Music

Grouper

The artist Liz Harris aka Grouper has a new album called ‘Ruins’ I shot this photo of her for the current Interview Magazine on a rainy afternoon below Canal Street.

THE RZA

The Wu-Tang Clan is back, their much-delayed LP will be released on December 2. The RZA (my archive photo above) is a vegan and featured in a PETA commercial. He told the NME “I think hip-hop has become more conscious about diet …My peers and people that are related to me appreciate the vegan lifestyle, it’s really spreading…. I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body. There’s nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live. I had animals as friends, they were happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate.”

Don Was and Jose James

Jose James invited me to the studio to hear the mix for his new album due out next year. It is produced by the legendary Don Was who I have wanted to meet since 1981 when I first heard his album  Was (Not Was) a crazy mix of disco, rock, politics, jazz and everything else that said ‘America’ to me. So finally I got to make this portrait of the two of them standing in a jungle of vintage microphones at Sear Sound. Don is not wearing shoes – like another great producer Rick Rubin who I photographed in 2011 barefoot at the New York Library talk for the launch of the book Def Jam Records: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label. And btw Jose’s album sounds just amazing

HIP HOP MASHUP


In July, on a hot summer night ,over 400 people converged on my studio to see the JB_HIP HOP MASHUP. From an idea curated by artist Cey Adams,  a list of his artist friends were sent a selection of my hip hop photos, they each chose an image to re-interpret in their own distinct styles. In true hip hop spirit the idea of re mixing and making something new from something old  - the MashUp came together.

We collaborated with the wonderful Juliet Silva Yee from Pop Up Art Event (PUAE) to make the event happen

Original artworks were created on archival prints by  Chino (Stetsasonic), Claw Money (Salt ‘n Pepa), Eric Adams (Flavor Flav), Faust (Afrika Bambaataa), Jester (EPMD), Morning Breath (Slick Rick), Revolt (Ultramagnetic MC’s), Trike (Dr Dre), Alice Mizrachi(Beastie Boys), T Kid (Fab 5 Freddy), Greg Lamarche (Big Daddy Kane),and Sharp (Donald D & Grandmixer DST)

I shot portraits of all the artists and each one gave a short description of why they chose the image and how they got their start in the world of graffiti.  Each one has a story, T Kid tells me ” I started writing graffiti at 12 years old when I was drafted into the neighborhood gang my first tag was king13 at 16 years of age (1977) after getting shot due to gang violence I changed my name to Tkid170 and became a king of subway graffiti I tagged the park I played in it was on Morrison Ave and Watson Ave South Bronx then it was nothing but subway cars”

Company Freak Disco Collective

The Company Freak Disco Collective, led by Jason King, turned Central Park Summer Stage into a dance party today. Stars like Karl Dixon and Dawn Tallman (above), Ultra Nate, the ladies from Chic and many more brought back those Studio 54, Paradise Garage nights singing classic disco, soul and house – “dance dance dance dance ” – perfect start to the GayPride weekend.

Sir Cliff Richard

At the British Consulate in NYC to meet Sir Cliff Richard OBE and celebrate the start of Wimbledon. Sir Cliff was a fixture on the radio when I was a kid, his song Summer Holiday was a British ‘anthem’ in the sixties.

The Brothers Johnson

I shot this photo of  the Brothers Johnson chilling out  in Los Angeles in 1981 – love the number plate. George aka ‘Lightnin’ Licks’  and Louis aka ‘Thunder Thumbs’ recorded one of my favorite songs ‘Strawberry Letter 23′ which was originally recorded by the great Shuggie Otis .

José James

Singer Jose James has a new single out called  ’EveryLittleThing’ In true artist’s spirit of fearless experimentalism the new record shows his love for not only soul but rock and electronic based music. He grew up listening to bands like Nirvana, Jimmy Hendrix and Radiohead and later spent many late nights in East London Clubs hearing electronic music. .

To celebrate this we decided to wander the streets of  Brooklyn to shoot the cover for the single (above) – it was a sunny day and we found this rusty painted flag wall – it seems just right.

José James’ new album ‘While You Were Sleeping’ comes out on June 10 – it is electrifying!

MCA Beastie Boys

One afternoon Dave Sussman rolled up to my place in his beautiful 1976 Cadillac. The ‘BKLYNWAY/BEASTIECADDY‘ is covered in photos of the Beastie Boys, as a fan described it  “ain’t enough o’s in smooooooth!” Dave created this art piece to honor the passing of MCA who sadly died in May 2012.

Coincidentally Ricky Powell, the man some call ‘the fourth Beastie’, just happened to be passing by – I think MCA would be be looking down smiling.

HVW8 Rebel Cultures: Punks Rap Gangs

My show at HVW8 Gallery for Art & Design in LA opened last Thursday, big thanks to Tyler, Nikolai, and Addison for throwing a great party, as well as my girl Jen from Art Duet for kicking it up and getting press from the likes of Jay ZComplexLA Weekly (Jake you rule) and Brent Rollins for the photo above. The show is called ‘Rebel Cultures.Punks, Rap, Gangs’ : images from British punk era, LA punk scene, Old School Hip Hop, and the East LA Hoyo Maravilla gang series.

HVW8 Gallery  is at 661 N Spaulding below Melrose Open Tues-Sun 1-6pm until May 18 2014