1990's Promo Pics: Beastie Boys, DJ Quik, Black Sheep, Black Czer, Gank Move, Above The Law, King Tee, Jemini The Gifted One +

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2016 01:44pm | Post a Comment
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.

Nearly all of the publicity photos credit the photographer responsible and these photo artists include Ari Marcopoulous who did the Beastie Boys shot, and Michael Miller took both the Above The Law and the King Tee photos, both in 1994. Meanwhile the Black Sheep shot taken in 1994 for their sophomore full-length Non Fiction was taken by James Minchin. Jemini The Gifted One and also Black Czer's photo were each taken by Daniel Hastings 1995. Martyn Gallina-Jones took the Kwame photo, Klaus Schoenwiese took the DJ QUIK photo above (for his Safe + Sound album), while Micol Johnson took the photo of Gank Move. On a side note the sound of the Detroit duo Gank Move's 1994 album (both production and rap flow) could have been mistaken for San Francisco rap circa '92/'93. This could be due in part to the fact that outside of the Bay Area, Detroit was one of the top markets for early nineties San Francisco Bay Area street rap.

Along with the artist name, photo credit, record label(s), and year applicable, below each promo/press photo is the name of the album being promoted at the time, if applicable. In the case of the 1995 Beastie Boys photo, which fell between their 1994 album Ill Communication and their following album in 1998 Hello Nasty, the photo (sent out by Nasty Little Man Public Relations) was to inform media that the group's first North American tour in three years, that would begin April 26, 1995 at the Palace in LA with a dollar from every ticket going to various charities, had sold out.  Note that the Beastie Boys, who officially called it quits following the death of Adam "MCA" Yauch in 2012, did not include their DJs in their press photos. At the time of the press pic above in 1995 DJ Hurricane was still their DJ, with Mix Master Mike not replacing him until a few years later.

Black Sheep (Mercury Records) Non-Fiction (1994) photo by James Minchin

Above The Law (Ruthless Records/Relativity) Uncle Sam's Curse 1994 photo by Michael Miller

King Tee 1994 IV Life (MCA Records) photo by Michael Miller 

Jemini The Gifted One (Mercury Records) Scars  and Pain 1995 photo by Daniel Hastings

Kwame Wrap/Ichiban 1994 Incognito photo by Martyn Gallina-Jones 

K-Nock (3G Records/Wrap Records/Ichiban) Escape From Quad City 1994

Black Czer Tales From The Blak Side  (Lifestyles/Relativity Records) 1994 photo by Daniel Hastings

Gank Move Come Into My World (Mad Man Records/Push Play/B.E.G.) 1994, photo by Micol Johnson

Relevant Tags

King Tee (2), Beastie Boys (27), Daniel Hastings (1), Ari Marcopoulous (1), Dj Hurricane (1), Mix Master Mike (6), Grand Royal (1), Beastie Boys (27), Dj Quik (12), Black Sheep (6), Black Czer (1), Gank Move (1), Above The Law (3), King Tee (2), Jemini The Gifted One (1), Above The Law (3), Nasty Little Man Public Relations (1), Black Sheep (6), James Minchin (1)