The hip-hop world has long recognized the influence and importance of the Albee Square Mall in Brooklyn, New York.
The biggest names in rap, including Hov himself, have mentioned the mall and its culture in their songs. The Mall became even more iconic after its demise thanks to a man named Professor Que. He created the now famous Instagram, AlbeeSquare87. (Complex and The Fader are big fans of the page). He started when he began to notice the city changing around him.
“I’m just gonna start gathering up all the relics, and the beautiful things that I cherish from the ’80s or whatever, early ’90s… Let me hold this down because nobody else seemed to care,” he said.
The Instagram page features authentic photos from hip-hop’s golden age. While many of the photos are of everyday life during that era, some include undiscovered nostalgic gems of everyone’s favorite hip-hop stars.
Open at the Bishop Gallery is a physical exhibit – “Memory Lane In Medina” – that transports the viewer right back to pre-gentrified Brooklyn. It features some of the best photos from the page and some never before seen ones, in addition to some original fashion from the time. Vintage polo jackets, a suicide jacket, because “wearing it in certain places was like committing suicide,” are some of the highlights of the fashion.
Professor Que gave a preview of the exhibit accompanied by a panel discussion on its message earlier this week. Grammy winning producer Just Blaze was the moderator and the panel included an original member of two of Brooklyn’s most notorious gangs, The Decepticons and The LoLifes.
During their discussion, they talked about the way the city used to be. They candidly described the gang culture of the past. They also traced the evolution of hip-hop music and its culture and commented on their New York vs. today’s New York. The exhibit is a reflection of the age they love and grew up in.
Be sure to check out the exhibit, open now at the Bishop Gallery in Brooklyn.
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram