Wowzers Cadowzers! If you don’t know by now you should know about the documentarians of Hip-Hop history. I call them the ‘Trinity of Hip-Hop Imagery’. Three names: Joe Conzo, Ernie Paniccioli, and Jamel Shabazz. I can truthfully say these men of photography have welcomed me as the new generation of Hip-Hop voices. I have met and sat down with them chopping it up on Hip-Hop. Ernie Paniccioli said to me, “You get it. You are the next generation that can preserve Hip-Hop.”And Joe Conzo has even urged me to pursue getting a book published with my photography. Jamel Shabazz invited me to show my photography at one of his shows that he curated at the Danny Simmons Gallery in Brooklyn. Why am I telling you all of this? They saw my passion and my roots for Hip-Hop instantly whereas other photo editors wouldn’t. Words of encouragement from The Trinity? That’s everything. All three care about fostering the future and the craft of Hip-Hop imagery, so you better be dope at your cooking your art or get out the kitchen.
From top-to-bottom Conzo, Paniccioli, and Shabazz are the pioneers of Hip-Hop photography and they are also my favorite go-to references for inspiration. Their works should be in your library pronto!
Ernie Paniccioli Who Shot Ya? 2002: Three decades of Paparazzi-blitzed hip-hop color photography. From Lauryn Hill to Puffy to Tupac to Kool Moe Dee. You will see the best selling artists in Hip-Hop history in this book. Buy Book.
Jamel Shabazz Back In The Days 2001: Street portraiture at its best. See how alive, vibrant, b-boy’d out NY’ers were in the streets between 1980-1989. Buy Book.
Joe Conzo Born In The Bronx 2007: Diary-like chronicles of the birth of Hip-Hop in the mean streets of the Bronx borough shot on 35mm black and white film. Also contains many rare party fliers signaling the start of a whole new funky fresh party era. NY Times is often quoted as describing Conzo as “the chronicler who took hip hop’s baby pictures’. Buy Book.