Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer

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In the infancy of hip-hop, Brooklyn-born photographer Jamel Shabazz documented the pioneers of music and style who would launch an enduring worldwide phenomenon. In JAMEL SHABAZZ STREET PHOTOGRAPHER Charlie Ahearn (director of the seminal graffiti movie Wild Style) pays tribute to both Shabazz and those who defined hip-hop before it had definition. More than just vintage shots of kids rocking sneakers and savvy street style in Times Square and Fort Greene Park, Shabazz’s photographs have hundreds of stories behind them, and Ahearn’s film gives voice to these images with intimate interviews with Shabazz himself, graffiti pioneer and hip-hop historian Fred “Fab 5 Freddy” Brathwaite, legendary rapper KRS-One, and many others.


  • “In a city that increasingly seems to squander the homegrown cultures that have defined it, “Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer,” Charlie Ahearn’s rough-and-ready, almost familial documentary, pays tribute to this pavement portraitist of the late-20th century.”THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • "Shabazz's transporting images are enriched by storytelling from those who remember the scene." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
  • "It is a striking reminder of how these photographs are not mere abstract pieces of art, [but that] people were living these moments." SMOKE SCREEN LONDON
  • "Jamel Shabazz's striking photographs dominate Charlie Ahearn's docu, the director's loose camerawork unwittingly highlighting the shutterbug's arresting compositions." VARIETY


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