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archival, art, artists, hip hop, hiphop, moment, music, new york, new york city, ny, nyc, roof, sky high, skyhigh, smifnwessun, steel, tdoteric, tek, themoment -

The publicist gathered the guys in the group, Tek and Steel, and we all exchanged hellos. I suggested we go up to the roof. We had been up to the roof so many times in the past just to hangout, so going up there now with a camera was no different.

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1995, 90s, art, as one, background, culture, hiphop, moment, moments, music, new york, nyc, pharcyde, photograph, photography, rap, signature, t. eric monroe, tdoteric, themoment, thepharcyde -

Using the ambient light in the hallway I began shooting them from different angles. After the first 8 frames, the group relaxed and stopped doing the typical 'rap, yo!' poses, vibing with each other. Each of their actions was fluid, in sync with the movements of the others. If there was a low angle shift, someone else moved high; if someone gave a look, someone else would motion or adjust their look to stay complementary to the person adjacent.

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1995, archival, art, awards, dr dre, dre, east coast, hiphop, moments, photograph, snoop, snoop dogg, source, tdoteric, the source, west coast -

About a hour before the doors were open to the public, I talked my way into the venue. One of The Source Magazine staffers likely waived me in to the show, still without a photo pass. The awards show started off ok but, soon enough, things started to turn…

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90s, art, blackthought, culture, hiphop, malikb, manhattan, new york, nyc, park, questlove, roots, the roots, urb -

After meeting The Roots at the park, we started out with some shots near a playground area. Then, we moved and sat on large cement step or bleachers. Questlove, Black Thought, and Malik B. flowed in their space. I didn’t direct them. I just want to capture them in their essence.

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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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