Rapper Uses Photo Without Credit, Tells Content Director to 'Shut the F*** Up'

Rapper Uses Photo Without Credit, Tells Content Director to 'Shut the F*** Up'

Well, that escalated quickly. When Detroit-based Rapper Danny Brown used Photographer Michelle Grace Hunder's photograph without attribution, a simple credit request was met with a less than mature response. It only devolved from there.

​Celebrities using photos without permission or credit is not a new problem, though most of the time, it's resolved without a major issue. The few times it becomes an issue, there might be an exchange of words, or the post might be deleted out of misguided spite. Danny Brown's recent exchange with Nic Kelly, content manager for Project U, might be the bottom of the barrel when it comes to these situations. It started with a pretty polite request that received a less than polite response:

Brown responded by tweeting: "Did I ask for a muthaf***a to take my picture?? ... Well shut the f*** up then!!!!! Note to all photographers!!!! ... If u want credit for your pictures then don't take any of me if I didn't ask u to!!! ... F*** outta here!!" 

Kelly quickly pointed out that by approving the presence of photographers on his set, Brown was implicitly asking for their presence, though in fairness to both parties, he did so with less professionalism than might have been desirable: "You approved photographers to shoot your set, you f***ing numpty."

The situation is still evolving, but as it stands now, both Kelly and Brown seem to be threatening a physical confrontation. I have to say: I'm not impressed by the behavior from either side. The actual photographer of the image in question seems to have summed it up best:


Remember, when placed in these situations, even if you can't sway the offending party, your professionalism (or lack thereof) is on public display. 

Note: In the meantime, some tweets have been deleted. All quotes in this article have been taken from the original tweets.

Lead image by Eli Watson and used under Creative Commons.

[via Reddit]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Well now I know who not to take photos of if he comes to town.

I don't even know who he is.

Me either, but now I know not to take his photo if he plays locally, buy his music (I've not heard of him before but I like the genre on the whole) etc. My little boycott means nothing but I doubt that I'm the only person who feels this way.

Maybe you could pirate his music and see if you like it? After all, he didn't ask you to listen to it, which I've recently come to understand means it's free.

Typical rapper attitude

I have lost all respect for Danny Brown. What a joke. It's about respecting people's craft and profession. smh

Does anyone, anywhere have any expectations of rap artists to do anything honest and legitimate?

In this day and age of copyright laws and social media, absolutely.

absolutely I do, they're artists, and most of them understand what that means and take it very seriously. Some are assholes, but I don't expect them to be any more likely to be assholes than any other genre of musician.

This seems to be common with musicians. Ironically they should fully understand copyright infringement since they are artists as well.

If anyone needs some free backing music for their videos:


Since I didn't ask for a muthafucka to rap, I guess it's free.


If he is from Detroit, just wait a while and someone will shoot him with something other than a camera.

Not much you can do anymore, big ass watermark.

Don't ask for respect if you don't respect yourself first!

Photograph him and hope he uses it without permission. Naturally, you formally registered copyright - so you have an attorney go after him for full value, hoping he responds like this so you can get it in front of the Judge.
Dollars that you can deposit and he has something else to whine about.

All they asked for was to throw a littl respeck on it. All tree of yall.


I gotta say. I love Danny Browns music. As a Photogrpher I think what he kinda did sucks. I wonder how he got the photo in the first place? There is a lot of context we do not know about this situation so I'm not going to pass judgment on either party.

Danny Brown can do this and have no loss to his personal brand. Being as asshole really only builds his personal brand. Like when Travis Scott kicked a Photogrpher off stage because he said he did not like the angle he was shooting from. Danny Brown pissed us "Photogrphers" off.. But none of his fan base care. As a hip-hop/rap enthusiast I do. It like his music any less.

Final point. I think that concert Photogrphers are glorified groupies. They just want easy exposure. What they are doing is not really art in most cases. It's documentation. If you think getting tagged in famous persons post is going to Make or break you then you need find a new hobby. So get over it.

Glorified groupies? Seriously? That's pretty offensive. Who said anything about it being a hobby? It's bloody hard work, the chance of failure is high and it's every bit as valid as sports,wedding or journalistic photography.

For a small percentage of people it is not a hobby. But for the vast majority it is a hobby.

Wow. I've shot concerts for many many years and do it solely because of the love of the music and nothing more. You being a 'photographer' calling others in your same profession of photographers, 'glorified groupies' is disgusting and offensive- and puts you on a scale of respect way lower than this rapper. Please don't talk out of your rear end and insult others just because you don't do what they do (which as Paul stated, is *very* hard work) It's not easy like shooting in the comfort of a studio with pre-arranged lighting as you seem to.

Reading your comment, I understand perfectly why you like this guy. So when YOU use a camera, it's art, but when a music photographer does, it not? How about is someone use YOUR pictures without credit, it's fine? Way to sound pedantic and offensive. Just crawl back under your bridge already.

The truth is when you are a concert Photogrpher you are documenting other people's art. It's like when you take a picture of a painting. It's just not your art. You are just taking pictures. You are not making pictures.

So, by this rationale, sports photographers like Neil Leifer or Peter Read Smith aren't really photographers, because they're just documenting someone else's performance. Are you serious?

I actually never said concert photographers are not photographers. I said they are not creating art. They are capturing other people's art. Sports photographers for the most part are documenting an event. So you put a few words in my mouth. But that's ok.

The same guy who got oral sex from a fan while on stage and kept rapping? Not surprised.

Watermark all your pictures.

fuck that shit.

Pirate his music and if he complains say ""Did I ask for a muthaf***a to make a record??

"Remember, when placed in these situations, even if you can't sway the offending party, your professionalism (or lack thereof) is on public display". Well said. I think you hit the nail on the head right there.

From now on when people photograph this assclown they should spend a few minutes in photoshop making it look like he just took a huge goey facial until every future photo of him makes him look like a fluffer fresh off a porn set.

A creative (if a little disturbing) idea. It does have it's merits though!

I actually like his music... Maybe ill use his songs in a video - it was there to use

Sorry, but you ask for it if you go around taking pictures of lo-lifes!

Fairly simple solution legally. He used the image without written consent of the legal copyrighted owner of the image, under Title 17 of the United States Copyright Act/1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the photographer unless working for hire, such as for a magazine or business where their photography is incidental to the terms of their employment owns the images they take.

Title 17 allows for the photographer/owner of the image to invoice the copyright infringer 3 x the established commercial value of each image, each instance of use.

Unfortunately, entertainment photographers often give their images away for peanuts or for photo credits, which is like two peanuts and a choco chip cookie.

If you are going to claim to be a professional photographer, then act like a professional, operate as a professional... it is either a business or a hobby.

In business there are expectations, contracts being one, payment being another.

If you have ever sold a photo for $1,000, then invoice the abuser $3,000.

If you have ever sold a photo for $2,000, then invoice the abuser $6,000.

Whatever your ESTABLISHED commercial value is for one image, one instance of use.

Research their name, address, no lawyers required, just INVOICE them 3 x your established commercial value, give them 120 days to pay in full, after which you pay the $15 in most cities and place a lien on their NAME.

This means they cannot sell their car, their house... anything with a Title on it without the amount owed YOU being paid to you first, before the remaining balance is paid to the copyright violator.

The law allows for this when debts are owed and unless he can produce written permission you authorized his use of YOUR photo, he has no case.

If you are a professional, then do business as a professional... charge for your images, follow up on copyright abusers and stop giving your work away.

Photographers are their own worst enemies!

And speaking of Photo Credits. Decades ago, I photographed custom hand-made dolls made by an entertainer, in fact she made many of the puppets for the Sid and Marty Croft TV Series. The gig involved a individual shots of several dolls and a group shot of Beverly and all of the dolls at her feet. I billed the client $4,000 for the shoot.

About a month later, my wife and I were looking for Cook Books in what was then STAR BOOKS here in Las Vegas and I spotted Doll International Magazine in which Beverly had provided seven of the individual photos I shot for her.

When I showed my wife the magazine, she said, "They did not give you a photo credit!" I said to her, "DID THE CHECK CLEAR?" She understood what I meant.


Yes, of course I scooped up a dozen of the magazines for my archive. Just CUZ!