A few weeks ago I had the privilege of joining some of Detroit’s finest at the D-cyphered exhibit by Photographer Jenny Risher at the Detroit Institute of Arts for the opening of this exhibition. Not only was I moved by these stunning pieces which displayed some of the best in Detroit’s Hip Hop community, I was greeted by many familiar faces. Everyone came together in celebration of Detroit Hip Hop Music and the positive influence it has been on everyone in their life. The air was heavy with excitement and before the exhibit was made viewable to the public, I knew it would be a success.
When I say I knew it would be successful, that’s because many of the faces displayed are people I know personally. I’ve heard many of their stories, listened to their music, and know the personalities behind the photographs. The photos included DJs, producers, Hip Hop musical artists, and major influencers of the music scene in Detroit. Hip Hop in Detroit comes in many flavors and influences such as Motown and Ghetto Tech play a big role. The exhibition is made up of 75 photographs from 2015 to 2017; each image telling a story of the Detroit Hip Hop legacy. Featuring artist such as Hush, Sino, Danny Brown, Black Milk,Fat Killahz, Kid Rock, ICP, Eminem, Royce da 5’9, Icewear Vezzo, Lola Damone, Obice Trice, Trick-Trick Goon squad and many more, the exhibit was elegantly and beautifully pieced together.
When I spoke to a few of the featured musical artists in the exhibition about what this meant to them, they were more than happy to share. I’ve known Supa Emcee and Alexis Allon for a few years now and feel so very proud to see them in this exhibition at the DIA. I asked them what Hip Hop meant to them and both responded very similarly- Hip Hop is Life. Supa Emcee said one of his favorite pieces was the Women of Hip Hop which Alexis is featured in. The piece is superb and fierce; I would definitely have to say it is also my favorite. Also, his other favorite picture is one Supa Emcee himself is featured in called “The Last Supper”. The photo represents the late and great BIG Proof who was one of Super Emcees biggest influences. When talking with Alexis about everything she said something I couldn’t agree more with or will never forget,
Hip Hop is and will always be the voice for the voiceless, hope for the hopeless, and a platform for the dopest.
Both were grateful to be a part of this wonderful homage Jenny Risher put together for Detroit Hip Hop.
This exhibition is big for Hip Hop; from everyone involved to the endless people their music has touched. Here in Detroit, Hip Hop is more than just music. It’s a lifestyle, it’s the culture, and it’s an escape for most artists or an outlet to express themselves. Look around you, Hip Hop is everywhere whether you realize it or not. Thank you, Jenny Risher, for sharing some of the stories through your photographs and putting them on display to share with the world.
The exhibit opened August 4th and runs till February 18th, 2018.
This is definitely a must see for Hip Hop Heads all around the world. I witnessed one of Detroit’s biggest music lovers, Zolt, who came all the way from Paris France to see the exhibit opening night. In the words of Alexis Allon, “Salute!” Salute to Detroit, Salute to Hip Hop and all of my Hometown legends. Detroit, we truly “put on for our city.