The stresses of college are hard enough and for one University of North Texas senior — hip-hop willed him through it.
Mark Phillips, 22, who will receive a bachelor’s in integrative studies in a few weeks, recreated senior pictures inspired by some of his favorite hip-hop album covers, including Kendrick Lamar’s Damn, Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Drake’s Nothing Was the Same — as a way to say thank you.
“The main reason I decided to recreate album covers for my graduation photos was because these artists kept me focus and inspired to chase my dreams while being a full-time college student,” Phillips told FYINTERTAINMENT via email.
Phillips said it took him a week to complete and had no clue his act to show gratitude would become a viral hit. The images, which was uploaded to Instagram four days ago, has been liked nearly 85,0000 times.
And although hip-hop gets a bad rap — no pun intended — Phillips said it all depends on the message fans decide to take in and the artist one gravitates towards.
For him, it’s J. Cole.
Phillips recreated all of J. Cole’s albums and cites the St. John University alumnus as his favorite rapper. In fact, the soundtrack of his college experience is Cole’s Love Yourz.
“J. Cole definitely had the biggest impact on me. I feel like his music is inspiring for me because I can relate to it in so many different aspects,” Phillips said.
Phillips is weeks away from walking across the stage and either Logic’s Run It or Drake’s 305 To My City will serve as his background music when he accepts his degree. While Phillips doesn’t have any career prospects lined up just yet, he has some lofty goals.
“I plan to create my own anime, tv show, movie, and become the owner of Disney,” he said. “Those are my goals.”
Check out the recreated albums below: