Rest in peace to the honorary fourth Beastie Boy.
Another day, another Hip-Hop legend has transcended.
On Monday, February 1, iconic photographer Ricky Powell passed away. A cause of death has yet to be revealed by his team, but in regard to Powell’s passing, his manager and business partner did release a statement to Complex saying, “I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed.”
Throughout his 59 years, Powell built a decorated resume for himself by working with celebrities and hip-hop stars alike, including LL Cool J, Run DMC, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Public Enemy, and, most famously, the Beastie Boys. Due to his close association with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, he was endearingly known throughout the music industry as the honorary fourth Beastie Boy, especially after garnering a hilarious shout-out on their song “Car Thief.”
Powell was also the author of several photo books, including The Individualist, Public Access, The Rickford Files, and more. The Brooklyn-born photographer also helmed the popular 90s show Rappin’ With the Rickster, in which he interviewed prominent artists of the time, including Doug E Fresh, Cypress Hill, and Kool Keith.
In light of the news of Powell’s passing, hip-hop has expressed its condolences over social media.