Saturday, May 23, 2009

King Tee - previously unpublished shots

These are just a few bad ass shots taken in the parking lot at the Forum in Inglewood, California, that we never got to use.

*actually this last shot was published in a book called Rockin' Down The Highway

King Tee (Roger McBride) was probably one of the least popular hip-hop artists that i shot more than once over the years (i mean there indeed were some less popular, but i only shot them once), but all the work we did was really good looking, and always based around some cool car that he or his friends had at the time. We did three album covers together (and i can't remember how many 12" single covers we got from those same sessions), and i got great compliments for all of them from people of every ilk, I think i like the last one (At Your Own Risk) the best because it was so damn real, and it was all so not set up. The front cover I shot while leaning out the window of Amery's car while on the 101 freeway headed downtown to the L.A. County Jail (to shoot what we thought would be the front cover), it was a one off killer, composition and attitude perfect, the day i got it back from Kodak i knew it was the shot that we didn't plan, but that I'd convince them all to use. Now i gotta admit that wasn't hard, since Ice-T was in fact making a lot of those art/management type decisions with "T-La" at the time, and the shot we got for the back cover with the insets were incredible. On the way back to Ice-T's house, where we all met up for the photo-session, the police pulled up behind the lowered light green Impala '64 and flipped the lights on and made them all get out of the car, we were in the car just ahead of them, so we saw it all happen then pulled over, parked down a side street, as quickly as possible i threw some film into the camera and a long lens, then shot a few photos surveillance style before I walked up and vouched for them. Unfortunately once again white guy with a big mouth, saves the day, but we were in L.A. so some harassment was inevitable. But at least we got a dope shot for the back cover...

* FYI - On purpose, I have not taken a photo with a weapon, in over 15 years, and never plan to ever again. When i originally was doing it, it was before it became common, or worse, a novelty. Early on we were trying to show a particular reality, but once i became aware of the fact that it was no longer just helping to tell a story, share a reality of daily life for some of these lyricists, but eventually seemed to be glorifying the use of guns, I vowed never to create a picture with a gun in it again. The last time i did it was for the infamous 1993 cover of In Gatz We Truss' by South Central Cartel. Besides, shooting pictures with a gun, a cigarette or gratuitous nudity, i came to realize for the most part is just a cop-out, when there's not something else great about a personality, composition or character, just throw in one of those "props" and all sense goes out the window. Too corny and too easy, that's my opinion. Not to mention, I HATE GUNS!

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