The renowned hip-hop photographer has passed away.
Ricky Powell died of heart failure yesterday (1 February), at the age of 59. His manager, Tono Radvany, wrote: “I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed.”
The photographer was referred to as the ‘fourth member’ of the Beastie Boys. A key figure in hip-hop, he photographed Public Enemy, Run DMC, Eazy-E, LL Cool J, Eric B. & Rakim and more. Outside of hip-hop he photographed artists and cultural figures in New York’s downtown party scene, such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna and Keith Haring.
The American photographer released numerous books over the course of his career. In 1998 he published his first: the 10-year retrospective Oh Snap!: The Rap Photography of Ricky Powell.
QTip, DJ Semtex and more have paid tribute to the photographer online. Read below.
Rip 2 my man Ricky Powell. So NYC official… the parties when he would rock the slides.. the jokes and most importantly his capturing of life 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/qhinT9a10S
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) February 2, 2021
Rest in Power Ricky Powell.
He was an incredible photographer who documented some historic moments of the culture.
I was incredibly fortunate to be able to place some of his work in my book. The piece above was taken from a Guardian review 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/Z7XX49hujf
— DJ Semtex (@DJSemtex) February 2, 2021
RIP to west village legend Ricky Powell. I can’t count the times I have run into him in the village, with his camera, and we’d just shoot the shit. He always had jokes and was an original weirdo. pic.twitter.com/clmZ4dAMbc
— Blockhead (@BlockheadNYC) February 2, 2021
Man. RIP Ricky Powell, my favorite hip hop photographer ever. A year and a half ago I bought a few photo prints of his for my crib. He signed everything and was so cool about it. He always had so much flavor. pic.twitter.com/DWy8CogUNN
— Kibbutzy Collins (@atrak) February 2, 2021