Hip-Hop Notables Salute Legendary Photog Chi Modu

Hip-Hop Notables Salute Legendary Photog Chi Modu

Chi Modu, legendary photographer who masterfully captured so many Hip-Hop icons of the 1990s, died on Saturday (May 22) at the age of 54. The news was announced via Modu's Instagram page. 

“Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,” read a caption that also listed his year of birth and death. “The family request privacy at this time.”

Modu's images of artists such as 2Pac, Nas, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Dr. Dre and more have become a part of Hip-Hop lore. His work would grace the pages of Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Born in Nigeria and an alum of Rutgers University, the New Jersey-raised photog began his career at the New York Amsterdam News before becoming a mainstay at The Source. It was there that Modu shot over 30 covers of rap stars of the era, including iconic pics of The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac Snoop Dogg, LL COOL J, and Mary J. Blige. In 2016, Modu released Uncategorized a book of previously unseen Tupac Shakur photos. 

"No photographer captured rap icons of the 1990s like @chimodu " tweeted Ghostly. "Present on both coasts (and in-between) at the precise moment when hardcore went mainstream, presenting artists simultaneously as real humans and myths, foreshadowing the beauty and tragedy to come. RIP legend."

The reaction to the news of Modu's passing was widespread. You can read some of the statements from peers, fans and artists below.   

 








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