Striking Black-and-White Photos of Toronto’s Tight-Knit Hip-Hop Community

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Toronto-based photojournalist and cinematographer Ajani Charles has captured some of the biggest names in hip hop, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, and Drake. But the photographer feels an intimate connection to the local community in Ontario’s capital city, which is the subject of his ongoing black-and-white photo series. Project T Dot aims to shine a light on the dynamic Toronto subculture, raising awareness about the works of lesser known hip-hop figures, including members of the LGBT and aboriginal communities, women, youth from underserved neighborhoods, and recent immigrants.

Charles also captures these musicians, dancers, and entrepreneurs in their everyday lives, which emphasizes the ongoing struggle to balance artistic pursuits with personal obligations like jobs, families, and school. The black-and-white format, which Charles uses to convey a rawness and humanity, unifies the mentor/collaborator relationships amongst his subjects.

Charles is completing research behind the series and exploring funding options for the project, which he hopes to release through various platforms and channels (including a potential film). Explore the Toronto hip-hop scene in our gallery, and visit Charles’ website to learn more about this exciting project.

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission

©Ajani Charles, used with permission