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EXCLUSIVE: Creator of YeezyGraffiti.com Speaks on Origin of Kanye’s Yeezus Street Promo, DONDA + More

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(AllHipHop News) Yesterday (June 10th) Kanye West’s creative agency DONDA unveiled his new street promotion for his upcoming Yeezus album in the form of a poster of his album cover with the words “Please Add Graffiti” over it. The image began to gain traction online last week when it appeared on YeezyGraffiti.com. The image was quickly deleted and found to have originated from a tweet from A.P.C. Apparel founder Jean Touitou.

[ALSO READ: Kanye Asks Fans For Graffiti To Promote “Yeezus”, Gets Rick Rubin To Executive Produce]

The creator of YeezyGraffiti, 21 year old Leighton McDonald from Greenville, South Carolina speaks exclusively with AllHipHop on the origins of the Yeezus street promotion, inspiration behind YeezyGraffiti.com and his DONDA aspirations.

AllHipHop: It has been reported that the picture of the Please Add Graffiti originated on your YeezusGraffiti site but was taken down. Why was it taken down?

Leighton McDonald: The picture actually was posted/leaked around 4am eastern time on Instagram by the founder of A.P.C. Apparel,  Jean Touitou. Soon it was officially posted by Virgil Abloh of DONDA, who is also Kanye’s stylist/creative director. So the image did not originate from the site itself, but the message of “please add graffiti” led to the making a thread on KanyeToThe.com (kanye’s biggest and best fan site) and from then on, we started to get submissions and i decided to make a tumblr. Once the Tumblr picked, up, i decided to give it an official name. YeezyGraffiti.com

How does it feel knowing your site hosted an image that is now being used as Kanye West’s promotion?
Again, since the image didn’t originate from my site, so I can’t claim that we are responsible for it. But , I do feel like we have started a movement and “opened everyone’s eyes” to the idea of creating your own album cover for Yeezus.
Your site states you created it to host all the amazing covers for Yeezus you saw. Have you designed any of the covers and where do you find them?
The goal of the site was let artists talents be exposed to the public so it could be seen and help promote the “please add graffiti” movement. I’ve did a few of the early covers posted, mostly “painted” in photoshop. Most of the covers were posted on the thread I started on the forums of KTT (kanyetothe.com). Once the site started to go public, i added a submission and on average, have had about 20-30 covers a day since i made the site the other week
What is your favorite Kanye West album and why?
The decision of my favorite album is split between two. College Dropout and 808’s. My neighbor gave me College Dropout to listen to in middle school. I wasn’t doing that well in school and the songs inspired me to get my grades up, find a better crowd, and take my artistic talents farther. Something no adults (and parents) could get through to me; only Kanye’s music. And 808’s was when Kanye became my favorite artist because of how he evolved musically. Also this relationship with a girl didnt end so well around the time the album came out, so haha, I could definitely relate to what Kanye was saying in his music.
What are your plans for the future? 
And I’m in my final year of design school right now. My ultimate goal/dream would be to work with Kanye’s design firm DONDA to help expand their reach in the design industry.
Follow Leighton McDonalad at @iam__leighton and check out his own designs of Kanye West’s Yeezus album cover here, here, here and here.

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