Hip-Hop activist Harry Allen will offer an alternate point of view concerning the history of rap music with his new photo exhibit, Part of the Permanent Record: Photos From the Previous Century.
The exhibit will be open to the public from June 29 to Aug. 16.
The displayed photos chronicle Allen’s stint as a photographer during his days as a student at Adelphi University on Long Island, between 1983 and 1986.
It was there, mostly at the student radio station, WBAU, that the activist became friends with former Yo! MTV Raps co-host Andre “Doctor Dre” Brown as well as the men who would go on to comprise the Hip-Hop group Public Enemy and its production unit the Bomb Squad (Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Hank and Keith Shocklee, Bill Stephney, Terminator X, and Eric Sadler).
“I connected with these guys because, at a time during which the conventional wisdom was that rap was a ‘fad’ that would eventually ‘go away,’ they were the first people I’d met who, like myself, looked at Hip-Hop scientifically and took it utterlyseriously,”" Allen said.
Allen’s photographs not only showcase the creation of Public Enemy, but also capture notable Hip-Hop artists and activists such as Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Whodini, Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, T. La Rock, Stetsasonic, Dick Gregory and Angela Davis.
Despite his talent behind the lense of the camera, Allen chose to pursue writing because he “simply could not figure out how to make a living as a photographer.”
As a journalist, Allen’s works have appeared in various publications such as VIBE, The Village Voice, The Source, Essence, Billboard, and other media since his debut in June 1987.
In addition, he has been quoted as an expert in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on National Public Radio, MTV, VH-1, and CNN.
Other achievements include co-producing and narrating features for BBC Radio as well as hosting and producing the weekly WBAI-NY arts radio show Nonfiction since 2003.
Those interested in seeing the exhibit can visit the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery from 2 to 6 p.m. For details, go to http://www.eyejammie.com/harryallen.html.