Happy Hour with Akintola Hanif of HYCIDE magazine


Our Happy Hour series took a back seat to our other monthly segments or did it really? Maybe we were busy shadowing a very special creative… Maybe we had to attend all of his events in the past year… Maybe we had to kick it with him in his studio… Maybe we roamed the streets of Newark in search of his subjects… Maybe for an entire year we gathered a ton of footage of Akintola Hanif and learned what it takes to create a subculture and art journal called HYCIDE magazine… Maybe we had to do all of this just to piece together a two minute story about a photojournalist and filmmaker that goes against the grain to tell stories of the feared, neglected and misunderstood. Maybe we should change the title from “Happy Hour with Akintola Hanif of HYCIDE” to “HYCIDE Year with Akintola Hanif”. In this two minute journey, Akintola takes us with him and allows us to really get to know not only what he does but why he does it. Enjoy!










Outside of Street Photography… What other styles of photography do you enjoy?

Sometimes, when it’s not work and I have creative freedom I enjoy studio photography, I also enjoy paid event photography when it’s a interesting event.

What other photographers inspire you?

You know there are many that come to mind, some of whose names I don’t even know, but the main ones that’ve directly inspired me are Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, Zun Lee and NemaEtebar.

If you could do an issue on another US city outside of Newark and Brooklyn which would it be?

Most likely It would be the inner cities of California and I’d focus heavily on the gangs and homeless there.

Please share with us how you get your mind right when selecting and editing your images?

Usually I just sit alone and listen to music, preferably atmospheric. Music with no words allows me to zone out and focus better; but then sometimes I listen to hard (rap) shit too.

If you had the opportunity to shoot ANYONE who would it be?

Maybe the vitiligo model Winnie Harlow or this one really interesting dressing Muslim pimp around here that runs a crack hotel.

Name one thing Akintola love outside of ART and PHOTOGRAPHY… something silly.

I can’t really think of anything that I love that’s silly, I take love very seriously and am not easily influenced. Outside of art and photography (before art and photography) my greatest love is for my son.

Why are you passionate about subculture?

I’m really passionate about subculture because I have an extreme interest in telling stories untold and understanding things and people that are often misunderstood. I also tend to really identify with people who have made choices that society deems unacceptable, because I too have made similar choices (at different times in my life) and exist to the left of the status quo.

Why should others know more about subculture?

I just personally feel that’s it’s always good to understand the world around you and all of its nuances. All inclusive understanding can also dismantle fear, create empathy, and inspire love, which is my mission as man and artist.

How do you feel photography shifts the world?

I’m not sure photography shifts the world, however I do know that images shifts people’s perception and often times photography is used to project negative images and assumptions about who people are. Photography can also be used to cover up the intentions and true identity of the conniving and untruthful, like politicians etc…When we don’t know people first hand the images we see develop our perceptions of them. This can be a good and/or bad thing.

If a corporate brand wanted to sponsor and 100% back you and Hycide, which company would be the best to do so?

I can’t really think of any corporate brands, but maybe Puma or Red Bull (if those are even considered corporate brands) just because I see them doing things with the arts community. However, I think HYCIDE sponsorship would have to come from private donors or a major arts organization like the Andy Warhol or Dodge foundation.

Lastly, in getting to know Akintola…How long should this video really be?

To really get to know me, you’d have to follow me throughout the years and experiences that have made me who I am, and that would take a lifetime or at least a couple hours of edited footage.

What advice can you give an up and coming street photographer?

I would encourage them to develop relationships with people as opposed to just going out on the streets randomly, but there has to be a mixture of both. Acting on impulse and patience are equally important in street photography, you have to approach people without fear and with genuine intentions for them to really open up to you. It’s also really good to revisit the same places and people so that you can really catch the intimate moments (after forming bonds) that take place in the street and in their lives.









Written / Edited – Iquan Worthington & Akintola Hanif
Video – Directed, Shot & Edited – Iquan Worthington
Video Music: Da P dabeatX – DopeDopeDope
HYCIDE magazine: Hycide