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

#19. Ja Rule, The Last Temptation (2002)

Other works include: Rule 3:36, Pain Is Love, The Mirror, Pain Is Love II

Jonathan Mannion: “I’ve photographed Ja since he first got signed to Def Jam. I did his first-ever press shoot. He’s great to shoot, because he listens, and he believes. We see eye-to-eye.

“This was a situation, where he showed up with one outfit, and as the shoot went on, we didn’t want to stop. I ended up styling him with whatever I had in my duffle-bag, because I happened to be leaving for the airport afterwards, to go home for Christmas.

 

I ended up styling him with whatever I had in my duffle-bag, because I happened to be leaving for the airport afterwards, to go home for Christmas.

 

“We shot it on like, December 23rd, and we had to get it done before the new year. This was before Murder Inc., and they really wanted to tell the world about Ja Rule.

“I’ve done a bunch of his album covers. This is just one where I felt like he really understood who he was. He always did, but this was a different level. He realized he was a star.

“I’ll forever deal with him, because I think he’s a great dude. It’s a relationship that I still have. He’s always been focused on family and he’s been loyal as shit to me. He loves what he does, and he’s always going to be living the dream, because that’s the attitude that he takes.”

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