SEATTLE, WA – The Museum of Pop Culture is hosting the traveling exhibition Contact High: A Visual History Of Hip-Hop. Contact High explores four decades of photography, from the late 1970s to today, documenting a revolution not just in music, but in politics, race relations, fashion, and culture. Through more than 170 iconic images of hip-hop’s most influential artists (Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Tupac, and more) — including contact sheets that give us a rare glimpse into the creative process of a photo session — Contact High examines the evolution of hip-hop, connecting us with the experiences, identities, and places that have shaped the world’s most popular music genre and will be at MoPop until March, 2023.
- Exclusive images of some of hip-hop’s biggest influences, including Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, Kanye West, and Tupac Shakur.
- More than 75 unedited contact sheets ranging from Barron Claiborne’s iconic Notorious B.I.G. portraits to images of Aaliyah, Wu-Tang Clan, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Kanye West.
- The Dapper Dan jacket made for Rakim and MF DOOM’s mask.
- In addition to photographs, artifacts from MoPOP’s permanent collection such as early rap battle fliers, Grandmaster Flash’s turntables, Tupac Shakur manuscripts, Flavor magazines, and costumes from Sha-Rock and The Notorious B.I.G., add to our understanding of hip-hop culture.
- A documentary short film featuring Contact High photographers at work and in conversation, including Barron Claiborne, Brian “B+” Cross, Eric Coleman, Estevan Oriol, Jorge Peniche, Jamel Shabazz, Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, Jack McKain, Dana Scruggs, and Danny Clinch. The film is produced by the Annenberg Foundation and Radical Media.
Contact High: A Visual History of Hip Hop was made possible by the Annenberg Space for Photography + International Center of Photography. Curator Vikki Tobak, Creative Director Fab 5 Freddy. Based on the Book CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop by Vikki Tobak.