Wherever you are, it's hard to escape the influence of Kanye West, and that's especially true in Chicago. Though Kanye wasn't born in the city, he grew up and got his start rapping there, something that current-day residents like Luis Rivera take pride in.
A south side-based artist and clothing designer, Luis was inspired by Kanye for his most recent mural which was commissioned by a cafe in Chicago.
"The guys over at Cafe Tola are real lovers of art," he said in an email to MTV News. "The owners said they wanted an Aztec/Mayan type of snake, then they mentioned Kanye [so] I added the bears into the mix. Being an extremely avid listener and admirer of Kanye, I couldn't ask for a better focus point."
Luis has been painting and doing graffiti art, mostly with spray paint and acrylics, for almost 15 years. He's most recently started screen printing Chicago-inspired T-shirts with his wife under the brand name ANiKi28.
"Everything about Chicago, [especially] my side of Chicago, calls to me," he said. "I love it all unconditionally."
Though it's easy to brand Kanye as an outspoken, polarizing figure, even to the people in his hometown, Luis still feels like he can connect with the artist.
"Kanye is a local guy, an adopted son of Chicago," he explained. "Neither him nor I were born here, so I identify with him lots. And being able to relate to him leads me to believe that I can achieve as much in life as he has."
And despite his sometimes outrageous persona, Kanye still has the support of his city rallying behind him—even when he does something like branch off into fashion. Luckily for everyone, Kanye's risks usually pay off.
"He's done fantastic," Luis said. "Rap artist[s] or musicians in general have been setting trends for a long time. Kanye likes to communicate in every which way and [with] him being our projection, our voice, this city's offspring, well who doesn't want to see their children succeed?"