Love him or hate him, Ricky Powell has been a New York City institution forever in Money Making Manhattan. If you were involved in the NYC music scene in the Village at some point, you ran into the Rickster and had a story. Street photographer, sneaker designer, artist, vegan, TV show host, animal lover, and all around party guy Powell is profiled in this 10 minute video for Spine television. In this documentary Ricky speaks on a variety of topics. The day (or days) in the life of this Native New Yorker take us from parking lot to stoop to coffee shop to the inside of his apartment (which I heard was a sports page clipping museum). Along the way he chats about the past, present, and what the future holds in NYC, smokes a bowl (“nature’s candy”), being vegan, part time pets, photography principles, New Jack Cornballs in his neighborhood, feeding squirrels in the park, his transistor radio, and photographing Cindy Crawford in the ladies bathroom among other things One topic Powell speaks on is the death of Adam Yauch, where he reflects on his past relationship with Yauch and the Beastie Boys. The respectful eulogy
“ Street photography is like my transistor radio, the playlist is infinite. ”- Ricky Powell 2012
like comments on his past times with the band and how Yauch influenced him are in a way touching. It’s a side of Powell you rarely see, and gives you a new perspective on the persona of the man. Powell, now 50, says that he wants to live until 70 or 75 (if he makes it that long), and feels like an outsider in his own city. The mature b-boy is still doing things his way to a Jazz soundtrack from his transistor radio tuned into WBGO and shows no signs of letting up. Ricky Powell is an NYC institution, and like I said earlier, love him or hate him, you still have to give it up for this lifelong NYC resident who has left his mark on photography as well as the Hip Hop world. The Rickster is still Rappin’ and preaching to these youngsters. New Jack Cornballs beware.