Cornell University Launches Ernie Paniccioli Rap Photo Archive

Presented by Cornell Hip Hop Collection, the archive consists of nearly 20,000 Paniccioli photos that documented the hip-hop culture from the '80s to the 2000s.


Image via Getty/Gregorio Binuya


Ernie Paniccioli is the man behind some of hip-hop's most iconic visuals, having spent the last several decades photographing icons like the Notorious B.I.G, 2Pac, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Public Enemy, and Grandmaster Flash. 

In celebration of Paniccioli's prolific career, Cornell University has launched an online collection featuring nearly 20,000 photographs taken from his extensive archive. 

"Ernie's images offer viewers an unprecedented look at hip-hop’s evolution," Katherine Reagan, the Ernest L. Stern curator of rare books and manuscripts, said in a statement. "We are grateful to Ernie and his collaboration with Cornell. What he captured can now be experienced by everyone."

Paniccioli's online archive, presented by the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, can be viewed here.

"All the different graffiti artists and DJs opened up a whole world to me," Paniccioli said. "Imagine 45 years later an esteemed university comes and wants to share your archive with the world. And all you wanted to do that day was get up and go to work."

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