Legendary hip-hop photographer Chi Modu dies from cancer
One of the most legendary photographers in the history of hip-hop music, Chi Modu, passed away at the age of 54, after being diagnosed with cancer. The death was confirmed on his personal Instagram account on May the 22nd. Upon refusing to initially disclose the cause of his death, a few days later it was confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer quire recently, which ultimately proved to be the reason for his untimely death.
Modu will certainly be remembered for his amazing work in the hip-hop world. After being named as the director of photography for “The Source” magazine, Chi managed to work with the most renowned artist of the 1990’s rap landscape. He started working with loads of the stars we adore nowadays when they were still very new to the rap scene – Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and non-other than the great Tupac Shakur himself. It’s exactly his black in white shirtless photos of Pac that have been ingrained in the public memory of the fallen artist.
Modu was born in Nigeria in 1966, but would, later on, be raised in New Jersey. Rutgers University would prove to be a cornerstone in his life, not only because he graduated with a degree in economics in 1989, but as well because it was at that time when photography became a major part of his life. After becoming the director of photography in “The Source” magazine, he would go on to shoot the covers for more than 30 albums of hip-hop’s best rappers of the time. Some very well known – like Tupac and Biggie, as well as some that only became popular upon the start of the new millennium. Eventually, he worked for “The Rolling Stones” and “New York Times”.
Modu made very interesting revelations about his relationship with Tupac and Biggie, who didn’t always seem eye to eye. The photographer, however, admitted that he never had any issues with both rappers, even though he cooperated with both. Chi recalls being equally close with Biggie and Pac, never allowing the artists’ feuds with one another to change that fact.