Back in the Days.
Photographs by Jamel Shabazz. Introduction by Fab 5 Freddy. Essay by Ernie Paniccioli.
Powerhouse Books, New York, 2011. 128 pp., 80 color and black & white illustrations, 7¼x9¾".
Back in the Days documents the emerging Hip Hop scene from 1980-1989—before it became what is today’s multi-million-dollar multinational industry. Back in the days, gangs would battle not with guns, but by breakdancing. Back in the days, the streets—not corporate planning—set the standards for style. Back in the days, Jamel Shabazz was on the scene, photographing everyday people hangin’ in Harlem, kickin’ it in Queens, and cold chillin’ in Brooklyn.
Street styling with an attitude not seen in fashion for another twenty years to come, Shabazz’s subjects strike poses that put supermodels to shame—showing off Kangol caps and Gazelle glasses, shell-top Adidas and suede Pumas with fat laces, shearling coats and leather jackets, gold rope chains, door-knocker earrings, name belts, boom boxes, and other designer finery. For anyone who wants to know what “keepin’ it real” means, Back in the Days is the book of your dreams.