Nigeria-born Celebrity Photographer Chi Modu Dies In U.S.

Legendary Nigeria-born hip hop photographer Chi Modu, who captured iconic images of some of the greatest figures in U.S. hip hop in the 1990s, has died, aged 54.

Modu’s death was announced on Saturday afternoon via his Instagram page.

Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,’ read a post featuring a photo of the late photographer and a signed obituary (1966-2021).

The family requested privacy at this time and did not reveal the nature of his death.

Modu was born in Nigeria on 7 July 1966 in Arondizuogu in Imo State.

Three years after his birth, he and his family moved to the United States.

According to History Makers, Modu graduated from the Lawrenceville School in Princeton, New Jersey in 1984.

He earned his B.S. degree in economics from The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers in 1989.

Modu also received a certificate in photojournalism and documentary photography from the International Center of Photography in New York, New York in 1992.

After starting at the New York Amsterdam News, Modu got his big break at the hip hop magazine The Source, which commissioned him to take some of his most famous portraits.

He became the director of photography for the publication and shot over 30 covers for the magazine, according to The History Makers.

He immortalized a number of rappers, including Snoop Dogg, NWA’s Eazy-E, Nas, various members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Diddy, Ice Cube, LL Cool J, Mac Miller, Eminem and Dr. Dre, among many others.

In 2016 he published the photography book Uncategorized, which featured unpublished pictures of Tupac.

In addition to his photography for The Source, Modu also contributed to Rolling Stone and The New York Times.

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