Chi Modu, one of the most celebrated Hip Hop photographers in history, has died. He was 54.
The news of his passing came from his Instagram account. “Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,” the post, which listed the year of his birth and death, read. “The family request privacy at this time.”
A cause of death or details surrounding Modu’s passing weren’t made available as of Saturday evening (May 22).
After graduating from Rutgers in 1989, the Nigerian-born, New Jersey-raised photographer went on to work for the Harlem-based New York Amsterdam News, and later, the director of photography for The Source, where he shot more than 30 covers.
Some of Modu’s most acclaimed and recognizable work came with the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Snoop Dogg and DPGC, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Mary J. Blige, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Wu-Tang Clan, Eazy E and more.
In addition to his incredible photos of Rap luminaries during their heyday, Modu also shot many famous Hip Hop album covers, including Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, Method Man’s Tical, and Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage.
Younger Rap fans were able to enjoy and learn more about Chi Modu’s iconic photos through his popular Instagram account, which garnered more than 350,000 followers and featured over 2,600 photos of his work and experiences.