Photo exhibition, Hip Hop’s Greatest Day, commemorates iconic Harlem 1998 shoot

A new photo exhibition has begun in New York, commemorating one of the most iconic images in music journalism history. 

Running at City Hall's Rotunda until June, Hip Hop's Greatest Day takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of 'A Great Day In Hip Hop' — a landmark 1998 image featuring 177 artists spread across three stoops. 

Taken by the artist Gordon Parks, the photo features the likes of Fab 5 Freddy, Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Jazzy Jeff, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Heather B, Kool Herc, Kool Keith, Kool Moe Dee, Rakim, Marley Marl, Muggs, Questlove, Talib Kweli, Wyclef Jean, Slick Rick, and more appear. You can read a detailed account of its creation, and significance, here.

Jonathan Rheingold, former-Executive Publisher and Co-Founder of XXL Magazine, which the picture was originally taken for, has now curated a collection of shots captured on the day in question. These include several of his own, alongside contributions from others who were present such as fellow XXL staffer Ben Osborne, whose image you can see above and in the post below. 

Speaking to Spectrum News, Rheingold said: "Several years ago I reached out to other individuals I knew who had taken photos and aggregated a behind-the-scenes archive, if you will, of the making of that day and of that photo."

He added: "We are so thrilled to have the mayor's office and Department of Cultural Affairs really give us a venue to share this with the rest of the city."

Conceived by XXL Magazine's Editor-in-Chief at the time, Sheena Lester, the photo was itself a recreation of A Great Day In Harlem, a 1958 shot of 57 jazz greats on a the stoop at 17 East 126th Street. Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk were among those involved in the landmark image, taken by Art Kane.