Where do you start when you decide to undertake a project like this? Looking at the bibliography, it’s clear you did your homework.
There are a lot of books. I would say the backbone, the spine of the book is Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists, because somewhere in there there’s a list of every major rap single from ‘79 to ‘98. I know that I have to make sure to cover all of those records in whatever year I decide to cover. It's for the first book that I used all of that information. With the second, a lot of rappers saw the first book and started getting in touch, so I had access to cool, interesting information. All sorts of found materials plus strategic interviews here and there.
Comics must have both ups and downs when it comes to telling a history as rich as this one. Were there stories you didn't include, or specifically chose to include, because of the medium?
The cool thing is that doing this comic the way that I am with my publisher, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. If you were to ask me, “Are there stories that take place in the future you can’t wait to get to?” that’s a different thing. The comic is exactly what I want it to be so far. There are obviously certain artistic challenges that are inside the book. Music isn’t the predominant subject, even though it’s called Hip Hop Family Tree. But you have to showcase some of that stuff. It’s like, how do you draw what “loud” looks like? You have to come up with some solutions for that kind of thing. I came up with a couple cool ones, making the color look like it’s vibrating off the page.