CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop

May 16, 2019

The Annenberg Space for Photography, located in the bustle of Century City, has a new exhibit in town and it is absolutely stunning. On display from April 26th to August 18th of this year, CONTACT HIGH visually documents the early beginnings and rise of the cultural phenomenon that has now become mainstream – hip-hop.

Highlighting and celebrating the photographers and original, unedited contact sheets that brought hip-hop to the front of the stage in US and around the world, this showcase walks visitors through 140 works from 60 photographers. Over 75 of them are contact sheets that show the entire photo shoot, with the picture that was ultimately selected for the album or magazine cover tucked among the rest.

Along with the photos, the exhibit also featured a documentary short film that interviewed these photographers and focused on what they were trying to capture when shooting legends like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, and so many more. There were also some rare videos, memorabilia, and sound notes that further emphasized how hip-hop impacted culture, politics, and social movements on a global scale.

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm, this exhibit is a must-see for anyone interested in hip-hop, music, photography, portraiture, and entertainment. Better yet, admission is FREE! Make time this summer to stop by – I’m seriously considering going a second time.

Published on May 16th, 2019

Last updated on April 1st, 2021