Many people may wonder where a man like Tyson Beckford came from. He may appear as if he’s had it all since day one. You know the story, a wealthy family, a great education, growing up in a nice neighborhood: THE WORKS.

The truth is Tyson Beckford grew up in the streets of New York. The Bronx to be exact and he was born with the good looks. But his wealth did not come into his life until 1991. At that time, he jumped on one opportunity that paved the way for many blessings to come. Tyson is of Jamaican and Chinese descent (hence his very slanted but gorgeous eyes). He never imagined growing up to become a supermodel. Instead he was into sports and was a member of his high school’s football and track teams. One day while playing flag football in a park with friends, Tyson was noticed by a talent scout who worked for the Source magazine. And from then on his career as a model began to take off.

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His hyperrealist drawings can’t help but evoke emotion. Compelled by raw, uncensored feelings his passion permeates the page. With every stroke of his pencil, he escorts us into the world of hip hop, inviting us to remember some of music’s greatest stars and recall their lyrics. Perfectly capturing the facial expressions, scowls and accessories of various artists, he expresses the very essence of this specific culture. His drawings of Tupac, Eazy-E, ICE Cube and Biggie are like visual odes to hip hop. But despite popular assumptions, he’s not from any of the socially accepted “hip hop cities, but from Belgium instead. Regardless of having an entirely different lifestyle than most hip hop artists, 32 year old Laurens Jansen’s artistry tells a similar story of the hip hop artists he is drawn to. Using pencil and canvas as his microphone of choice, Jansen’s drawings not only illustrate music’s ability to transcend time, age, ethnicity, and nationality, but it demonstrates heart, passion and legacy as well.

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