Remember what Commissioner Gordon did when he wanted to summon Batman? He took the “bat sign” and shined it over the city and Batman would know it was time to come through. I would imagine, in the comic book world, the whole city of Gotham knew that Batman was on the way upon seeing the brightly lit “bat” across the sky.
I designed the AllHipHop.com logo with that and other iconic symbols in mind. I wanted something that could be identified immediately, easily remembered and could be put on merchandise. With that, I decided to list my Top 10 Logos in Hip-Hop. This is an opinion so there is no right or wrong list. This is just mine.
TOP 10 LOGOS IN HIP-HOP (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
Chuck D, one of the most respected rappers ever, designed the logo for Public Enemy. For those that don’t know, Public Enemy is a rebellious, pro-Black group that has inspired people since the 80’s. the logo depicts a Black man in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle. It articulated perfectly the group’s message and music.
Run DMC broke barriers in music that just about everybody today benefits from. A huge part of that success is their logo. The logo is simple and the colors are almost always red, black and white (the same official colors of AllHipHop – not ironic). This logo has been a staple in music (not just rap) for since its incarnation in the early 80s. It is the only Hip-Hoplogo to appear on an adidas sneaker. Hey, I even made a hoodie that said “Run AHH.” Go figure.
Through the rigors of time, this logo may have been waned in popularity, but not those in the know. EPMD’s logo remains a fixture in the rap game. It is a bit like Run DMC’s log in nature, in my view, but keeps its own distinct identity. To this day, group’s like Little Brother emulate the EPMD logo. Props to Eric Haze, the legendary Graf artist and designer. WU TANG CLAN
When I go to my original notion with the Batman logo, no logo quite represents the idea the way Wu Tang’s “W” does. Honestly, there’s not much to say about the Wu Tang logo. It has been on everything from apparent to stickers to tattoos on people’s bodies. Universally recognized and locally accepted.
I’ll personally admit that there are a few logos that could be exchanged in place of the Onyx “madface,” if I was being “objective.” Still this is an all-time favorite of mine. Its bold, aggressive and highly representative of Onyx’s movement in the 90’s era. I love this logo and the colors.
I couldn’t talk about logos and not mention Hieroglyphics (Hiero), the West Coast collective of emcees. They are some of the most talented dudes, that have managed to endure the rigors of the game for a years and years. I certainly don’t know the inner workings of the group, but I know these dudes have been selling merch for the longest time and their logo is the cornerstone of their sales efforts. They even have Hiero jeans now! They weren’t lying when they rapped about “’93 Til Infinity.”
There were several contenders for the final artist slot, but I had to include OutKast as my final logo slot. Now, I’ll admit, I don’t feel this logo speaks directly to the group artistically. But as a logo, it is easily identifiable and actually contrasts the true meaning of an outcast. Kings!
DEF JAM RECORDS
Of the record labels no logo comes close to Def Jam Records. The symbol historically represents the finest in Hip-Hop, especially when you recall the splendor of the 80’s. But, in the tough times, the simplicity of the the “DJ” and the brand overcomes. Lyor Cohen, the “Chief Caretaker of the Logo” really explains the reason why the Def Jam logo is so meaningful to the company.
DEATH ROW RECORDS
Death Row Records was the most daunting and intimidating label ever and their logo represented that notion. Personally, the logo isn’t as graphically bold as I would like it, but visually, it makes up for it with the striking nature of a man strapped to an electric chair. Typically in blood red, the logo signifies Suge Knight’s “affiliations.”
NO LIMIT RECORDS
Master P was a solider that was “bout it, bout it” and he used a logo to represent that. He simply used a tank. The tank was all that was required to push his agenda that there indeed were no limits to what he and his crew could do at that time. It has been some time since No Limit represented a blip on the charts, but show any Hip-Hop head the logo and it will make ‘em say, “uhhhhhhhhh!”