In the mid-nineties, documentarian Peter Spirer embarked on a three-year odyssey to offer a realistic view of Hip-Hop and the people and culture it encompassed, interviewing over 80 artists involved in the art form. Spirer managed to capture a seminal moment as the culture balanced on the cusp of the mainstream. As Ice-T comments in his foreword to the book, “Rhyme & Reason is one of the few films that was there to document us before Hip-Hop truly exploded.”
While filming, Spirer took accompanying stills using a medium format Rolleiflex camera. It is these photographs that form THE BOOK OF RHYME & REASON. “The Rollei allowed me to capture some amazing moments: Puffy getting a trim in his office while doing three tasks at once, Biggie opening record plaques on his couch, Ice-T and Mack 10 hanging with their homies, Heavy D at the barber, playing pool. There was the Jack The Rapper convention with Death Row making a statement, at a Disney World Hotel, that ended in chaos. There were magical moments such as Redman and Erick Sermon freestyling on the mic to amazed onlookers at a block party in Newark and watching Wu-Tang Clan chop it up on the block in Staten Island on a cold winter’s day before they exploded.”
This coffee table volume features over 130 of Spirer’s photographs from 1994 to 1997. As Hip-Hop commemorates its fiftieth anniversary in 2023, it is particularly fitting that many of these images from this formative period are being seen and published for the first time.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Peter Spirer is an Academy Award and Emmy Award nominated director and producer, particularly renowned for documenting Hip-Hop culture.
HARDBACK 224pp; 275 x 230mm
PUBLICATION DATE: 7 NOVEMBER 2023