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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

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One of the 44 Fake A$$ Rappers: Alpha Fo Fum
One of the 44 Fake A$$ Rappers: Alpha Fo Fum (Photo: Kristopher Pollard)
Gold Felice & The Midwest Ugly 3Way Crew wearing KPOLLY tees.
Gold Felice & The Midwest Ugly 3Way Crew wearing KPOLLY tees. (Photo: Kristopher Pollard)

Kpolly brings "Fake A$$ Rappers" to reality

After 10 years, Milwaukeean Kristopher "Kpolly" Pollard’s unique pen and ink illustration style should be recognizable to most of the city’s residents. His work has been shown at HotPop and Lucky Star, but most people will probably recognize those child-like, yet demonically black, oversized eyes due to their prevalence in the 2013 Milwaukee Film Fest ad campaign (Princess Leia has never looked so creepy).

Now Pollard has a Kickstarter that he would like you to back. Or not. It doesn’t matter now, because with 21 days to go the project was officially funded.

"I’m shocked and super grateful that I’m fully funded after only 6 days," he says.

It’s an art book called "Fake A$$ Rappers" and it contains 44 pages featuring a collection of 22 imaginary rapper portraits, and will include a brand new, never-before-seen rappers made especially for this printing. In addition to the portraits, each page gives rapper stats, like first album, seminal song and sample lyrics.

"I was never super into hip-hop, but I started finding it more and more interesting and entertaining," says Pollard, noting that after watching Kanye West perform on Saturday Night Live, an idea sparked. "He had this incredible set and outfit. It was all very visual and amazing. While drawing the series I got incredibly into hip-hop, reading about it and listening to as much as possible. I’m a big fan now."

Until now, the "Fake A$$ Rappers" series has only been shown for limited runs throughout Milwaukee. However, since the project has grown in scope, a new medium was necessary.

"The book seemed like the best venue for them, especially since I’m adding so much more content ‘about’ the rappers," says Pollard. "Their albums, songs and sample lyrics. It’ll be a lot of fun."

While the project has already been funded, you can still pre-order a copy of the book and take advantage of the other benefits the Kickstarter rewards have to offer. The smallest donation level ($20) nets you the book. Nice.

Want more? Subsequent reward levels include prints, t-shirts and original art. Feeling spendy? You could even get into the book and go down in history as a Fake A$$ Rapper yourself.

As more backers continue to support the project Pollard wants to continue to return the love.

"Now that I’m beyond my initial goal I might be able to add even more rappers and content, which will make for a MUCH better book. So I hope it keeps going," he says.

When all is said and done, what’s next for Pollard?

"I’m also going to start a series of drawings based on superheroes, and one about the life of Caligula ... normal stuff."

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