News Brief
Photo courtesy of Chi Modu.

Legendary Hip Hop Photographer Chi Modu Takes His Work to Lagos for 'Uncategorized' Homecoming Exhibition

The Nigerian-American photographer's iconic photos will be on display in Lagos this December in a show sponsored by BUD X and curated by Melanin Unscripted.

Chi Modu is the prolific Nigerian-American photographer and documentarian behind some of hip-hop's most iconic images—and when we say iconic, we're talking the Notorious B.I.G in a coogi sweater in front of the Twin Towers and 2Pac mid-smoke showing of the words "Thug Life" tattoo across his stomach.


Photo by Chi Modu.

This coming December, the photographer's work will make its way to Lagos, for a homecoming exhibition in partnership with Budweiser's music platform BUD X—which celebrates music culture around the world. The event will be curated by photographer, documentarian and writer Amarachi Nwosu's budding new platform Melanin Unscripted. It will be the first time the artist's photos will be on display on the continent.

Modu captured hip hop's golden era like no other, shooting the likes of Nas, Mobb Deep, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J amongst many others. He also shot over 30 covers for The Source as their Director of Photography.

The BUDxLagos X Chi Modu Uncategorized Photo Exhibition & Workshop runs from December 1-2 and will include also include panel talks, workshops, live musical performances and an after party. Head here to register and to learn more about the event.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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