Hip-Hop Photographer Chi Modu Dead at 54
Arts and Culture

Hip-Hop Photographer Chi Modu Dead at 54

Chi Modu
(Image: Twitter)

If there is a hip-hop heaven, a legendary photographer will now join the ranks of some of the iconic artists he has photographed.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, hip-hop photographer, Chi Modu has passed away at the young age of 54. He is best known for the photographs he has taken over the years of some of the most prominent artists in hip-hop. The family of Modu asked for privacy on his Twitter account.

He is probably re-acquainting himself with the deceased hip-hop artists he photographed that have also left us too soon. Modu has taken photos of Malik Izaak Taylor (Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest), Tupac Shakur, Albert Johnson (Prodigy of Mobb Deep), Eric Wright (Eazy-E of NWA), Christopher Wallace (The Notorious B.I.G.), Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (Nate Dogg), Chris Kelly (Mack Daddy of Kris Kross), Craig Mack, Russell Tyrone Jones (Ol’ Dirty Bastard of the Wu-Tang Clan), Keith Edward Elam (GURU of Gangstarr), and Richard Stephen Shaw (Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys).

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The Nigerian-born photographer started his illustrious photography career with the Harlem-based New York Amsterdam News. He later connected with The Source magazine, where he became director of photography for the hip-hop publication. Modu ended up shooting 30 covers for The Source as well as shooting some iconic album covers for a number of artists including Snoop Dogg (Doggystyle), Method Man (Tical), Mobb Deep (The Infamous), and Black Moon (Enta Da Stage). He also worked for Rolling Stone and The New York Times. 

Five years ago, he published a photobook Tupac Shakur: Uncategorized, which featured pictures of the deceased rapper from the first time they met in Atlanta back in 1994 to his signing to Death Row records nine months before he prematurely died in 1996.