1994 RSS

1994, 90s, archival, art, bandana, blunt, dry, harlem, hiphop, new york, nyc, outlawz, photograph, photography, rap, tdoteric, thug life, tupac shakur -

I was able to capture a personal vibe among Tupac and his friends — guys from the groups Thug Life and the Outlawz. After the main taping was done, the news cameras started to leave. The bulk of the news press got the shots they needed to portray Tupac as the “Dangerous Thug,” which they would print in the next day’s papers. It felt like Tupac knew how to play with the media to keep his name in the press. He knew how to press their buttons, challenge them mentally; their only recourse was to portray him as a troublemaker. The pattern was reactive and visible.

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1994, 90s, background, guru, hiphop, history, ladybug, mecca, moment, nineties, perspective, photography, release, story -

As enchanted as I was, I didn't stay for the recording of the song. I must have had somewhere to be. Before I left the studio, I was in the lounge, preparing to leave. Ladybug Mecca and Guru were seated on the couch across from me — not songwriting — just vibing, having a good moment.

I quietly took out my camera, waited a moment. Mecca looked into Guru. Guru looked into me.

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1994, background, hiphop, history, moment, nas, perspective, photography, story -

I did not know Nas directly, nor know enough about him to conjure what he typically looked like in photograph. I didn't have a pre-conceived subject. I wanted to capture him as he was, in the moment. Nas has a strong,  quiet presence. Watching and observing from non-traditional angles allowed me to see different perspectives, different ways to allow him to tell a story without saying a word. I never directed his movements or actions. I just watched, observed, and captured.

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