This Is Hip-Hop...I

My 'This Is Hip-Hop' photo exhibit opened at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee on January 19, 2023. It was a very overwhelming and emotional evening for me. Seeing my very first camera, a Kodak 110 pocket camera and my first professional camera, a Canon AE-1 encased in glass was awesome! My 14 huge 40x30 prints of hip-hop’s finest adorned the walls.  And there is a video screen with a slide show featuring more of my photos of other hip-hop artists who made a mark in the music industry during hip-hop's 50 years. Although it was a free event, it was sold-out with over 200 rsvp’s. I would say about half of them attended. I had friends come in from Atlanta, Georgia and Huntsville, Alabama. My good friends and traveling partners Dedan Blackmon from Detroit and Michael Patton from Indianapolis captured photo and video footage. It was cool meeting people from various cities who came in just for the event. Tim Reid II, son of actor Tim Reid was there also. It felt good to be celebrated like I was, and the Museum’s staff really made me feel like a celebrity. There were people standing by to take pictures with me, and chat with me and tell their stories of how my work inspired them. I met new photographers just getting started or wanting a start in photography. There was a lady from Los Angeles who told me her son is an aspiring photographer, who followed my work and wants to shoot like me. I have to admit, I lost it after that. Especially knowing that my work inspired him and other people you don't know. You never know who's watching you...that's for sure! After a private tour of the museum, other photos of mine can be seen throughout other galleries, which made this event that much more special and rewarding! Special thanks to Dr. Bryan Pierce, who first reached out to me to be part of the museum's year-long celebration of hip-hop’s 50-year anniversary. The staff and workers at the National Museum of African American Music…thanks for welcoming me and my work.