Photographer Mike Miller Gives ‘West Coast Hip Hop History’ In Photos Via New Book

By Jay Casteel (@JayCasteel)  |  02/01/2012

Mike MillerLos Angeles photographer Mike Miller has captured some of the most legendary shots in hip-hop history ... and is set to release them in an upcoming coffee table book called West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Pictures.

With the book's release coming in mid-February, Miller will show off select imagery from the book at a photo exhibition centered around the book on Saturday (February 4) to Sunday (February 5) at Los Angeles' Known Gallery.

The show opens on Saturday from 8pm-11pm. Known Gallery is located at: 441 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036. For more info, visit KnownGallery.com.

Over the past 25 years, the photographer has built an expansive portfolio that includes over 300 major record covers, the most iconic supermodels of the 90s, and some of the biggest names in rap and jazz.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Miller recalls the only radio station that came in clear where he lived during his teenage years: AM 1580 KDAY. As a Santa Monica High School student in the midst of the punk, surf and skate scene, he was listening to RUN DMC, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick.

After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Film and Television, he took a trip with friends to explore Paris where he met then boxer-turned-top agent Rene Bosne, who introduced Miller to his first camera. From there, he began landing jobs shooting models building an impressive portfolio shooting for major campaigns such as Cacharel Paris.

Eventually, Miller returned to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, and photographed his first rapper, Arabian Prince. Impressed with his major campaign for Stussy, DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) asked Miller to photograph the demo for a new project titled "Cypress Hill" that led Miller to becoming a heavily sought after photographer for the hip-hop community.

During those golden years in the left coast's hip-hop history, he shot everyone from Tha Alkaholiks, Ice Cube, Eazy E, N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, Too Short, House of Pain, DJ Quik, Dr. Dre, and even Tupac Shakur and his Thug Life crew.

West Coast Hip Hop: A History In Pictures is dropping in the coming weeks. It can be pre-ordered at the Known Gallery event, or online at OverTheEdgeBooks.com.