The Beastie Boys Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before
See a series of exclusive images of the hell-raising trio from legendary hip-hop photographer Ricky Powell, subject of the new documentary “Ricky Powell: The Individualist.”
In 1986, Ricky Powell was selling Frozade lemon ices on the streets of New York City, he never imagined he’d become a legendary hip-hop photographer. But that year, Powell ditched the cart and joined opening act the Beastie Boys on Run DMC’s “Raising Hell” tour across America. He eventually became the Beastie Boys’ photographer of choice, capturing the trio (Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond) on the “Licensed to Ill” and “Check Your Head” tours, and even earned a shout-out on the track “Car Thief” off Paul’s Boutique: “Homeboy throw in the towel / Your girl got dicked by Ricky Powell.”
Outside of the Beasties, he hosted a cult public-access TV show, Rappin’ with the Rickster, and has released a number of books of his mostly NYC-set photographs, including environmental portraits of ‘80s and ‘90s street icons like Eazy-E, Method Man, Eric B. & Rakim, Slick Rick, Keith Haring, Flavor Flav, and Laurence Fishburne. A new documentary exploring Powell’s eventful life, Ricky Powell: The Individualist, premiered at We Are One: A Global Film Festival.
Here, check out an exclusive series of Powell’s photos of the Beastie Boys: