Celebrity Mixtape Designer Launching Graphic Hip-Hop Novel

Top mixtape graphic designer Miami Kaos is prepping the release of a new Hip-Hop graphic novel, the former Source Magazine illustrator told AllHipHop.com today.

Due out in early 2009, Hardcore will reprise a comic strip Kaos created nearly ten years ago, at the request of controversial radio personality Troi “Star” Torian.

“Star had a magazine called Around the Way, and he wanted me to do a comic for the magazine,” Kaos told AllHipHop.com. “I eventually ended up self-publishing two full issues of Hardcore. When I got the opportunity to work on ‘Past and Perfect’ in The Source, I incorporated my three main characters.”

The new novel follows the story of one of those characters: Chance – so named because he represents “Hip-Hop’s last chance.”

In the story, Chance, the best rapper in the game, decides to abandon his lucrative career as an artist.

His cousin, Sin, partners with a major record label to either convince Chance to step back into the booth, or to kill him and re-release his music posthumously.

“When I was doing ‘Past and Perfect,’ I started losing creative control after a while because of various agendas and the politics at play,” Kaos said. “When I stopped doing it, Hardcore took a backseat. But I always said once I made my first million [dollars], I was gonna take the time to work on certain things.”

In order to achieve the same look, each pane of Hardcore will be drawn in 15” x 15” frames and then shrunken down to scale.

This method captures more detail than typical comic strips, which are drawn as they are seen by readers.

Over the past few years, Kaos’s Miami-based graphic design firm, Hardcore Designs, has become one of the most sought out in Hip-Hop, working with such prominent clients as Big Tigga, DJ Kay-Slay, DJ Don Cannon, DJ Clue, Busta Rhymes, C Murder, Remy Ma and Fabolous.

Kaos, who’s work graced the cover of DJ Khaled’s debut Listennn: The Album, has also worked on commissioned pieces for Missy Elliott, Nas, and Swizz Beatz.

Miami Kaos has also signed on as a spokesperson and partner in a new charity called Lit Hop, launching this summer.

Created by longtime friend and publishing exec Rasheena Wilson, the organization will encourage continued literacy through various initiatives centered around Hip-Hop culture.

“Watching the emails we get and the way people call to place orders, I’m amazed at how we misuse the English language,” said Kaos. “Why would you approach someone with whom you’re conducting business and open the first conversation with curse words? Even beyond that, you hear so much about artists having issues with their labels because they didn’t read their contract properly!”

Miami Kaos is currently working on projects for Marvel Comics and the G-Unit camp.