New York-based, self-taught photographer Mike Schreiber’s unique vision of hip-hop celebrities, from Nas and Biz Markie to Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Jay-Z, is collected for the first time in True Hip-Hop.
Schreiber captures his subjects with a real-life grit that becomes seemingly tangible. Most jaw-dropping is the strikingly candid proof sheet presenting a vulnerable young artist then known as Maya Arulpragasam, who would use Schreiber’s photos as she rose to fame as M.I.A.
“If I ever have a mug shot taken, I want Mike to do it,” she’s been quoted as saying. “As my career started, I was armed with an arsenal of Schreiber photos and off I went — didn’t know where, but I was running.”
“I think being labeled a ‘hip-hop photographer’ is attached to my name a lot, and I don’t mind it,” says Schreiber. “I really consider myself a documentary photographer, and I’ve just been lucky to shoot a lot of really amazing artists.”
Click through for a gallery of images from True Hip-Hop.
Biz Markie, photography by Mike Schreiber
Beastie Boys, photography by Mike Schreiber
Nas, photography by Mike Schreiber
Mos Def, photography by Mike Schreiber
Ol’ Dirty Bastard, photography by Mike Schreiber
Fat Joe, photography by Mike Schreiber
M.I.A., photography by Mike Schreiber