look ma, no hands (where’s waldo?)

I’m in Pittsburgh shooting a photo story about regional hip hop. There are some sick emcees in the area – who knew? Wiz Khalifa is the big name out of this city but there are quite a few treading water, trying to break the surface. I’m just starting to meet them all – but last night I got to spend time with Nuke Knocka, a burgh DJ while he broadcast his pirate radio show out of oakland.

I understand now why there are no really great photo stories about hip hop yet – rap music didn’t really come into itself until the 80s and 90s, most of it the best shit happens at night, and digital image technology hadn’t really gotten to the point to capture anything in low light truly effectively until last year or so. Technicality aside, access seems like the biggest hurdle: the landscape of hip hop post-1990 became so married closed-off, la muerta drug and gun culture that it’s obvious why sticking a camera anywhere might be discouraged. I’ve met some good cats so far though and my contact here, Nia, seems to know everyone. Fingers crossed. Here’s an actual frame –


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