I met Viva Fidel at the TRUE Skool Block Party in the 5th Ward. Fidel is a rapper, who has been in the game for quite a while. He is one of the founding members of the Taste Emcees. A Hip-Hop supergroup known both locally and worldwide throughout the hip-hop community.
When I asked to take his picture, he immediately grabbed the Pan-African flag that was sitting on the table nearby. I love when people take their own initiative in helping to create a good photo. Shortly after this picture was taken, Fidel turned the camera on me and another photographer that was also documenting the event.
Rob was among all the skateboarders at the TRUE Skool Block Party in the Fifth Ward. I caught up with him between rides.
#50! Vega Knami
I made it to my half-way mark of the project yesterday, when Vega Knami came up to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse.
He is a rapper from Milwaukee, who was at the TRUE Skool Block Party, promoting himself. He was handing out CDs of his music and told me, “My CD is 100%, unequivocally FREE, but there is one catch… You have to listen to it.” I was sold on the spot.
He told me to prepare myself for something really different in the rap game. He described it as “real grimy shit”. When I got home and popped his CD in, I was blown away. He wasn’t lying. His music is completely different and his content and flow is something that I’ve never heard before. I ended up listening to his CD twice before going to bed and now his music has a home on my iPod.
He was able to make it up on stage twice throughout the night, one of which times, he shared the stage with Rhymesayers’ Toki Wright and about eight other emcees in a freestyle cypher at the end of the evening.
Just as I was about to cross the street to go home after a long day of shooting, I saw Dugan sitting on the curb playing his guitar. I wasn’t about to call it a day without including him. He told me he was just waiting for his girlfriend, who lives nearby.
#48 Lil Lord & Ray
I saw Ray as I was walking through an alley in Riverwest. I was immediately drawn to his tattoos and knew right away he needed to be photographed. He was a little reluctant at first, but didn’t say no. He was more into it once Lil Lord came walking up. There were kids around and one of the girls gave Ray the basketball and told him to hold it for the picture.
#47 Eric, D’Angelo & ___?___
*note* I didn’t have my notebook with me. I don’t remember the kid on the right’s name.
I ran into these three while they were playing around this old abandoned building in Riverwest. I asked if they wanted to be part of the project and they all said yes.
These three are the youngest strangers I’ve met yet.
I met Darkside on my way out the door of the barber shop. He is the owner of the aptly named Darkside Glass. The shop has been open for a little under a year in Riverwest. Darkside has an incredible collection of handblown glass pipes, tubes, jewelry, neon and plasma. Among all the glass, hanging all over the walls, is a huge, varied collection of art.
Darkside told me that he too is a photographer and graphic designer amongst other things. He was more than willing to let me take his picture. For the photo, he wanted to hold one of his biggest, most impressive pieces and wear his sunglasses.
While walking around Riverwest, trying to see what I could find, I stumbled upon a barber shop I had never seen before. Trim Me Up Barber Shop is its name. I thought a few shots inside would be pretty tight.
Chris was the only barber working in the shop. He was playing Young Jeezy, turned up extra loud. There was one customer in the chair and two in the waiting area. I asked Chris if he minded me taking a few pictures around the shop. I’m glad he let me because, the photos from the barber shop are some of my favorites yet.
#44 Kimberly & Jameson
Kimberly and “Jamo” were the last two people i encountered. I wanted to take a tighter shot. This was the second picture i took of them. I was surprised at how willing they were to have their picture taken by a complete stranger, at 4:30 in the morning.
#43 Kent & Berto
I found these two walking on the east side at about 4am. They were curious about what i was doing, so i showed them some of the light paintings i had done. They were really into it, and Kent asked if i could paint them in a photo. We found a quiet side street and i had them stand in the middle of it… This is the result.