Jonathan Mannion is one of hip-hop’s most respected photographers. His credits include shooting iconic album covers for Jay-Z (Reasonable Doubt), Eminem (The Eminem Show), Nas (God’s Son) and countless magazine covers for some of the most respected print publications in the game. But it is one project in particular that really sticks out in the Cleveland photog’s memory. Capturing the stunning images for DMX’s sophomore album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. Mannion recently sat down with Skillshare and chopped it up about the memorable shoot.
“Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, I was given total free reign. I conceptualized the entire shoot,” Mannion remembered. “I had 60 gallons of blood in a bathtub and I was like, ‘Now my challenge is getting DMX in this blood and what am I gonna do to get him in there.’ He’s looking at the tub, and I’m looking at him, and he’s looking back at me, and he’s like, ‘You want me to get in it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s how it’s gonna happen today.’”
Mannion added that Earl was iffy about the idea at first. “He was like, ‘Aw man dawg, I’m not going to get in it because man, I don’t know if it’s right. I’ve got these new pants on.’ I was like, dawg, are you really going to use the pants excuse to not get in there? I was like, ‘Here, why don’t you just wear my pants?’ and I dropped my pants in front of a studio of 20 people. Everybody’s looking at me like I’m totally insane, but it showed how much I believed in my work, and he couldn’t deny it…so he got in.”
Check out the entire interview, below.