When Huey Newton sat in that iconic wicker chair, grasping both spear and rifle amongst the chaos of 1967, something truly revolutionary was in the air.
43 years later, when rapper Freddie Gibbs sat in a chair to have the Black Panther’s most famous image tattooed onto his back by acclaimed artist Jun Cha, an all-together different kind of revolution was brewing.
Perhaps it’s only natural that one of hip-hop’s most promising young talents was getting such a meaningful piece by LA’s fastest rising painter, illustrator and tattoo artist.
“It’s a reflection of youth and independent thought,” Jun Cha said of the recent tattoo on the rapper. “It’s a symbol for the freedom of ideas and expression. The Panthers were a group that thought for themselves. It goes hand-in-hand with the young hustlers’ generation today. Most art culture — whether it’s hip-hop, art and design, or tattooing — has had its struggle to be accepted into the larger context of society. And this tattoo is the liberation of that.”
At just 21 years of age, Cha’s ascent to one of tattooing’s most revered talents has been rapid. He has already collaborated with iconic lifestyle brands The Hundreds and C1RCA, while getting props from Jermaine Dupri, NBA star Amir Johnson, TI’s wife Tiny, Fantasy Factory’s Drama, and most recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp.
Just like Gibbs and hip-hop, the design and tattoo worlds are focused intently on the career trajectory of Cha.
Gibbs and Cha bonded over the imagery of the tattoo, as they both understand the history behind them and the unique futures they’re building, as the revolutionary symbolism of Huey Newton’s photograph is important to the disparate art that both these up-and-coming artists pride themselves on.
Jun Cha’s instantly recognizable black and gray aesthetic makes the image of revolution jump to life.
Freddie Gibbs is a rising rapper, hailing from Gary, Indiana, but currently residing in Los Angeles.
He’s currently working on new music, and his most recent project came in the from of the EP, titled Str8 Killa, which dropped in 2010, and is currently available on iTunes.
For more info on Jun Cha, or for tattoo appointments, visit his official website at Arudima.com.