Modu’s passing was confirmed on Monday by way of a post on his official Instagram account. “Our hearts are broken… We continue the fight,” the caption for the post read. “The family requests privacy at this time.”
While the cause of Modu’s death was not immediately made clear, sources told TMZ today that he passed following a battle with cancer.
Modu—who was born in Nigeria in 1966—broke out as a photographer in the 1990s, when he became director of photography for The Source magazine. There, he would shoot cover photography for 30 issues, documenting the entirety of hip hop’s golden age.
Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Nas, Ice Cube, Eminem and Mary J. Blige were just a few of the many iconic artists he photographed over the years.
According to TMZ, a memorial service for Modu is in the works. His family will offer additional information soon.