Over 100 images of Tupac Shakur taken between 1994 and 1996, many of which have never been seen before, will be included in Chi Modu’s new book UNCATEGORIZED.
The photographer, who documented many of hip hop’s most defining years, built up a strong personal bond with Pac after meeting him on a shoot for The Source in Atlanta 22 years ago.
It was a relationship that allowed him to get many candid shots of Tupac, showing a side to him he was often forced to hide away.
“I didn’t really look at my subjects as just celebrities. I saw them as young black guys like me. It allowed me to get closer and it allowed them to be comfortable and just be who they were,” Modu, The Source’s former photo director, said ahead of the book’s release.
The 200-page hardcover book is released in the year that marks 20 years since Pac’s passing, after being shot while driving in Las Vegas after leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match.
Modu’s works were first on display at a gallery in New York, with images of Biggie and Snoop Dogg also included. “The art world tends to be very exclusive and full of obstacles for both the artists and the public. My goal was to make art more inclusive by pulling an end run on the galleries, breaking down the barriers, and bringing the art directly to the people. Like graffiti, but legal,” he said.
Now the book, given its name because “I wanted to create something that is the opposite of putting labels on everything and make a statement against stereotyping”, is available for worldwide shipping.