Lyons, a big fan of hip hop and jazz, loved the idea that North Carolina had a rich history of both genres. So, he worked around the clock for a week, with assitants Jenny Smith and Noelle Martinez, to replace his truth x vans sneaker and mural collaboration with a Giants of North Carolina Jazz mural.
From Thelonious Monk and Betty Davis to Rhapsody and King Mez, multiple generations of NC music are represented on the wall. As Lyons told Raleigh mag, the wall is painted “in regional colors: Duke and Tarheel blues, Wolfpack red, even Shaw University’s distinctive burgundy.”
Director Joshua Steadman captured Lyons in his element, ducking in and out of a tarp and up and down a ladder for a week, while he layered color and history on the wall. Located on the side of Trophy Pizza on Morgan Street, the Morgan Monsters of NC Jazz brand spawned a short run of canned beers, t-shirts and a block party to celebrate the completion of the mural.
“The monster thing has only been about the last eight or nine years out of a 25- or 30-year career, and it’s given me a second life,” Lyons told the News and Observer.
Special thanks to Kooley High for the musical track. Check out the Spotify playlist below to listen to the NC musician represented on the wall.