.

he's probably the only all-out rap nerd i know besides edan that actually has flavor.

the zone as an artist is best though, when his rap anthropology surfaces in shitty/perfect production and the most unforced humor this side of devin

Posted by ndrwmtsn | May 20, 2008 2:31 PM

@ #1- wait, what does Us Weekly have to do with this?

anyway, the picture in there of Scarface looks as much like Brad Jordan as ndrwmtsn does

Posted by lar | May 20, 2008 2:52 PM

I don't know, I see Eazy in more of a light blue. I don't know if that goes with his affiliation, it's just what my coloring instincts are teling me.

Posted by Dave | May 20, 2008 3:15 PM

yeah, some of those pictures are not even close. some are really good though.

IMO, IRL 'face looks like a cross between forest whitaker and a halibut.

Posted by ndrwmtsn | May 20, 2008 5:26 PM

and I was thinking,

#1, isn't this book for adults? As a joke. I don't think it's a legit coloring book for kids, is it?

Posted by Dave | May 20, 2008 5:51 PM

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