Shot UK rapper/wordsmith Kate Tempest for the Washington Post. Good show, was expected to not be too interested in her music but was pleasantly surprised by this one. Those are the best assignments- when you go in blind and find something cool that you didn’t expect.
The other week, I shot Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates at Fillmore. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, as most hip-hop shows I go to lately have been fairly disappointing… a lot of the younger artists haven’t been playing shows that long and seem to lack the showmanship you used to see. Not Gates, though. After a slow start, I was pleasantly surprised as he burst into life, stalking back and forth on stage, calm one moment, barely contained energy the next. The crowd ate it up, too. Good show, fun to shoot too, as he kept interacting with crowd members.
I worked with Sam Sessa at the Baltimore Sun on a piece about the breakdancing scene in Baltimore. The monthly party 4 Hours of Funk (at Wind Up Space) and the weekly Dig (at Joe Squared) are both hotbeds of breaking, as well as popping and locking. Both parties are fun, even for the uninitiated like myself. It’s pretty impressive just to hang back and watch their moves.
I shot Big Freedia at DC9 for the Washington Post, one of the first shows after their re-opening, I believe. I was worried at first that it might be a low turnout, but DC crowds are expert at showing up JUSSSSST before the artist they want to see plays, and suddenly it was packed! Great show, one of the funniest I have been to this year. So much ass-shaking, which is to be expected. Freedia was really nice too, I managed to get a quick portrait before the show. I’ll always shoot a bounce show if I get a chance!
A few weeks back, Rye Rye and Say Whut did a video shoot at Metro Gallery in Baltimore for the Baltimore Sun. It was streamed live on the internet by a huge camera crew, as part of the promotions for Rye Rye’s debut full-length, which should be out soon (We’ve been waiting for it to drop for like a year or so!)… it was a great time, and while at first it felt a little weird, with all the lights and cameras, as soon as Rye Rye got going, the crowd loosened up and enjoyed the show… really getting into it and even taking the stage. It’s great to see her career taking off lately, and I am excited to see what happens when the album comes out! Click below to see the rest of the shots!
A little while back, I had a chance to shoot BIG K.R.I.T.’s sound check at the awesome DC venue, the U St Music hall. I love shooting here, the staff is always great. They have a policy that we have to shoot the sound checks, not the show itself, which is real different from most clubs, and has it’s good and bad points. The good is we get to shoot portraits of the artists, if they are down, like the quick one I shot of Big K.R.I.T. above. He was really chill and his soundcheck sounded great. Check the links below to see more photos and read a review of the actual show!
NYC rapper Prodigy, best known as half of the influential hip-hop duo Mobb Deep who created such classic records as …The Infamous and Hell On Earth in the 90s, spoke last night at Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library. On tour supporting the release of his autobiography, My Infamous Life, Prodigy had quite a bit to say during the roughly 60 minute Q&A, hosted by AJ from 92Q’s Rap Attack.
I’ve been a fan of Mobb Deep since 1995, when I moved to NYC and was exposed to their sophomore album, …The Infamous. I still consider this to be one of THE classic records of the 90s and it’s one of my favorite albums of all time. He also has a successful solo career as well with albums such as HNIC and 2007’s underrated Return of the Mac. In recent years though, Prodigy is more well know for a series of beefs, an abortive signing to 50 Cent’s G-unit label, and his 2007 gun possession conviction which led to him being incarcerated for 3 years.
DJ Excel, DJ Booman and Bmore Original helped organize what I hope becomes a regular event, a record pull at Club Reality in Baltimore City. Labels, artists, DJs, Producers, and media from DC/MD/Va got together and talked, met each other, networked, performed, and had a dialogue. A cool event and very chill, low-stress, very little drama. Follow the record pull on facebook, or check out the new website.
I scored the assignment of shooting the up and coming hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’s sound check at the U Street Music Hall. This was the same day as the announcement that XL Recordings would be releasing Tyler’s next record. It was pretty funny to watch these guys soundcheck… whatever greater success is coming their way, at this point you can tell the whole thing is just a huge amount of fun for them. They raced around the empty venue goofing off, played almost a full set during sound check, and generally horsed around the whole time. Fun experience, cool kids.
This was an experience. Packed Verizon Center in DC. 30,000 people. Mostly ladies. All of them screaming for Usher and Trey Songz. Crazy. Usher is a total pro… this was a very well done performance. It was almost too well-orchestrated to call it a concert, but it was quite a spectacle… and Usher is definitely a showman.
This was a lot of fun. Wale, Doug E Fresh, Trina, Choppa, Mr Vegas, the beautiful Lola Monroe, Black Cobain, and about a million more artists performed. I had to file twice from the event, which was a wild experience fraught with bad wifi connections and dying laptop batteries, but I did it. At one point a mini stampede of people literally jumped over me, on girl kicking my laptop (where I was filing photos), but I made it through and on deadline! I won’t be able to review the show better than Chris Richards, so check out the two stories from the Washington Post:
The other day I got a chance to shoot the Duck Down Anniversary tour, which was basically a Boot Camp Clik reunion… pretty much everyone was there. It was pretty great, and it had been awhile since I had been to a real as hell hip-hop show, so it was an awesome night.
Tuesday night I saw Mos Def, Talib, and Jay at Sonar. Packed house. Talib was the highlight for me, but Mos Def is always fun… seen him a few times now though, so I was more interested in Talib’s show. Check out all the shots from the show!