VINTAGE PHOTOS OF THE EARLY DAYS OF HIP-HOP

More than 400 images from the 1980s to the early 2000s detail the “standout moments” of the rise of Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Jay Z and many more artists, before It Became a Billion-Dollar Industry

Bill Adler never set out to be a professional collector; it’s just part of who he is. And by the time he shut the doors of the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery in New York in 2007, he had amassed a collection of more than 400 photographs representing just over two decades of hip-hop history.

“Photography to me is really a magical medium,” says Adler, a music journalist and critic. “It’s just stunning.” A purveyor of hip-hop since the early 1980s, Adler encountered the music genre in his reporting and eventually embraced it as his journalistic beat.

But it was during his six-year stint as director of publicity at Def Jam Recordings when he developed the relationships with the photographers of hip-hop—who he commissioned for promotional material—that would give him the opportunity to open a gallery devoted solely to the images of the genre’s pioneers.

Filed away in drawers in his New York City basement since he closed the gallery, Adler’s vintage hip-hop photographs, representing the work of both amateurs and famous professional photogs such as four-time book author Ricky Powell, have a second chance at life as part of the collections at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

BACK IN DA DAYS

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Big Youth c.1979 (Adrian Boot)
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Nas at Queensborough Bridge, 1993 (Danny Clinch/Sony Music)
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Female rappers, Class of ’88 (Janette Beckman)
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Eazy-E, Union Square, NYC (Al Pereira)
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DMC and Run, NYC (Al Pereira)
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Queen Latifah on the set of “Fly Girl” video shoot (Al Pereira)
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Salt-N-Pepa, Bayside Studios (Al Pereira)
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KRS-One promoting “By All Means Necessary” (Al Pereira)
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Yo-Yo at the New Ritz, NYC (Al Pereira)
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Isis and her son Miles (Al Pereira)

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Rakim in performance at the Apollo Theatre (Ricky Powell)

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Run-DMC-JMJ on the rooftop of Russell Simmons’s apt (Ricky Powell)

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LL Cool J (Roberto Rabanne)
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Run-DMC, Russell Simmons, Steve Plotnicki and Cory Robbins (David Salidor 1984/1985)
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Untitled (Couple Embracing), undated (Coreen Simpson)
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Jean-Michel Basquiat (Nicholas Taylor)
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Bushwick Bill (Jack Thompson)
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Tenor Saw (Wayne Tippetts)
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Paul Wall (Jack Thompson)
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The Jaz, Queen Latifah and Jay-Z (Al Pereira)
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Spinderella at Salt-N-Pepa’s “Start Me Up” video shoot (Al Pereira)

Text By Katie Nodjimbadem

Via

 

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