16 Behind the Scenes Stories About Complex's 2012 Magazine Covers

Wiz Khalifa: Balancing Act

Issue: October/November 2012

Photographer: Bryce Duffy

Written By: Insanul Ahmed (@incilin)

 

We were in a position where we needed to figure out what people's stories are.

 

Brent Rollins: "By the time we shot Wiz, we were in a position where we needed to figure out what people's stories are. We've had some very successful covers, but I was personally a little frustrated, because we would come up with stuff in spite of what the process was.

Wiz had already been on the cover for April/May 2011 with Danny McBride. His single had come out, and it was very clear that he was going for two different audience, so we came up with the idea of him walking this line and straddling this fence. We know that as an artist, he is very cognizant of that, so the idea of him literally walking this line was very appealing.

 

I had actually sketched out this cover before even applying it to Wiz.

 

We were trying to come up with a really good conceptual cover. I had actually sketched out this cover before even applying it to Wiz. Sometimes I'll sketch out a cover before I even know who it's for and just put it away.

We found a great photographer, Bryce Duffy. The hardest part about a lot of the shoots is finding a photographer that fits the right tone, because for this Wiz Khalifa cover to work, it had to look real. The lighting had to look plausible. Bryce has a slight sense of humor in what he shoots, so we reached out to him and proposed this rooftop idea.

We shot him on a set, but he is actually walking on a tightrope, which was very uncomfortable for him. It's cool that he was down to do that. I think the light was coming from the top; it was very conservative, natural light. If anything, you have to look at it and make sure, because it looks very plausible."

Read the Cover Story

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