1. For his last 50 Instagram posts, Wesley Verhoeve paired up Jay Z lyrics with beautifully-filtered photos of snow angels, bodies of water, and other scenes of everyday splendor.
2. Today he revealed the meaning behind his seemingly nondescript captions, acknowledging that they were really “Easter eggs.”
3. A lover of both hip-hop and photography, Verhoeve found a creative way to meld his passions. “I started on a whim right after Christmas and told myself if I could do it for 50 pictures in a row I’d consider it a pretty decent run,” he told BuzzFeed News.
4. Verhoeve’s been a fan since the early ’90s. “Growing up, I would get hip-hop CDs (remember those!?) from the library (remember those?!) and dub them onto cassettes, make pause tapes from the radio and watch Yo! MTV Raps past my bedtime,” Verhoeve said.
5. Though Verhoeve considers himself a fan of many rappers, Hov was the obvious choice to him. “Jay Z has such a deep catalog from being at it for so long and [at] such a high level that it just made sense,” Verhoeve said.
“He’s also a fan of double and, as he claims, triple entendres that there’s a lot of fun to be had by attaching his words to pictures of things that do reflect the words he is saying, but not the meaning of how he is saying them.”
6. This, he claims, is his funniest photo and lyric combination: “It’s a line from the song ‘Where I’m From,’ and I took that picture in my home town. In the original lyric, ‘beef’ refers to conflict but I obviously just took a picture of two cows.”
7. In some cases, the connections between the photos and Jay Z’s lyrics went deeper than even Verhoeve initially realized. When is a biscuit not just a biscuit?
“The one that I really love but cannot claim full credit for because it was an accident, is this one,” Verhoeve said. “It’s a line from the intro to The Dynasty album, and ‘biscuit’ is slang for a gun. I happened to be having lunch at Lunitas in Brooklyn, where I was enjoying an actual biscuit. I took a picture of my table top (cliché, I know), which also had my Garden & Gun magazine on it, and afterwards I realized the word ‘Gun’ from the magazine cover was also perfectly positioned next to the ‘biscuit.’ Both meanings of the word! Total accident, but I was very pleased.”
8. If he were to do the project again, he’d pick Nas. “He has a deep catalog that I am familiar with as well, and his topic matter is more diverse than most. I could also try for Silkk The Shocker, but I’d have to take a lot of off-beat pictures.”
Maybe he’ll find fitting material as he treks across the country for his One Of Many photo essays — there has to be a Nas lyric for surfing in Maui.