“In 1998, I approached Sean Daley at First Avenue Night Club in Minneapolis to see if he would be down to take some pictures some afternoon. We had met a few times before and talked at shows, but the afternoon we hung out and took shots around NE Minneapolis was the first time we both relly talke to each other about how and why we do what we do. Now, 14 years later Gingko Press has released my collection of images I have made of Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers crew.” – Dan Monick
By now, most hip hop fans are all familiar with the works of Atmosphere and their record label Rhymesayer. But most tend to forget that behind each great musical talent, there is always a great photographer; following and documenting their humble beginnings, colorful concerts, and unknown to us behind-the-scene moments. For Atmosphere that great photographer is Dan Monick.
In Seven Years with Atmosphere and Rhymesayers, Monick compiles 200+ photographs from 10+ years of traveling and touring with Slug, Ant, Brother Ali, P.O.S., and many others. His photographs are not your traditional properly composed, soft-lit, and posed portraits. Rather he stays true to the raw nature of hip hop music: the do-it-yourself, urban, say it like you see it attitude. Most of the portraits are captured in the moment, grabbing the artist at their most natural state, whether they are performing, interacting with fans, or just scribbling lyrics.
Monick also includes photos of fans, hobos outside of venues, littered lawns after a show, and the unloading of buses. This isn’t just a compilation of artist portraits; it’s a documentation of the life of hip hop artists. Dan Monick is also the man responsible for these awesome album covers: