Joe Conzo’s candid photographs offer a rare window into the birth of hip-hop from the vantage point of someone who was there. The New York Times crowned him “The Man Who Took Hip-Hop’s Baby Pictures” for his fly-on-the-wall perspective of rappers, breakdancers, partygoers and street life. Best known as the personal photographer of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers group, Conzo began documenting his Bronx environment in the mid-’70s as a second grader in the Agnes Russell School at Columbia University. His images are featured throughout Buddy Esquire’s iconic flyers and much of his work is preserved in the Cornell Hip Hop Collection within Cornell University Library.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Martha Cooper.