Ricky Powell photographer

LL COOL J, Q-Tip Remember Legendary Photog Ricky Powell

Ricky Powell, the famed Hip-Hop photographer known the world over for his association with the Beastie Boys, is dead at age 59. Tono Radvany, Powell’s manager and business partner Tono Radvany confirmed his death to Complex Monday (Feb. 1st.)

“I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed,” Radvany said.

Powell made his name documenting Hip-Hop in the vibrant New York scene of the 1980s and 1990s. He went on tour with Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys in 1985, documenting Def Jam's rise, and photographing soon-to-be-legends like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and Eric B and Rakim.

His time with the Beastie Boys would become lionized in their song "Car Thief" from their seminal 1989 album Licensed To Ill.

The news of Powell's death sparked reactions from luminaries such as Questlove, Q-Tip and Chuck D. “#RestInBeats The Rickster aka RICKY Powell of course to the right of Clyde Frazier was the quintessential New York Cityer, iconic B Boy and the ‘freezer of great NEW YORK moments and figures’ as a photographer,” Chuck D tweeted. “He shot with authentic ease and NYC swag before the popular term.”


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