Beastie Boys (Grand Royal/Capitol Records) 1995, photo by Ari Marcopoulous
First in a series, this is a selection of mid 90's hip-hop publicity / promo photos (all black and white) sent out by record labels to print media, radio and television.The labels that sent them out these press packages in the years 1994 and 1995 included MCA, Mercury, Profile, Priority, WRAP/Ichiban, and such Relativity distributed labels as Ruthless and Lifestyles.The ten artists featured range from the iconic such as the Beastie Boys to the lesser known hip-hop acts as female rapper K-Nock whose 1994 album on WRAP Records Escape From Quad City was her only album released. Hence the publicity photo for her and the press release/bio that accompanied it was likely the only ones made for this artist. Also noteworthy is that the mid 1990's was a still a (pre digital download) period when the music industry was in a healthy state with ample extra dollars to put into promotion and publicity. Not only did record labels, both major and independent, send out advance promo CDs/records/tapes/videos but they were typically accompanied by nicely presented press packages: stylized folders with one or more professionally staged, glossy publicity photos, along with an in-depth bio and artist press clippings.