4. I'm interested in the interpretation of these boombox photographs as portraits. What are your thoughts on this characterization?
The images are all a face, a mask and a mirror of sorts, reflecting both dreams and aspirations as well as character and personality. As portraits the imagery is to showcase these “boxes” as an urban object one part deity and one part doorway - the boombox was a tremendous gift to inner city youth as it gave them the power to express their ideas, music and sense of curation on the world; it allowed a generation to be “heard” / that's why these “portraits" resonate so well.
5. With a foreword by Spike Lee and an impressive collection of historical photographs and quotations by cultural icons such as Run DMC, LL Cool J, Rosie Perez, and Fab 5 Freddy, your book brings together a significant history of music culture from the 1970s and the 1980s. Reflecting on the project now, what did you enjoy most about the process? Did you learn anything unexpected?
Great question - I learned about integrity of vision and culture, how passionate people were about the idea of self-empowerment, and that the idea of hip-hop is truly to be borderless in all sense of the word-to create, discuss, distribute and disseminate thought. Hip-hop is a movement, a state of mind, and a universal idea that helped many young voices gain a significant platform of recognition. Further, the boombox is a significant tool for expression, which gave youth all over the world an uplifted actualization in words, music, and movement - the boombox was truly a freedom machine!