While working on the artwork for Madlib Medicine Show, I hit up the comic book artist Benjamin Marra to draw the cover for #5: The History of the Loop Digga – but we just traded a few emails and never met. Benjamin drew a comic for the CD booklet about a character, Rapper X, who spends about 5 of the comic's 8 pages shooting cops in every way imaginable. For the 3LP vinyl, we took a few of the drawings, mixed them up, and the guys over at Hit+Run printed them up in some wild colors.

The Australian magazine Acclaim asked to do a piece on the artwork for Loop Digga and ended up getting Benjamin and I to talk about how the project came together. Below is a tiny selection of the piece that appears in their latest issue, Acclaim #21.

Jeff Jank: did you know anything about
madlib before we started on this

Benjamin Marra: no, i hadn't heard of him, but i'm
not so up on current cool hip-hop

me either!
when i told some people who
are big hip hop fans they were

homie Lambo gave me your
comic a few weeks back, Gangsta Rap Posse
– only a few minutes of looking it over i knew i had to
ask you if you wanted to work on
something for one of these monthly Madlib record we had just started working on.

it was an awesome
project. how deep into the madlib project were
you at that point, when you got
the Gangsta Rap Posse?

we started working on them
late last year, and the first one
dropped in January, so i was only
a couple months into it then.

how did the whole thing start?
was it something that madlib came up with as an idea – to do an album a month?

yea, he's wanted to do that for
a while. finally he decided to do it on his own imprint, Madlib Invazion. I'm doing all the art
direction, and stones throw is
sellin' the shit

ah, gotcha.

you ever heard of the comic Real

hell yes. amazing stuff
i wish i could draw like that guy

the artist Rawdog is great, one of my favorites. I thought of Real Deal
when i saw Gangsta Rap Posse.

i learned about
Real Deal through Picturebox, a
brooklyn art book and
comic publisher.
When I got the Real Deal
books I got kind of sad because
those guys had done something I
was sort of trying to do and did it
perfectly, like 15 years ago.
it's amazing stuff

GRP is just from a different
angle which i think is cool too, i
like how it's presented all clean,
there's no fancy bullshit about it

yeah, it's straight forward. i
always try to make everything
really clear when i'm drawing a
comic. different from the raw, stream of
consciousness style of Real