Explicit Comics Only: Getting to know FRKO RICO
Whether you pay attention to it or not, an artist's artwork plays a key role into the delivery of their music. Think about it, you wouldn't have listened to NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" album if you weren't intrigued by their unified shot of looking down at the world. The same thing goes for artists such as Master P, Silk the Shocker, and the rest of No Limit Records. They utilized the element of "Pen and Pixel" to display a montage of items that show off a glamorous lifestyle in 3D.
These are core examples of how hip hop's art is important as the music and one budding artist from Atlanta, FRKO Rico is aware of this. FRKO has stapled himself to be one of this genre's most exciting artist with his raunchy expressions and make some of the most creative explicit content on the internet. FRKO's raw concepts captured the attention of Action Bronson, and red-beard food enthusiast made Rico his go-to guy for designs. His most well received piece he's done for Bronson has to be the cover of "Baby Blue", a song from Bronson's "Mr Wonderful" album featuring Chance the Rapper.
Aside from the large amount of covers he's done for Bronson, he's created a buzz on social media with conveying various messages about Gucci Mane, Atlanta, Junior Seau, porn, and more.
We at Modern Life Mag recently spoke to Rico about his inspiration behind his art, what he likes to eat, why Junior Seau represents him, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
LIFE IS GOOD BETTER THAN EVER RIGHT NOW. I'M JUST TRYNA STAY RIGHTEOUS.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
BIG, FEARLESS, HUNGRY.
How would you say Atlanta inspired the way you designed?
I GREW UP IN THE 90'S BACK WHEN ATL WAS A SHIT HOLE OF CRIME AND POVERTY. I REMEMBER THE HOT SUMMERS LISTENING TO ALL THE ATL LEGENDARY HITS AS THEY WERE DROPPING ON THE RADIO. ATL INSPIRED ME IN EVERYTHING BUT FOR THE WAY I DESIGN I AM HUGELY INSPIRED BY THE OLD FREAKNIK TEES AND ALL THE COLORS I GREW UP SEEING.
What are some aesthetic points that you admire about Atlanta?
THE BUILDINGS OF COURSE BUT HOW ATL KEPT ITS "GREEN" LOOK WITH ALL THE TREES AND PARKS. I DONT LIKE HOW ATL TEARS DOWN HISTORIC SITES TO BUILD NEW EXTRA OUT OF PLACE MODERN LOOKING SHIT THOUGH.
What inspired you to start doing comics rather than the regular graphic design approach that most artists take?
I'VE ALWAYS DRAWN UP LIL CARTOONS ASIDE FROM PAINTING AND SCULPTING. I CAN DO GRAPHIC DESIGN TOO, BUT NOW DAYS A LOT OF GRAPHIC DESIGNERS CANT EVEN MAKE ART OUTSIDE OF THAT. THAT'S WACK AND I LIKE TO STRETCH AND FLEX.
What are some personal aspects that you admire Gucci Mane that you like to display in your art?
GUCCI JUST GIVES US FANS SO MUCH TO VISUALIZE FROM HIS RAPS TO HIS ANTICS TO THE TALES FROM THE SIX. HE IS JUST A PERFECT CHARACTER TO ILLUSTRATE.
Who are some other keynote Atlanta artists/individuals that you would like to highlight in your art work?
DEFINITELY DEION SANDERS, MY MAN JAMES BUT MOST PEOPLE KNOW HIM AS "KINFOLK THE EGDEWOOD AVE BUM", JADA STEPHENS, AND BIG GIPP.
"GUCCI JUST GIVES US FANS SO MUCH TO VISUALIZE FROM HIS RAPS TO HIS ANTICS TO THE TALES FROM THE SIX. HE IS JUST A PERFECT CHARACTER TO ILLUSTRATE. "
One noticeable figure that plays a lot in your work is the late NFL defensive star, Junior Seau. Why are you so inspired by him?
WHEN I WAS A KID I WAS CRAZY ABOUT LINEBACKERS AND DEFENSIVE STARS LIKE SEAU, SAPP, AND JESSE TUGGLE. JUNIOR SEAU THO WAS THE FUCKING G.O.A.T THOUGH HE RULED THE FIELD FROM SIDELINE TO SIDELINE. I WORE #55 IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I WASN'T AS GOOD AS HIM OF COURSE BUT HE WAS DEFINITELY INSPIRATIONAL. DUDE NEVER STOPPED KICKING ASS. I JUST WANTED THE SAME INTENSITY. THE NUMBER 55 JUST FEELS LIKE A SPIRIT NUMBER LIKE I SEE IT ALL THE TIME ON DIGITAL CLOCKS AND IN DREAMS.
The rat also plays an important point in your designs as well. Why do you use him in as a vital piece in your work?
ROBERTO THE RAT IS THERE TO WATCH MY BACK AND SPREAD THE WORD. I USE HIM BECAUSE HE IS JUST A DIRTY BOLOGNA EATING RODENT BUT HE REPRESENTS A GODLY SPIRIT AND ALL THAT IS GOOD. NOBODY WOULD EXPECT A RAT TO DO THAT MUCH LOL. SMALL FACT ROBERTO THE RAT HAS 43 BABY MOMS AND 96 KIDS WHICH MOST OF THE MALES ARE ALL NAMED ROBERTO AS WELL.
What are three things you do on your free time?
READ, TAKE PHOTOS OF SHIT IN THE STREETS, AND RIDE A BMX BIKE AIMLESSLY AROUND TOWN.
What three of your favorite things you like to eat while high?
PEOPLE THINK I EAT HORRIBLE BUT IM A VERY HEALTHY CONSUMER. I ENJOY SOME GOOD JAMAICAN FOOD, HALAL, AS LONG AS ITS NOT PORK, BEEF, AND GMO VEGGIES IM GONNA EAT THAT SHIT AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE AROUND ME KNOWS THAT I AM ENJOYING THE HELL OUTTA IT. IM ALWAYS EATING AT THE DEKALB FARMER'S MARKET THOUGH. IT JUST FEELS GOOD TO PUT GOOD FOOD IN MY BODY SINCE I DRINK SO MUCH BS.
What are three of your favorite Gucci Mane songs?
DOPE BOYS, BACHELOR PAD, AND SERVIN. I USE TO BUMP THAT BACHELOR PAD OUTTA MY LAND ROVER DISCO IN COLLEGE HAD 2 15'S IN IT.
Who are three NFL players that would reflect your personality?
RIGHT NOW NOBODY BUT RAY LEWIS, THE BOZ, AND TRENT WILLIAMS CRAZY ASS.
What are three things you want to accomplish this year?
I WANNA HELP KIDS GET INTO ART AND RIDING BMX. I ALSO WANT TO HELP YOUNG GIRLS DO PROFESSIONS THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO DO LIKE BEING A DJ, PHOTOGRAPHER, SKATEBOARDER, MAN ANYTHING TO KEEP THEM FROM BEING ON THE STREET OR IN A STRIP CLUB.