Art Seen

This College Student's Graduation Photo Shoot Paid Tribute To The Music That Inspired Him

“I felt like these artists and their music were a strong part in keeping me motivated to graduate."

Many of us are influenced and inspired by music, but one man took that feeling to a whole new level. Mark Phillips, a soon-to-be graduate of the University of North Texas, paid tribute to all of the hip-hop greats who made a mark on getting him to where he is today.

Giving us a unique take on graduation photos, Phillips has created a series of snapshots to honor a few of his favorite artists. He shared them on Instagram, where they have amassed nearly 84,000 likes and nearly 25,000 comments since debuting — and that's just in the past three days.

"I felt like these artists and their music were a strong part in keeping me motivated to graduate," Phillips said in an email interview with Complex. "Not only that, but my job as a video creator has been hard to balance with being a full-time student. So their music really has kept me inspired to keep pushing towards my goals."


Scroll through all of the album homages here:

The list of those albums Phillips included are: Big Sean's I Decided, Kendrick Lamar's Damn., Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book, Drake's Nothing Was the Same, Logic's The Incredible True Story, Bryson Tiller's Trapsoul, and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Getting the most love from Phillips was J. Cole, who had three albums recreated with 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 4 Your Eyez Only, and Born Sinner all getting the treatment.

Phillips, who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in integrative studies, said it took about a week to complete the photos, which were taken by and edited by pal Affiong Harris. While this series was meant to be a creative outlet and meaningful expression for Phillips, he knew there was more work to be done for his mom to be happy.

"I didn't tell my mom about these pictures at first," Phillips added. "I knew she'd be happy, but secretly she would want some regular ones to send to my family. So I took some regular ones for my family and these for my creative side/for the artists, for lack of a better term."

We're sure Phillips' mom was super proud of her son for both sets of photos.

Cover images via @supremedreams_1 / Instagram


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