Hip Hop photographer T. Eric Monroe looks back on tense photo shoot with Snoop Dogg and Run-DMC following 1995 Source Awards.
Photographer T. Eric Monroe Remembers Tense Snoop Dogg & Run-DMC Photo Shoot Published on:Jun 20, 2021, 1:01 PM by 0 Photographer T. Eric Monroegot his start snapping photographs for Thrasher Skateboarding Magazine in the 1990s. Soon, that evolved into a job with The Source back when it was still considered Hip Hops bible, granting him the opportunity to be around some of the cultures most impactful artists. During one particular photo shoot with Snoop Dogg and Run-DMC, Monroe was slightly nervous. The year was 1995 and the bubbling West Coast-East Coast rap beef had just been exacerbated at The Source Awards after former Death Row CEO Suge Knight took a stab at Diddy and his Bad Boys Record imprint. Upon accepting the award for Soundtrack of the Year for Above The Rim, Knight with his chest puffed out proudly stated, Any artist out there that wanna be an artist and wanna stay a star and dont wanna have to worry about the executive producer being all in the videos, all on the records, dancing, come to Death Row! Monroe knew how delicate the situation was and wasnt quite sure how Snoop Doggwas going to react to being photographed for The Source. The Source Awards took place in August and this event where I shot Snoop and Run-DMC, it mightve been October or November, he explained to HipHopDX. The night of The Source Awards, everything happened that had happened. I captured it, but they hadnt published it. The point is, I knew Snoops level of irritation towards The Source magazine. When I saw him in Philadelphia and I saw the shot of Run-DMC and Snoop, I brought them together. And then first thing he says is, Who are you shooting for? I knew by his tone he was irritated. The first thought was like, You cant lie to someone because theyll remember you lied to them. He wont remember me for 20 years, but hell remember the one time I lied to him. I looked at him dead in the eyes and I said, Im shooting for The Source. Viscerally hes like, Fuck The Source. But it wasnt toward me. It was The Source magazine, so I didnt take offense to it. I captured a couple of frames and let it go and I said thank you. But again, it wasnt about me. It was about what The Source magazine had become at that point. View this post on Instagram A post shared by T. Eric Monroe (@tdoteric) Despite Snoops demeanor, Monroemoved forward with the assignment and didnt let it intimidate him. It was the purity of honesty so it didnt create any fear, you know what I mean? he says. Again, hes a straight dude. He knows when youre lying to him. Im not a tough guy. Ive never been. Im a suburban skate kid. At the end of the day. Like yes, I can protect myself and protect those around me. But at the end of the day, Id rather garden and fish than fight. I can fight, but Id rather garden and fish, straight up. I can see a lot more people that way. Monroe has experienced many other incredibly memorable moments throughout the course of his career. While organizing his archives in 2012, he stumbled upon an old photograph of Tupac Shakur which in itself was a prized possession but as he looked closer, it dawned on him The Notorious B.I.G. was in the photo as well. View this post on Instagram