2Pac, Biggie and Chi Modu in Monday Song

By Stefano Nappa
3 min read

If you are a lover of black music, you know very well that 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. exchanged a few bullets, especially between the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Unfortunately, Chi Modu who left us a week ago, had been the only photographer who managed to immortalize them in legendary poses.

It is said that when a gun is fired it is not just one person who dies, we all die a little bit with every shot.

Between 1996 and 1997, two different guns not only killed two people but also the music. In those years the most influential artists in the music field on the other side of the ocean were: 2Pac on the West Coast and Notorious Big on the East Coast.

2pac Chi Modu

At one time or another in your life you have surely heard of these two artists. For the uninitiated, they are two historical icons of Black music with the letter “B” in capital letters, especially in Rap and Hip-Hop.

There is a person who has captured the depth of their personalities on film, his name is, as already mentioned, Chi Modu. His spent his childhood in Nigeria and then he moved to New “Brick City” Jersey. There he literally fell in love with photography and ended up working for The Source magazine. It was most famous and widely read periodical of the Hip-Hop scene founded in 1988. The Source became famous for the “Unsigned Hype” column, which launched the likes of: DMX, Eminem, The Notorious B.I.G., Common and 50 Cent.

2Pac Notorius BIG

Unfortunately, Modu never managed to shoot the two rappers we mentioned at the beginning, because thy couldn’t stand each other. Those years are also labeled as the years of “feuds” between the East and West Coast.

The first time he photographed 2Pac in Atlanta in 1994 it did not go very well, each of his equipment had problems on every shot. He photographed him the following morning at an almost prohibitive time for a musician and the white bandana never left the head of 2Pac. In every legendary shoot there is always something that makes the artist pop up as happened with the white glasses of Kurt Cobain in the photos of Jesse Frohman.

After the shots they all went to the house in Stone Mountain, Georgia. There 2Pac showed his weapons collection to Modu and, moving a picture he pointed out a hole he had made in the wall with a firearm.

For Biggie, however, the photos were designed to show who the real king of New York was, the real king of the East Coast. At the time, the Twin Towers were still standing and were the perfect background of what later became the most iconic shot of 90s black music. Why? Because both of them don’t exist anymore but will remain in that picture forever.

Uh, who shot Biggie Smalls and 2Pac?
If we don’t get them, they gon’ get us all
cit. Dead Prez

This Monday we make the head go up and down or rather as they say we make it go in mode: BANG YA HEAD!

3 min read


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