The Architects of Illmatic: Danny Clinch

blame it on Meka April 17, 2019
Photo by Danny Clinch

It isn’t just the producers of Nas’ Illmatic that made the album such a masterpiece: it was the (photo) shooter as well.

Photographer Danny Clinch, protege of the legendary Annie Leibovitz, has shot everyone from Bruce Springsteen to 2Pac. He was also the man behind the camera for Nas’ album photoshoot, who he credits help begin his career of photographing musicians.

Danny was given a simple run of show by the then-teenaged rapper: “Let’s just walk around my neighborhood. My friends are gonna be there. We’re gonna sit in the park, drink gin and juice and smoke blunts. And you’ll photograph it.” From there, Clinch would take some of the rapper’s most memorable pictures ever.