This Is Hip-Hop...II

Here are photos from opening night of my photo exhibit kicking off ‘This Is Hip-Hop’ at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee on January 19, 2023. Before my on stage interview with Kenny Smoov of radio station 92Q, the museum’s photographer followed me in while I checked out the exhibit before everyone else. Walking past the photos was very emotional and seeing my very first camera, a Kodak 110 pocket camera and my first professional camera, a Canon AE-1 encased in glass was a sight to see! And seeing those 14 huge 40x30 prints on the wall just blew my mind…I was speechless and tears began to flow! As the crowd came into the gallery, DJ Smoke provided old school hip-hop music to set things off. Food was served as people mingled and chatted with each other and took photos of themselves standing next to my work. As I walked the room meeting people, it was strange to see them standing by waiting in line to take photos with me, and chat with me. I’m usually the one waiting to take photos of them waiting to take photos with an artist. But this was really cool and exciting! One of the highlights was meeting Tim Reid II, son of actor Tim Reid, who has worked in the music industry for years. Tim told me when he heard about the exhibit, he had to be there. Others talked to me about which photo was their favorite and why, while also asking me what went into capturing a certain photo, the differences in shooting film versus digital and which photo is my favorite. A special moment came during a selfie with a lady from California who was talking to me about her son being an aspiring photographer and being inspired by me. Again, I am still overwhelmed and honored to have been contacted by the museum’s curator Dr. Bryan Pierce to be part of their year-long celebration of 50 years in hip-hop. And for me to kick it off was special! Thanks to Kenny Smoov for making the interview easy for me, the museum’s COO Dion Brown and again museum curator Dr. Bryan Pierce (photo #4). My good friends Dedan Blackmon from Detroit and Michael Patton from Indianapolis for being there taking photos and videos. I had a great time in Nashville during this special event…can’t wait to do more!