For my minor thesis project in university I was spending time with and documenting the people belonging to Toronto’s battle rap subculture. I was always fascinated with the art of battle rapping and had kept my eye to the scene in my city before showing up with my cameras and starting my project. Funny enough, these guys appreciated what I was doing and I made some good friends through it. I tried to be as anonymous as possible while working on the project, though, and in a way didn’t want to become “friends” for the sake and integrity of the project. It was important to me to maintain that sense of being an “outsider” to this world. The end product was a book that I made of my series and this was one of my favorite images from it. Aside from lyricism, battle rapping is very much about intimidation and gestures and I think this depicts that well. I’ve been meaning to revisit this project and continue shooting these… maybe with a Hasselblad and my Zeiss this time.
Nikon D700 + Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8