What do you get when you cross a dinosaur, hip-hop, and an illustrated children’s book with Bushwick?
“Rhymosaurs” is a series of hip-hop rhyming books for children of all ages. The first story follows Tommy Rex, as he finds a way to brush his teeth properly with small arms.
The book is the creation of rapper-producer Orlando “Zeps” Molina, 36, and Charles “Ooge” Ugas, a 40-year-old illustrator who grew up on the Queens- Bushwick border.
“I’ll never call that ‘Quooklyn’ by the way. Yuck,” Ooge told Bushwick Daily. “But I did experience the best of both worlds.”
The two Brooklynites teamed up in 2011, according to Ooge, who had met Zeps when he was hosting freestyle rhyming in New York and across the globe. Zeps, an author and teacher, began hiring the Bushwick illustrator to design his cover art and flyers.
Inevitably, both artists started getting older and settling down. That’s when the “Rhymosaurs” idea was born.
“After the birth of his daughter, he [Zeps] came up with the new idea and direction. Creating a children’s book which would focus on the break down of rapping. The art of rapping told in baby steps in an audio and visual format,” Ooge said.
“Our approach is that it’s meant for kids,” Zeps told Bushwick Daily. “But the quality of the art, music and lyrics is more geared towards the parents who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s that grew up on classic 90s hip-hop.”
Ooge does the illustrations; Zeps does the rhymes The duo have since taken “Rhymosaurs,” which is currently available on Amazon and will be soon as an Audible audiobook, on a truly global promo tour, bringing Tommy Rex to kids in Norway, Amsterdam, and across America.
Ooge, who now lives with his wife on Staten Island, lived in the Bushwick-Ridgewood area until his 30s. He remembers it as a different time.
“[I was] An only child to a single Puerto Rican parent. Raised on VHS films, I was pretty much inspired to draw by watching film,” Ooge said.”[Bushwick] was mixed bag of craziness. Dangerous at night and for the most part awesome during the day. It wasn’t always as ‘friendly’ as it seems now.”
But Tommy Rex and Tara Dactyl are definitely friendly. And for just $3.50 on Amazon, it could be just what an ornery kid needs for the holidays.
All images courtesy of Rhymosaurs