"Hip Hop Through the Lens of Photography," presented by 1800 Tequila x Billboard at Up & Down at the Nautilus Beach

Written by Gregory Harris // Photos by Monica Schipper (Getty Images) 

In recent years, the growth of Art Basel has not only become a week where locals and travelers can explore different exhibits and get in tuned with the featured artists during this week of festivities, this has also been a place where musicians broke new music and performed amongst some of the elite while things are still hot in Florida in December. This year,  1800 Tequilla partnered with Billboard Magazine to present "Hip Hop Through the Lens of Photography", a curated photo exhibit that featured the work of cosmic/iconic work of Cam Kirk, the film portraits of Gunner Stahl, and the candid photos of Places + Faces. This was held in the famous Nautilus Beach tent where they displayed each photographer's work and later on that night this same celebration collaborated with Up & Down to bring a special performance by Rae Sremmurd. The night was filled with artistic vibes provided by the photographers, Peach Castle with their custom walls, and the brands that brought together the erupting performance from the musical act who's currently holding the #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100. 

Here are some quotes from the event below. 

“I wanna shout out Cam Kirk and Gunner Stahl. They're my people, the photographers bring out a whole different element in hip-hop. It lets you see deeper into the artist's life."

-Slim Jxmmi, Rae Sremmurd

"We love artists,they give us the inspiration, because we're all the same. It's just different fields.”

-Swae Lee, Rae Sremmurd

“The photographer, in this day and age in music, is honestly almost equivalent to a DJ. Nowadays, music is being consumed visually and audibly. There are people who have favorite rappers because they love the way they look, the image, the style, the vision. That's something that me as a photographer feeds to the public, the same way you have people that love the artist's music and the DJ is the one that feeds that to the public.” 

-Cam Kirk, whose shot and directed photo shoots and music videos with Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Rae Sremmurd and more.

“Photographers are the new rock stars in the sense that it's like, the artist is only as big as the photos or the visuals. Some people will take photos just for the sake of it, but I want [to be like] Chi Modu, Jonathan Mannion, what they did in their time. In 20 years, I want kids to look at my photos and be like 'Oh, from 2013 to 2050, this is what the culture looked like."

- Places + Faces, Ceisay

Check out the Gallery below and follow 1800 Tequila here and here