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Back in the Days

10th Anniversary Edition

Text by Ernie PaniccioliAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Ernie Paniccioli
Photographed by Jamel ShabazzAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jamel Shabazz
Introduction by Fab 5 FreddyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Fab 5 Freddy

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Back in the Days documents the emerging Hip Hop scene from 1980–1989—before it became what is today’s multimillion-dollar, multinational industry. Back in the Days, battles involved rappers, DJs, dancers, and painters, not gangsters and guns. Back in the days, the streets—not corporate planning—set the standards for style. Back in the days, Jamel Shabazz was on the scene, photographing everyday people hangin’ in Harlem, kickin’ it in Queens, and cold chillin’ in Brooklyn.

Street style with an attitude unmatched in fashion in the 30 years since, Shabazz’s subjects strike poses that put supermodels to shame—showing off Kangol caps and Gazelle glasses, shell-top Adidas and suede Pumas with fat laces, shearling coats and leather jackets, gold rope chains, door-knocker earrings, name belts, boom boxes, and other finery. For anyone who wants to know what “keepin’ it real” means, Back in the Days is the book of your dreams.

When it was first released in 2001, Back in the Days was a bomb dropped on the cultural landscape, changing the worlds of fashion, movies, music, and art in ways still felt today. Now, 10 years later, powerHouse is releasing a new edition of this unrivaled classic, with new photos and text. Don’t sleep! Now is the perfect time to reintroduce yourself to the ultimate collection of timeless street fashion and style: Back in the Days.


"Not an ounce of energy has drained from Back in the Days, Jamal Shabazz's photo chronicle of the early days of hip-hop style, since it was published in 2001. Those who still remember its release might be amazed to learn that a decade has since gone by; reason enough for powerHouse Books to bring it out again, in an expanded edition, as Back in the Days: Remix.” 
Lens Blog
"'He did with pictures what rappers did with words,' said Bill Adler, a hip-hop historian and photography aficionado. 'He made these folks visible the way rap made them audible. He took everyday people and turned them into icons. Nobody told him to do this. He just went out and struck gold.'"
New York Times

"Beyond a specific genre of music or style of clothes, Shabazz’s photos celebrate city life and youth culture, even as the blights of crack and AIDS ravaged New York..."
Time Out New York

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