“Lil’ Ye and the Hip Hop Hoorays” are illustrations by Ali Graham, an English artist whose illustrations inspired by Jay Z’s “99 Problems” made him popular in 2013. With “99 Problems,” Graham created 99 images, each one representing a different hypothetical problem — drawn from Jay’s own lyrics — and brought them to life with playful illustrations like this one (lyrics are in the captions):
Graham sells the illustrations as custom prints. In October, Graham began publishing similar takes on Kanye lyrics on his Tumblr blog, Lil Ye and the Hip Hop Hoorays, only he made the characters toddlers. December’s were hilariously Christmas-themed.
“99 Problems was inspired by the song and my love of wordplay,” Graham said in an e-mail. “What mundane or surreal problems may a certain rap superstar face?
“Lil Ye took the 99 Problems core concept of lyrical inspiration and turned up the cute. I love the world of hip hop and I wanted to give it a soft and cuddly side. Using the artists’ personalities and relationships that are defined in their music and the media, and putting it into a innocent, childlike context.”
Behold, Christmas Tot Kimye and North/Jesus/Yeezus:
Tot Kanye can top your tree:
Just as soon as he finishes untangling all of the lights. Which may or may not be flashing:
But he might have company:
With Lil’ Ye, Graham expanded beyond just Jay and Kanye to encompass their hip hop friends and colleagues — which is why Rick Ross, Jay and Dr. Dre make appearances as the three kings.
Q: What do you get for the baby who has everything (including a $62,000 tiara)? A: Gold, frankincense, and myrrh, duh. It was good enough for Jesus.
Also seasonally appropriate: Angel Beyoncé.
The illustrations go perfectly with “Kreezus,” the Local Business Comedy spoof of “Yeezus.” The group re-wrote and recorded every song on the album with Christmas-themed lyrics. Now the only question is: How long before ‘Ye realizes these poseurs are stealing his thunder and releases a Christmas album of his own?