Renaissance Soul was originally a Detroit hip-hop website started in 2001 by your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier that first centered around the discography of legendary producer Jay Dee aka J. Dilla before it branched out to all Detroit hip-hop and music. In many cases, Renaissance Soul was the first place you heard many Detroit music artists that you love today. With it’s revival as a podcast, each episode will focus on specific topics (an album, an era, a legacy, etc) from Detroit music of all genres from the past and present from a historical perspective.
For this episode, your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is joined by designer, photographer, illustrator, film director, fashion designer Mario “Khalif” Butterfield, to talk about the branding and marketing history behind Detroit hip-hop. We get into how he first found himself in the Detroit hip-hop scene as a designer and photographer, who he met, what he learned, and how he networked throughout the city. Once he got comfortable in his skills, he was able to help improve the visual aspects of Detroit hip-hop starting in the mid 90s advocating that the full product package is important for a music artist.
Mario Butterfield has designed a vast amount of album covers for Detroit hip-hop artist under his own name and under the skinnyboysgrafix company that he started with Waajeed. You’ve probably seen his work (many examples below). He shared a lot of lessons he’s learned about design and photography, and how it was implemented into many of the Detroit classic hip-hop albums we all love. So many great stories told in this album because Mario Butterfield was always around and observed a lot, so we get a historical take of Detroit from another perspective.
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List of where Renaissance Soul streams: podlink.to/RenSoulPod or just search “Renaissance Soul”. Also available on IHeartRadio.