Jonathan Mannion Tells All: The Stories Behind His 25 Favorite Album Covers

#22. Chamillionaire, Ultimate Victory (2007)

Other works include: The Sound Of Revenge

Jonathan Mannion: “I loved shooting Ultimate Victory. I shot Chamillionaire for his first album The Sound Of Revenge, and we saw eye-to-eye. A lot of things went in our favor on that shoot, and we had a great experience. We became cool.

“He’s a super-smart dude, and he’s very passionate and conscious of how he presents himself as an artist. He doesn’t curse, even on the phone. He said to me, ‘This is about the kids, too. I’m setting an example.’ In my time with him, I allowed myself to go there, so that I could use it lucidly.

 

The original idea was to go to Africa and somewhere else. We realized that we were both going to have to contribute some dough to balance out what the label had to offer us for the shoot, and we were cool with that.

 

“I really respect that he’s so aware of himself, and that he wants to excel. He wants to be great from his own perspective.

“When it came time to shoot Ultimate Victory, we got on the phone, and I asked him, ‘What does this mean to you?’ He said, ‘I’m not mad anymore. I’ve realized what a gift this is. With The Sound Of Revenge, I felt like I had to prove myself. I’m over it, and I want to live life to the fullest now. That’s what the victory is.’

“He told me that it was hard for him to tell me what he wanted, but that he wanted to be free and do something different, and that he wanted to go where I wanted to take him, because he knew I saw things differently. I told him I respected him for that, but that it still had to be about him, and he explained to me that it was more about a feeling.

“He said, ‘I go to these places and I get a bunch of stamps in my passport, and you do, too. The difference is, even though we may have the same stamps, you experience these places on a different level. I know that you’re going to take me to such amazing places.’

“We worked harder than we would have otherwise, and the label got a four-day shoot for the price of one, but it was OK, because we understood what it meant.

“The original idea was to go to Africa and somewhere else. We realized that we were both going to have to contribute some dough to balance out what the label had to offer us for the shoot, and we were cool with that.

“That ended up being too expensive, and we couldn’t spend the time. So I told him I wanted to take him to my two favorite places in the world: Paris and Kingston, Jamaica. In essence, we went on vacation.

“It was like we went on tour, and we did these crazy photo shoots in both places. We were at a 17th century chateau one day and in Kingston, Jamaica the following morning.

“They lost his luggage, and I ended up dressing him out of the bag that I had. It was insane, but it was all about the journey and the camaraderie. We had great experiences and got some great images to match.”

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