Yo! The Early Days of Hip-Hop 1982-1984

A new book featuring over 150 rarely-seen photos of the early ‘80s New York hip hop scene offers a fascinating insight into the emerging cultural phenomenon. ‘Yo! The Early Days of Hip-Hop 1982-1984’ is the latest book by photographer Sophie Bramly, who would later host MTV’s ‘Yo! MTV Raps’ show in the late ‘80s before joining the staff at record label PolyGram in France thereafter.

Highlights from Bramly’s book include intimate photos of rising stars Fab Five Freddy, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the Beastie Boys, as well as artists Keith Haring and Futura, and dance groups including Rock Steady Crew. “[She] put her arms around all four of the hip-hop elements,” says former Def Jam Recordings publicist Bill Adler of Bramly’s work in the book’s introduction: “the emcees, deejays, graffiti artists, and breakdancers.”

The tome is the latest to be published by Soul Jazz Books, an offshoot of the record label known for curated vinyl compilations on genres such as Nigerian rock music, New Orleans funk and soul, German electronic music and Latin American jazz. Bramly, meanwhile, has had further photography published by the likes of Red Bull Music Academy, and is currently displaying her work at the six-month ‘Hip-Hop 360’ exhibition at the Philarmonie de Paris in France, which runs until August 2022.

‘Yo! The Early Days of Hip-Hop 1982-1984’ is out now via Soul Jazz Books.

Images via Soul Jazz Books