Nearly thirty years ago, Ernie Paniccioli, considered by many to be the James Van Der Zee of the hiphop generation, began photographing 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 hiphop, 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 Jay-Z and Will Smith, the cocksure personas of Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., and Eminem, or the regal grace of Lauryn Hill, Ernie Paniccioli has been there to showcase hiphop’s emerging talent.
With more than 200 photographs that have been culled from a vast archive, Who Shot Ya? is the first major pictorial history of hiphop culture.
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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.
Kevin Powell is a former senior writer/editor for Vibe magazine and an original cast member of MTV’s The Real World. The author of Recognize, a volume of poetry and In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers, he is also well known as a cultural critic. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Essence. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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