Annie Leibovitz just shot Kendrick Lamar for Vanity Fair

Leibovitz’s portrait of Lamar graces the cover of the magazine’s August 2018 issue
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Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Kendrick Lamar on the cover of Vanity Fair. All images courtesy of Vanity Fair
Annie Leibovitz's portrait of Kendrick Lamar on the cover of Vanity Fair. All images courtesy of Vanity Fair

The great US photographer Annie Leibovitz may have made her name capturing Mick Jagger and John Lennon, yet she’s no less adept when it comes to photographing today’s music stars.

 

Kendrick Lamar, photographed onstage at Jones Beach Theater, in Wantagh, New York, May 30. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz
Kendrick Lamar, photographed onstage at Jones Beach Theater, in Wantagh, New York, May 30. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

Leibovitz just shot the Pulitzer Prize winning rapper Kendrick Lamar for Vanity Fair’s August 2018 edition, taking both formal portraits, live shots and, uncharacteristically, reportage-style candid shots, as she trailed Lamar and his friends around the Bronx, New York City, and at the Jones Beach outdoor amphitheatre in Wantagh, out on Long Island.

 

Lamar at the Jones Beach show' photograph by Annie Leibovitz
Lamar at the Jones Beach show' photograph by Annie Leibovitz

These behind-the-scenes images accompany an equally illuminating interview, in which Lamar discusses his upbringing, his parents, gangs and his 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music – the first to be awarded to a hip-hop artist.

 

Kendrick Lamar in a 1985 Buick LeSabre outside the New York Expo Center, in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Lamar in a 1985 Buick LeSabre outside the New York Expo Center, in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz
Kendrick Lamar in a 1985 Buick LeSabre outside the New York Expo Center, in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Lamar in a 1985 Buick LeSabre outside the New York Expo Center, in the Bronx. Lamar wears a hoodie by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

“It’s one of those things that should have happened with hip-hop a long time ago,” he tells the magazine’s Lisa Robinson. “It took a long time for people to embrace us — people outside of our community, our culture — to see this not just as vocal lyrics, but to see that this is really pain, this is really hurt, this is really true stories of our lives on wax.”

 

Annie Leibovitz At Work

To see how Leibovitz gets such arresting shots, pre-order a copy of her forthcoming book Annie Leibovitz At Work, in which the photographer shows and explains how her pictures are made.


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