Portraits of Hip-Hop’s Video Vixens

The Photo Blog
June 6 2013 8:00 AM

Guns, Bling, Money: Portraits of Hip-Hop’s Video Vixens


Brian Finke

In music videos, the artist is the star. But in hip-hop, there are other people vying for the spotlight—the beautiful women who populate the bars, clubs, and hotel rooms of hip-hop music videos.

In his series, “Hip-Hop Honeys,” Brian Finke seeks to give them the attention they are due. How he goes about it, he said, is really quite simple.

“A lot of the stuff I do is very straightforward: Pick a subject matter and just obsess about it for a period of time, whether it's a week or a few years,” Finke said.


Over the last 10 years, he’s done that with bodybuilders, flight attendants, and cheerleaders, among a wide variety of unique and distinctly American groups.

“It will be interesting another 10 years from now to connect the dots to see the common threads,” he said.


Brian Finke


Brian Finke


Brian Finke

Finke first got the idea to dive into the hip-hop world at a photography festival in Italy last summer, when a magazine editor suggested he take a look. He started calling casting directors that August, and began shooting in January.

He has attended five video shoots in New York City since then. One was in a hotel room on Park Avenue South. Another was in a cigar bar in Harlem. Most are in traditional photo and video studios.


Brian Finke


Brian Finke


Brian Finke

 “I always want the pictures to be about the people I’m photographing: the subtle expressions, the gestures, the little things that give insight into the personality of the person. I describe it as a stylized documentary,” Finke said.

Of the shoots he’s attended so far, Finke said that he prefers the less polished, B-level shoots, because he gets better access to his subjects. Once he gets on set, though, Finke generally finds the women open to being photographed.


Brian Finke


Brian Finke


Brian Finke

“It's just one more camera. They're there to be seen and photographed. It just plays into that,” Finke said.

You can follow Brian Finke on Twitter and Tumblr.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.