One of Hip-Hop’s most legendary photographers has died. In a developing story, members of the Hip-Hop community are mourning the passing of Modu, who shot iconic images of Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E, Mobb Deep, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and LL Cool J, to name a few.
Veteran photographer Chi Modu captured iconic images of some of Hip Hop’s most legendary artists, including The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. But on Saturday (May 22), Modu’s journey with the camera came to a sudden end.
According to Chi Modu’s official Twitter account, the illustrious shutterbug passed away this week at the age of 55. Although no cause of death was revealed, chatter online suggests he succumbed to stomach cancer.
“Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight ©,” the tweet reads. “The family request privacy at this time.”
Born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in New Jersey, Chi Modu studied at the prestigious Lawrenceville School before pivoting to photojournalism as a student at Rutgers University. While working at The Amsterdam News in 1991, Modu landed a gig at The Source during a bygone era when the magazine was considered “The Hip Hop Bible.”
Shooting over 30 covers for the publication, Modu quickly established himself as one of the culture’s most prominent photographers. His work was so highly revered, Modu was asked to shoot the cover art for albums such as Tical by Method Man, The Infamous by Mobb Deep and Enta Da Stage by Black Moon, among others.
Check out his amazing work here.