The music may be the straw that stirs the drink in terms it being the driving force behind hip-hop's popularity, but when it comes to culture as a whole, there are many facets the culture, which have been documented throughout its history.
One way that the world was introduced to B-Boys, break-dancing, graffiti and urban street fashion was through pictures, but the most visceral conduit was through music videos, which captured the rap artists up close and personal, helping to put a face and style to the voice you'd been listening to for months on end.
As the '80s would progress, music videos would become staples rap culture and a pretty big deal, with artists and directors taking pride in their work, resulting in some the more memorable and iconic videos the '80s.
However, the '90s marked the arrival Hype Williams, a Queens native fresh out Adelphi University who helped revolutionize the way we see hip-hop and what a rap music video could be. Influenced by the art Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hype would get his start in hip-hop as a graffiti writer before linking with Lionel "Vid Kid" Martin and VJ Ralph McDaniels Video Music Box fame.
Starting his own video company, Filmmakers With Attitude, Hype Williams got his feet wet directing music videos for acts like Main Source, Zhigge, Cutty Ranks and BWP before hitting his stride in 1994, with now-legendary clips for Wu-Tang Clan, Craig Mack, Mary J. Blige and Usher, making him one the most sought-out directors in rap. By 1997, Hype was regarded as the most prolific and influential music director in the history hip-hop— a crown he still holds to this day.
In celebration his excellence behind the camera, The Boombox handpicked 11 the most iconic visuals from his catalog that helped define an entire decade.