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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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1997, 90s, archival print, brooklyn, common, director, hiphop, lauryn, lauryn hill, music, new york, new york city, ny, nyc, scene, tdoteric, video -

When I arrived on set, the taping of the video was in full swing, and Lauryn and crew were handling all that needed to be accomplished, moving from scene to scene.

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badu, erykah, erykah badu, hiphop, holdmel, music, nj, photo, photography, pncarts, queen, signature2, signatureseries2.0, tdoteric, themoment -

Casually, I still snapped a photo here and there of Erykah’s set, but there wasn’t with the same sense of urgency as if I had been shooting the show from the Pit, in front of the stage. I was able to actually watch and enjoy the performance. Sitting a decent way back still allowed me to capture a few moments, but at a natural pace. I used my Tamron telephoto lens, no flash, one roll of color film and one roll of black and white film.

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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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90s, chill, ghost, ghostface, hiphop, nyc, photography, rae, raekwon, signature, tdoteric, wutang -

Manhattan, August 1995 Back Story   The opportunity to photograph Raekwon and Ghostface of the Wu Tang Clan came to me because the publicist at the Black Music Department of RCA called to see if I wanted to shoot "on-spec." Shooting on-spec means there is no official assignment. The record label and publicity department know you are a working press photographer, not on staff. They rely on your motivation to market the photo and consider it a win-win situation if you get their artist into the press.  Raekwon and Ghostface had just released their first duo album, Only Built for Cuban...

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