Recap: Ricky Powell's 50th Birthday Celebration
New York City came out to Il Bagatto last night to help legendary hip hop photographer Ricky Powell celebrate his 50th birthday hosted by The Good Life. Powell came into his own as a photographer when he quit his job and joined the Beastie Boys and Run DMC on the Raising Hell tour. He shot a few photographs that became significant and was subsequently brought along on the License to Ill tour in ‘87 and Together Forever tour with Run DMC and then ‘92 Check Your Head tour and the ‘94 Lollapalooza. Ricky became known as Def Jam’s unofficial chronicler and famously as the alleged fourth Beastie Boy during the group’s Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique era.
In what was billed as “an intimate celebration,” the lower level of Il Bagatto was packed from wall to wall while Ricky Powell conducted one of his classic slide shows. Comprised of approximately 100 images, photographer Craig Wetherby manned the deck while “The Funky Uncle’s Park Bench Mixtape” provided the soundtrack. The Rickster recanted the stories behind each of the photos between moments of pulling up his sweatpants and taking hits from a blunt that was being passed around the crowd. Between every other photo in the slide show Ricky Powell would stop to shout out members of the audience that have provided inspiration or support throughout his career.