Chi Modu Dies: Photographer Of Tupac, Biggie And Other Hip Hop Legends Was 54

Famed photographer Chi Modu has died. The artist, who captured iconic shots of Tupac and many more, was 54.

Modu’s passing was confirmed on Monday by way of a post on his official Instagram account. “Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,” the caption for the post read. “The family requests privacy at this time.”

While the cause of Modu’s death was not immediately made clear, sources told TMZ today that he passed following a battle with cancer.

Modu—who was born in Nigeria in 1966—broke out as a photographer in the 1990s, when he became director of photography for The Source magazine. There, he would shoot cover photography for 30 issues, documenting the entirety of hip hop’s golden age.

Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Nas, Ice Cube, Eminem and Mary J. Blige were just a few of the many iconic artists he photographed over the years.

According to TMZ, a memorial service for Modu is in the works. His family will offer additional information soon.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Nike And Brooklyn-Based Company MSCHF Product Studio Inc Reach Settlement In Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’ Trademark Lawsuit

ike and MSCHF have reached a settlement in the trademark infringement battle over a pair of modified sneakers that were being sold in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.

Nike filed the suit last week against MSCHF after it launched a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s called the “Satan Shoes” with Lil Nas X. The shoes, priced at $1,018 and decorated with a pentagram pendant and a drop of human blood in the soles, quickly sold out.

The sneakers drew outrage online, and some called for a boycott of Nike, though the company had nothing to do with the shoe. Nike made a federal filing against MSCHF, and a judge granted a temporary injunction to halt the fulfillment of “Satan Shoes” orders.

A settlement was reached in which MSCHF will issue a voluntary recall on the shoes and offer a buy-back program for previously released modified Nike sneakers it called “Jesus Shoes,” Nike confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

“If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund,” Nike said in a statement, reaffirming that it had nothing to do with the shoes. “Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.”

MSCHF agreed to settle the lawsuit after realizing it “already achieved its artistic purpose,” David H. Bernstein, an attorney for MSCHF, told NBC News. The shoes were “individually numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion,” he said.

“With these Satan Shoes — which sold out in less than a minute — MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance” in partnership with Lil Nas X, Bernstein said.

The release of the “Satan Shoes” coincided with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell and gives the devil a lap dance.

Lil Nas X defended the shoes as the single and the video got increased attention. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

After the release of the song Friday, Lil Nas X put out an open letter to his younger self about coming out. The rapper, who is openly gay, explained that the song was about a guy he met last summer.

“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote.

The music video for “Montero” includes a voiceover with a similar message.

“In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see,” he says. “We lock them away. We tell them, ‘No.’ We banish them. But here, we don’t. Welcome to Montero.”

Source: NBC News

The Notorious B.I.G. Gets Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

The Notorious B.I.G. was made a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight during an induction ceremony broadcast on HBO. Biggie Smalls was inducted by Diddy, who signed the rapper to the then-fledgling Bad Boy Records in 1993, and was also honored by JAY-Z, Nas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, in addition to his family: his mother Voletta Wallace, daughter Tyanna Wallace, and son C.J. Wallace.

“Big just wanted to be biggest, he wanted to be the best, he wanted to have influence and impact people in a positive way, and that clearly has been done all over the world,” Diddy said. “Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, to the way he raps, to the frequency that he hits. Tonight we are inducting the greatest rapper of all time into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Notorious B.I.G. representing Brooklyn, New York, we up in here!”

Nas discussed how Biggie opened doors for New York rappers. “Rap music is all about who’s gonna be the king,” he said. “The West Coast, they was sellin’ millions of records, and before Big, I felt like there was only so far New York rap could go as far as sales. Biggie changed all of that.”

The segment closed with Biggie’s children—daughter Tyanna and son C.J. (who has previously worked as an actor and released his own music for the first time in August). “Our father was one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. He helped revolutionize what was a young art form for the Black community and the world,” C.J. said. “I’m honored to share his name and his dedication to Black music, creativity, self-expression, and Black freedom. I love you, Meemaw. Thanks for teaching us who Christopher Wallace was as a son, friend, poet, artist, and father. We love you Meemaw. We love you dad. Brooklyn, we did it!”

Biggie is joined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 by Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, T. Rex, the Doobie Brothers, and Ahmet Ertegun Award winners Jon Landau and Irving Azoff. The in-memoriam segment included a tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen.

Source: Pitchfork