Hieroglyphics Team Up With Wail For Fine Art Project Called ‘Valley of the Kings’

By Ronnie Gamble  |  05/13/2010

HieroglyphicsAfter a successful run with the RZA, Wail (When Art Imitates Life) has teamed up with Oakland-based hip-hop collective, the Hieroglyphics, for their next fine art installment. This one's called "The Valley of the Kings."

The collabo will be a series of 200 fine art portraits conceptualized by and featuring all Hiero members. They will be made available to the public on May 28, 2010.

Details on the piece will be released in the coming week, but it is said to use ancient Egyptian iconography as its stylistic base and features the entire nine-man crew.

Valley will also be one of the first art pieces, in history, to utilize chromadepth visual technology, and each piece in the series will come packaged with a pair of 3D glasses to allow owners to experience its full range. Each piece will also be signed by various members as well.

"The piece is dope," Souls Of Mischief's Tajai says. "I love art. I love music. Music is art. And when they come together in a situation like this where they create something that's considered high art, immortalizing a group like Hiero in that manner, it's a good thing for music, and a good thing for history."

For almost twenty years, the Hieroglyphics has been one of hip-hop's most beloved entities. The one-two punch of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien's 1992 debut album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Elektra), and Souls Of Mischief's '93 Til Infinity (Jive) introduced listeners to a new kind of West Coast rapper. In an era where gangsta rap was standard issue, Del, Casual, Opio, Tajai, A-Plus, Phesto, Domino and Pep Love offered music from ordinary people with extraordinary skills.

Casual's debut Fear Itself (Jive) and Del's sophomore album No Need For Alarm, both released in 1994, were Hiero's last major-label albums, same for Souls of Mischief's 1995 offering No Man's Land. After that, the crew made the decision to go fully independent, releasing their own albums and coordinating their own tours. 15 years later, that three-eyed logo is a global brand, and Hieroglyphics is one of the undisputed forefathers of the sound, the hustle, and the ideology of underground hip-hop. Their most recent release was last year's Montezuma's Revenge.

Valley Of Kings is the next release from When Art Imitates Life (WAIL), the brainchild of Sway of MTV, Tech of the World Famous Wake Up Show, and Los Angeles creativity house Scene Four. Previous releases from WAIL include collaboration pieces with RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as Shavo of System Of A Down.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit WhenArtImitatesLife.com to sign up for exclusive information on "The Valley Of Kings" as it develops, as well as a chance to preview and reserve a piece in the highly limited collection before May 28.