by Larry Ossei-Mensah
D-Nice has been a ﬁxture in the world of hip-hop for well over two decades. After bursting onto the scene with rap patriarchs Boogie Down Productions, he left the group in 1990 and hit with the song “Call Me D-Nice.” Derrick Jones has proven to be a jack-of-all-trades, pivoting from DJ to rapper back to celebrity DJ. While becoming the crowd-mover of choice for Diddy, Kevin Hart, and other boldface friends, D-Nice has parlayed his unprecedented access into another artistic form: photography.
Jones’ passion for picture taking is reﬂected in his candids of music’s colorful cast: 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock. “I feel responsible for their images because it is the way people will remember them 50 years from now,” he says. While the media places his famous subjects on a pedestal, he instead targets their vulnerability— creating a lush visual narrative to which we can all relate. “I shoot to document life. I want people to look at the images and feel like they could have been there,” says D-Nice. The intimacy of these moments results in an arresting oeuvre reminiscent of ’60s music photographer Jim Marshall.