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Exclusive to ShufSounds

German artist and designer Zhi-Yun Zhang has built superheroes by fusing two of the most animated character-types in the history of pop culture. His reimagining of rap stars as cartoon characters is a colourful, inventive and entertaining array of images. See the full gallery here and enjoy some of our favourites right on this page. We also had a chat with the artist himself and he was kind enough to send us a previously unseen version of "Porky West". 

How did you start out and where did the idea for Cartoon x Pop come from?

On the internet there are a lot of fan arts and abstraction of cartoon characters or artists. There is so much cool stuff. So I just decided to do it. And because like everyone nowadays has features and collaborations I took music and cartoons. The two aspects accompanied me in my life. On first sight I saw similarity between Milhouse and Drake's childhood photos that he has posted on social networks. This was my first of the series.

What do you do more; listen to music or watch cartoons?

At the moment I listen more music than watching cartoons.

Are rappers the new superheroes?

No, cause they still haven't got a superpower! If I ever see one of them fly or inflame something with their eyes I'll revoke this statement. 

What comes first; the artist or the cartoon character?

Both. Haha.

What other projects are you working on?

I just finished a project for producer Kill The Noise. It was really cool. And I have some projects for the near future.

Who are bigger icons; rappers or cartoon characters?

I think it depends on how old you are. When I was a kid I would say definitely cartoon/anime characters like Bart or Son-Goku were the icons. But when you are a teenager it turns into rappers or other artists.

Words: Duncan Harrison

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AuthorDuncan Harrison