#11: Photographer Ricky Powell and How He Captured the Golden Era of Hip-Hop

“I like to make the goofy sh*t cool.”

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#11: Photographer Ricky Powell and How He Captured the Golden Era of Hip-Hop
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Ricky Powell‘s origin story is the stuff of myth: after being dissed by an ex-girlfriend “like a soggy cannoli, like a wet tuna sandwich,” Powell picked up a Minolta camera and decided to make something of himself with the device, purely out of spite. Three decades, hundreds of photos, and four books later, Powell has established himself as a figure in both street and hip-hop photography, as well as the downtown party circuit.

In this week’s episode of HYPEBEAST Radio, we rapped with “The Rickster” about how he quit his job at a frozen lemonade stand to follow the Beastie Boys on tour, his new photo book, The Individualist, and the stories behind his iconic shots of the Beasties, LL Cool J, Broadway Joe Namath and many others. As for words of advice, Powell shares his four-part mantra, inspired in part by Bruce Lee: “First, lose the ego. Number two: get humbled and be humble. Three: show love and spread love. And number four: Be like water.”

Check out our sit-down with Ricky Powell above.

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Episode Transcript

#11: Photographer Ricky Powell and How He Captured the Golden Era of Hip-Hop

“I like to make the goofy sh*t cool.”