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Celebrating 50: ‘In Your Grill’ Exhibits Never Before Seen Hip-Hop Photos from the 80s + 90s

This year, Hip-Hop turns 50 and its reach and impact cannot be denied. As we look back at its beginnings, the imprint early artists made on this revolutionizing genre remains today. The "In Your Grill" Exhibit by celebrity photographer Michael Benabib honors the remarkable early authors of a sound that changed the world. Benabib, who’s shot some of rap’s most prominent MCs, displays never before seen photos of Hip-Hop’s biggest stars of the ’80s and ’90s.

The "In Your Grill Exhibit," open until Thursday, April 27th, at Legacy NYC, 98 Orchard Street is free to the public with many rare, never before seen photos available for viewing and purchase. The exhibit includes photos of The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J. Eric B & Rakim, Tupac, Bizmarkie and more.

Benabib, who spent his life taking photos, got his start 35 years ago after noticing a gathering of aspiring MCs out front of the original 298 Elizabeth Street storefront office of Rush Management, the original home of Def Jam Recordings. Benabib asked to shoot some of their artists and turned that moment into a career as a celebrity hip-hop photographer.

As Benabib sharpened his talents, highlighting the makings of hip-hop royalty, he was often called on by artists, publicists, and record companies to capture their visions. He would later provide photos of major rap artists to teen fanzines Right On, Word-Up, Source, Vibe, and Rolling Stone with photographs exhibited at the Smithsonian, MOMA, The Metropolitan, Museum of Art, and the International Center of Photography putting his collection of hip-hop history on display for all.

"In Your Grill" Exhibit is a taste of hip-hop’s beginnings through the eyes of one of its closest witnesses, a young artist who honed his skills by capturing the beginnings of a major musical era.

Photo Credit: Michael Benabib


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