Skip to Content

Ricky Powell, Pioneering Photographer Who Captured Hip-Hop Culture in the 80s and 90s, Has Passed Away

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]conic photographer Ricky Powell has passed away at the age of 59. Tono Radvany manager & business partner confirmed with Complex on February 1st. Powell captured and documented the early days of Def Jam Records in the early 80s and 90s. His vision and style for portrait photography is considered a pillar of hip-hop and rap culture.

Here is just a handful of some of our favorite portraits taken by him.

Ricky Powell photographed at CONTACT HIGH: A Visual Story of Hip-Hop opening night at Annenberg Space for Photography.
Jean-Michel Basquiat & Andy Warhol
Laurence Fishburne
Kenny Scharf. Oops Excuse Me. NYC. 1986
Mike Tyson circa 1988
Run DMC in Paris, 1986.
L.L. Cool J

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

‘I Wasn’t Prepared For This:’ Placita Olvera’s Iconic El Burro Is Given A 30-Day Eviction Notice Following A Unanimous Vote on Thursday

This Thursday, the Board of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority Commissioners voted to evict La Carreta despite attempts from the family, community, and even the city council to save it. 

July 13, 2024

Downtown L.A.’s First Proudly Queer-Owned Dispensary Is Thriving

The disco ball and neon signs illuminate a wall dedicated to LGBTQIA+ products at Green Qween. Despite the queer community being at the forefront of medical marijuana usage during the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, today, queer representation remains low in the cannabis industry.

July 12, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend In L.A.: Whole Lobster Katsu, Cannabis Omakase, Smoked Brisket Agnolotti, and a Carne Asada Fest Discount

This Saturday, EVERYone is invited to the carne asada. Asada Fest, to be specific. Plus, two new restaurants team up to bring an enticing new menu at Echo Park lake's boathouse restaurant.

July 12, 2024

This Veteran Journalist Wrote a True Crime Book About Gangs Taxing Streets Vendors in MacArthur Park

In his new book "The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder and Redemption in Immigrant L.A." (Astra House, out this month), former Westlake resident Jesse Katz dives into the life of a teenaged member of the Columbia Lil Cycos gang.

July 11, 2024

His Taquería Is Almost At The North Pole, But He Gets His Tortillas From L.A.

This lone taco truck sits in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, a visa-free Island that is home to about 2,900 people from over 50 nationalities located a few hundred miles from the North Pole. The owner is a Swedish taquero who is so obsessed with L.A.-style tacos, that he decided to open the most northernmost taquería in the world.

July 11, 2024
See all posts