( ENSPIRE ENTERTAINMENT ) 50 Shades of Dre
In the heart of Harlem at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State office building, 50 Shades of Dre was a one man show containing 50 pieces of art, all original pieces of work by Andre Leroy Davis, aka A.L. Dre, renowned illustrator. Andre Leroy Davis’ work has been featured within Source Magazine and he was the creator of the “Last Word.” Additionally, his goal is to provide a visual record of the hip-hop world – and he has been doing this for more than 25 years.
The Source was not the first magazine dedicated to hip-hop culture documentation, but it was one of the most serious. This is why Dre became committed to becoming a contributor. He wanted to help define rock music and hip-hop culture in a way that no other person could. In addition to illustrating, he also wrote cover stories on many of the artists, and developed a unique style that has followed him.
Dre is not only an artist, but also a journalist, a teacher, an MC, a producer, and a poet. He was the longest running employee of The Source Magazine and his column “Last Word” was on the back page of every issue from September 1990 all the way to January 2007.
Dre believes that art is an expression and is all about extending to reach emotions. He wanted to show what one is thinking through his art. The 50 Shades of Dre show was retrospective and he chose 50 images to share with the community. This includes his perspective of such hip hop artists as Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Spike Lee, Jay Z, Tupac and many more. His art goes from the political to the satirical and dives into the world of hip hop unlike any other artist in the modern day.
A number of hip hop notables were present at the one man show, including members of the rap community, the press, and more. This was a show that was not to be missed because it was both creative, and provided a close look into hip hop and the emotions that take place.
We spoke to Dre about his art, check it out:
Shades of Dre debuted at The Art Gallery in Harlem, New York. The timing was perfect in terms of when Dre decided to showcase his work because “The Last Word” has celebrated its 25th anniversary. This demonstrates that the hip-hop movement across the United States and the rest of the world has been going on for at least 25 years, and Andre Leroy Davis has been fortunate enough to not only be a part of it, but be a significant contributor within it. The 50 Shades of Dre: A One Man Show was a hit.