Even if you’ve never heard of legendary hip hop producer Bink!, you’ve definitely danced to his music. He is credited with plenty of bangers, including Rick Ross’ “Santorini Greece (Rather You Than Me),” Jay Z’s “1-900-Hustler,” and Mr. Cheeks’ “Lights, Camera, Action” to name a few. But now, thanks to Bink!’s close friendship and collaboration with prominent visual artist Pel, the producer’s significant contributions to music can be appreciated in an entirely new and unexpected way.
Pel started his career as a creative director in the fashion industry, working with brands such as Uniqlo, 10.Deep, and Reebok, but now spends most of his time drawing, painting and sculpting. A mutual friend introduced him to Bink!, and over time the two bonded over their respective crafts and their shared commitment to artistic integrity. It was Pel’s idea to develop an art installment completely inspired by Bink!’s expressive, powerful music tracks.
Thus, Pel’s Bink! Mixtape was born, a 13-installment visual art show powered by select songs from Bink!’s storied discography. Pel listened to tracks chosen by Bink!, and then developed a work of art inspired by each piece of music. “I picked 12 songs and gave them to him,” Bink! tells CASSIUS. “Funny thing is, I never saw the pieces as he made them, I saw them for the first time when we debuted the exhibit.” The Queens, N.Y.-born artist, who added Beanie Sigel’s “One Shot Deal” to make it a total of 13 songs, chose various mediums to showcase his vision. “This is the chance to usher a non-classical genre—rap—into the world of fine art,” Pel says. “It’s all about unifying art forms and audiences and creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
This is the chance to usher rap into the world of fine art.
Featuring art based on songs like “Santorini Greece,” Kanye West’s “Devil In A New Dress,” “1-900-Hustler” and more, the exhibit is an amazing perspective on the work of both of these talented artists, and a close look at each piece reveals elements of their friendship. “I interviewed Bink! as if I didn’t know him or his music,” Pel says. “It allowed me to learn about him, intimate moments in his life and his passion for music in ways I never would’ve figured. He remembered every single sample to every single record he’s ever made. That’s amazing! It’s that type of meticulous detail that makes him one of the best to ever do it. And I wanted to show that in my work. So I listened to the music as I made the pieces, I listened to the samples, and I can tell it came through the art.”
Bink! has been moved by this entire experience. “For me, I’ve never seen my music portrayed this way, to see the music I’ve made through someone else’s eyes is amazing, it’s wild,” he says. “And this is unprecedented, no one has ever done this before. So to see him take 13 songs, deconstruct it and make his own thing is special, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw other artists and producers do things like this in the future.”
The exhibit was shown at a pop-up shop in New York’s Lower East Side over one weekend in May, but both Pel and Bink! have confirmed their interest in taking this show on the road, with stops in Los Angeles and Bink!’s native Virginia in the works. This is a can’t-miss event, so if it does touch down in your area, make sure to check it out. To see what songs are featured in “Pel’s Bink! Mixtape,” check out the playlist below.