Who Shot Ya? Three Decades of Hiphop Photography

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9780066211688: Who Shot Ya? Three Decades of Hiphop Photography

Nearly thirty years ago, Ernie Paniccioli began photographing the graffiti art throughout New York City as well as the young people creating it. Armed with a 35-millimeter camera, Paniccioli literally recorded the beginning salvos of hip hop, today the most dominant youth culture on the planet. Be it Grandmaster Flash at the Roxy, a summer block party in the Bronx, the fresh faces of Queen Latifah and Will Smith, the cocksure personas of Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., and Emimem, or the regal grace of Lauryn Hill, Ernie Paniccioli has been there to showcase hip hop's evolution much in the same way Gordon Parks recorded the Civil Rights Movement, or akin to the manner in which James Van Der Zee, the great photographer of Harlem in the 1920s, met the energy and spirit of his times.

Who Shot Ya? Three Decades of Hip Hop Photography is the first major pictorial history of hip hop culture based around the work of one photographer. Culled from a vast archive, the approximately 150 images in Who Shot Ya? represent the visual diary of a generation, essentially following this socio-political art form from the streets of New York City to the billion-dollar global industry it has become. While some of these iconic renderings have graced the pages of magazines and fanzines through the years, most are published here for the first time.

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About the Author:

Ernie Paniccioli has been the chief photographer for Word Up! magazine since 1989. His work has appeared in a variety of books and periodicals, most notably Life, Vibe, Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and The New York Times, as well as on MTV and VH1. Beyond the hip hop world, Paniccioli has captured a number of popular figures on film, among them Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, John F. Kennedy Jr., Britney Spears, and Ricky Martin. This is Ernie Paniccioli’s first book. He lives in New Jersey.


“Groundbreaking....A pivotal new addition to hip-hop history.” (The Source)

“This is the face of hip-hop, 30 years in the making.” (Washington Post)

“Ask Grandmaster Flash...LL Cool J, or...Queen Latifah Who Shot Ya? and the answer will be...Ernie Paniccioli.” (Vanity Fair)

“Who Shot Ya‘s images catch history in the making.” (Daily News)

“Ernie Paniccioli has been that rare archivist of the urban emotion, covering the years leading to the millennium and beyond.” (Savoy)

“Who Shot Ya? is an impressive celebration of life and a unique contribution to the complex lives of photographers, hip hop culture, fashion, and performance art. Kevin Powell’s mix of interview and analysis give depth to the performers and the photographer’s life.” (Deborah Willis, author of Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present)

“The first real attempt at documenting hiphop’s official origin, essence, and history.” (KRS-ONE, The Temple of Hip-Hop)

“Ernie Paniccioli’s photographs have not only documented, but also helped define hip hop style.” (Jim Fricke, Senior Curator, Experience Music Project, Seattle, WA)

“Ernie Paniccioli is a great photographer of deep importance....the Hiphop Photo King.” (Afrika Bambaataa, The Universal Zulu Nation / The Godfather of Hip-Hop Culture)

“Impressive...a unique contribution to the complex lives of photographers, hip hop culture, fashion, and performance art.” (Chuck D, Public Enemy)

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