J Lash unveils iconic Hip-Hop moments at NNPA’s 2024 Midwinter Training Conference
By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Senior National Correspondent
Renowned photographer Jeffrey K. Lashley, best known in the world of photography as J. Lash, brought a visual journey through hip-hop and pop culture to the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) 2024 Midwinter Training Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The conference became the backdrop for an exhibition of some of the most iconic photos ever captured in the realm of hip-hop.
Hailing from Inglewood, California, Lashley’s journey in photography began at Cal State – Long Beach, where he was trained in photojournalism and eventually went to work for famed boxing promoter Don King. It was in the vibrant hip-hop scene of Los Angeles that he discovered his passion and started documenting moments that would later become pivotal in hip-hop history.
His unique approach to photography, often described as ‘flash and dash,’ showcases his ability to anticipate and capture the essence of a moment before it unfolds. Lashley’s body of work is more than a mere collection of images; it is a living chronicle of stories and historical moments personally experienced by the man behind the lens.
Lashley’s talent goes beyond just capturing famous faces in hip-hop culture. His ability to identify and immortalize the “sure shot” has earned him a well-deserved reputation as one of hip-hop’s underground kings of photography.
“Everybody has their own journey,” Lash remarked. “I’d tell young ones today to go with their passion. I have pictures of Diana Ross and so many others. I can pull back to the Slick Rick days, and Snoop, Run DMC, and Jam Master Jay became a good friend of mine, and more.”
Among the captivating images shared with NNPA journalists were snapshots immortalizing legends such as Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and Mike Tyson. These photographs, originally published in iconic publications like Sports Illustrated and Time, continue to resonate with fans and enthusiasts alike.
J Lash’s impact extends beyond the frames of his photographs. “I was the one to start photographing at Venice Beach. I was the first to put a table on the boardwalk and start selling pictures,” Lash asserted. “I would get to the beach at sunset, and when the sun was coming down, I’d photograph it. I would go print it and come back and sell them.”
Clients and followers said his work is a testament to the profound influence of visual storytelling in preserving and celebrating the rich history of hip-hop. As he continues to document and shape the narrative of this dynamic cultural movement, friends say J. Lash stands as a living legend in the world of hip-hop photography.
“You have to anticipate the moment,” Lash stated. “I anticipated moments and have been blessed to be in situations where I could create the moment.”