In the 1980s, Janette Beckman, an expat punk photographer from London, amassed a portfolio of burgeoning New York rap acts like the Cold Crush Brothers, Big Daddy Kane and Public Enemy. It was a labor of love for Ms. Beckman, who had visited New York a few years earlier and was so entranced by the beginnings of hip-hop that she never left. She later collected those images in a book, but she challenges you to find a copy of it today.
“We couldn’t sell it to anyone,” Ms. Beckman said. “Back then, there was not one thought in my mind hip-hop would become this massive thing.”
Was she wrong.