This has been a landmark year for New York hip-hop. The huns who were at the gates last year basically ran the game in 2013. A$AP Rocky dropped one the most commercially successful projects (Live.Love.A$AP) and A$AP Ferg and Action Bronson released two of the most critically acclaimed (Trap Lord and Blue Chips 2, respectively). And although Beast Coasters Joey Bada$$, the Flatbush Zombies, and the Underachievers lost their friend Capital STEEZ in late 2012, they carried on his legacy with one of the decade's hypest nationwide hip-hop tours. Not to mention, older artists like the Wu-Tang Clan continued to hold it down for NYC, reminding the world what real hip-hop sounds like. Through all this insanity, photographer Verena Stefanie Grotto was there with her camera capturing all of the moments that speak to what hip-hop was, is, and will be in the city that never sleeps. Let the following pictures take you on that trip down memory lane.
Photographer Verena Stefanie was born and bred in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. The small town is not known for hip-hop, but they do make a very tasty grape-based pomace brandy there called grappa. Stefanie left Bassano del Grappa at the age of 17 to go and live the wild skateboarding life in Barcelona, Spain, where she worked as the Fashion Coordinator for VICE Spain. Tired of guiding photographers to catch the best shots, she eventually grabbed the camera herself and is now devoted to documenting artists, rappers, style-heads, and more. She recently directed a renowned documentary about the Grime scene in UK and has had photo features in GQ, Cosmopolitan, VICE, and many more.
Check out her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.