CONTACT HIGH: A VISUAL HISTORY OF HIP-HOP –Documenting the Rise of a Cultural Phenomenon

I had the privilege of attending the opening reception at the Annenberg Space for Photography to enjoy the Contact High Exhibition.  It was energetic and jam packed with photography that transported you through and back in time.  I found myself immersed in art that made me feel like I was back home.  I am of the Hip Hop generation. Karen Gibson Roc

The Popper, Manhattan 1980 photo: Joe Conzo Jr.
The Popper, Manhattan 1980 photo: Joe Conzo Jr

Celebrating the photographers who have played a critical role in bringing hip-hop’s visual culture to the global stage, CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets.

Curated by Vikki Tobak, based on the bestselling book of the same name, and with creative direction by Fab 5 Freddy, the photographic exhibition includes nearly 140 works from 60 photographers. Guests will also see over 75 original and unedited contact sheets—from Barron Claiborne’s iconic Notorious B.I.G. portraits and early images of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West as they first took to the scene, to Janette Beckman’s defining photos of Salt-N-Pepa, and Jamel Shabazz and Gordon Parks documenting hip-hop culture—CONTACT HIGH allows visitors to look directly through the photographer’s lens and observe all of the pictures taken during these legendary photo shoots.

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Flying High as seen on the roots’ UNDUN, Brooklyn 1982 Photo: Jamel Shabazz



Annenberg Space for Photography

2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

APR 26, 2019 – AUG 18, 2019



We are a group of passionate artists and creatives who believe in telling and sharing inspiring stories.

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