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  • Enjoy these rare photos of rap legend (Notorious BIG)

    Contact High is an essential new photography book edited by longtime journalist (and FADER contributor) Vikki Tobak. Billed as “a visual archive of hip-hop,” it pairs legendary photos from the genre’s 40 years with unedited contact sheets and commentary from the equally iconic photographers who took them. It’s a clever and multidimensional look at history, with images once relegated to the cutting room floor adding color and context to just how superstars — and the stories about them — were made.

    Below are three excerpts from the book, which is out now. (Buy it from your local bookstore.)

    Jayson Keeling, photographer: “Photographing the Bad Boy family at the height of their fame was daunting. They were such a powerful collective. I love the shot of Puffy with his arm stretched forward like ‘Look at us.’ All of his artists were there—Faith, Biggie, Total, and Craig Mack. They were kings and queens at that moment. I decided to use a large-format 8"x10" camera as a way to make the shoot feel very epic. I was inspired by Richard Avedon and his American West series, where he made large-format portraits of everyday people against a clean white backdrop. He left the black border visible when he printed, and that series is now regarded as an important hallmark in the his-tory of portrait photography. I wanted this Bad Boy shoot to have that same feel to it. It felt larger-than-life in many ways, and I thought photographing them in this large-format, narrative way reinforced that. The shoot feels regal to me.”

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