The Boombox Project by Lyle Owerko






The Boombox Project by Lyle Owerko documents the sonic tank on the shoulders of urban music. In some near-distant future music of our choosing (or not) will be streamed straight into our consciousness but we will always remember the Boombox. New York-based photographer, Lyle Owerko has put together The Boombox Project, with historic shots by Jamel Shabazz, Ricky Flores, Josh Cheuse, and Lisa Beck with a forward by Spike Lee. Plugging us into the 80’s the book is an oral and visual flashback to the early days of hip-hop, featuring memories from Fab 5 Freddy, Bob Gruen, Rosie Perez, Kool Moe Dee, LL Cool J, Lisa Lisa, DJ Spooky, and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, among others, on the role this once ubiquitous machine played.

I have two distinct memories of these beautiful monstrosities.

  1. Listening and dancing to Earth, Wind & Fire’s Let’s Groove in a schoolmate’s room
  2. The image of Radio Raheem pit-bull of a boombox on his shoulder force feeding the revolution to anyone willing or unwilling to hear Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.

Lyle Owerko website:

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