True Hip Hop

Mike Schreiber Issue: Section:

"you capture a split second in time that will NEVER be duplicated"

My book "True Hip Hop" is a collection of photos I've taken over the past 12 years of hip hop artists.
The book consists mostly of portraits, but there are also concert photos and more candid shots.
I try not to look back on things I've done in the past because for me, art, creativity, life is all about moving forward and staying fresh and curious. But in putting the book together, I was forced to go back and look through all of my stuff, from when I first started shooting concerts in '97-'98 to 2010, and I ended up finding some pictures that I'd totally forgotten about or overlooked.

Going back and looking at old pictures and writing stories about how I came to shoot them was pretty fun. Things that I'd totally forgotten about came back instantly when I looked at the image.
I've been lucky to have shot a few artists when they were first starting out who went on to be iconic. Mos Def, Eminem, M.I.A. It's kinda cool to see how people go from being totally unknown to famous worldwide.
I shot Eminem for his Unsigned Hype photo in The Source magazine, and I remember how quiet and reserved he was. Then I listened to his EP and was totally blown away. He was on the cover of Rolling Stone and an international superstar within a year. Amazing!
The funny thing about the book and the shows and interviews I've been doing to support it, is that I really don't like talking about my photos. I kinda feel like I've done it already and would rather move on to the next thing, but I realize that some people are really inspired and moved by my work, so I kind of have a responsibility to oblige. Plus, talking about my work with people who really like it isn't the worst thing in the world.
For the past twelve years I've just been hustling. Trying to shoot, make money, have fun. Then all of a sudden I had all of these pictures of some really great artists, so I decided to put them all together in this book. Seeing them all together in one place is kind of overwhelming and humbling for me... and I'm pretty proud of myself.
The great thing about photography is, you capture a split second in time that will NEVER be duplicated. And once you click the shutter, it's locked in and no one can ever take it from you. No matter what I do in the future, I'll always have these pictures. To me, that's deep.
I look at great music photographers from the past. Men and women who shot The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Hendrix, Bob Marley and it's kinda cool to think that 20 or 30 years from now my pictures of Mos Def, M.I.A., O.D.B. and all the rest will still be around. A small part of music history.
I'm happy to have been in the places I've been and met the people I've met, and all I hope for now is that it continues for the next 30 or 40 years.
That would be dope.

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