Chi Modu, the Nigerian-born and New Jersey-raised photojournalist, was the director of photography at The Source magazine during the defining era of hip-hop in the Nineties. In addition to the 30-plus covers he shot, he also captured many candid and unexpected moments of some of the genre’s biggest names, long before they were famous.
Modu began a project called “Uncategorized” in 2013, with large-scale images appearing on the exteriors of buildings in New York as a way to make his work available to everyone. The exhibit has since shifted and toured the world and on Saturday, a version of it will open in Los Angeles at the HVW8 Gallery, presented by Adidas Originals.
Alongside some iconic images of hip-hop royalty including Tupac, Biggie, Nas and ODB, “Uncategorized” also features previously unseen works from Modu’s photographic archive. The show, which runs through Sept. 23, celebrates hip-hop’s creative energy and raw, unrivaled ambition, showcasing Modu’s documentation of the legends behind the sound.
On the eve of the exhibit’s opening, where Modu and Snoop Dogg were to have a private fireside chat detailing some of the famous images, the photographer and the rapper sat down to talk with WWD in Snoop’s trailer...
Click to continue at WWD