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Lisa Leone has lived a life for the ages. She began photographing some of the most important figures in the early days of hip-hop culture (who were also her friends) as a teenager. Then she took some of the best, most revealing photos ever of musical icons like Snoop Dogg, Nas, The Fugees, Mary J. Blige, and tons more. Lisa moved from there into working on music videos, before her career took an unexpected left turn.

She turned a short research photo assignment for a friend into four years working closely with film legend Stanley Kubrick on his final film, Eyes Wide Shut. Then she took that experience and co-directed the iconic documentary on sneakers and sneaker heads, Just for Kicks.

A gorgeous book of Lisa’s hip-hop photos, Here I Am - Photographs By Lisa Leone, is available now. An exhibit of that name is running through January 11th at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. You can view a slideshow of some of her photos over at Complex.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Style Wars trailer
  2. Style Wars excerpt
  3. Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”
  4. Guru’s Jazzmatazz & MC Solaar, “Le Bien, Le Mal”
  5. MTV News, “Slick Rick Pt. 1”
  6. The Notorious B.I.G., “Big Poppa”
  7. Nas, “One Time 4 Your Mind”
  8. Brandy, “I Wanna Be Down (Remix)”
  9. Death Report, “Stanley Kubrick (1999)”
  10. Rakim, Nas, Kanye West, KRS-One, “Classic”
  11. Just for Kicks trailer
  12. Just for Kicks excerpt
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