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

#10. Rick Ross, Trilla (2008)

Other works include: Deeper Than Rap, Teflon Don, God Forgives, I Don't

Jonathan Mannion: “When we came out with Trilla, it was an instant connection. He was like, ‘This is how I’m supposed to look.’ I had invested myself in asking the right questions about what was important. He told me things like Carol City, Dade County, 305. It was all about Miami, and I got to wrap my head around where I wanted to take it. I just happened to hit the mark.

 

We shot him in the Maybach, and it just happened to rain. All the little speckles fit perfectly. It was like the beginning of a journey.

 

“We shot him in the Maybach, and it just happened to rain. All the little speckles fit perfectly. It was like the beginning of a journey. Port Of Miami was like hand-to-hand combat. It was like, ‘I’m out on the streets. You might catch me on the corner.’ Trilla was like he had elevated to the level of a boss, and he had access to things and was starting to call the shots.

“We took out an $11 million speedboat and had a cute Jamaican chick with us, and we started to spit out the influences. He was aware of my work and what I had done, so I think there was a respect that was already there. That trust was already established. We took some chances that landed in a great place, and he told me, ‘I’ll see you on the next one.’

“On Deeper Than Rap, we elevated. Now it wasn’t a boat and a Maybach. It was a mansion and another beautiful woman, and we had some heavy artillery to play with. Now, it’s gone to the iconic movie layer of his life. It’s like a movie poster now.

“I had a chance to interview him, and he talked about how all his works represent a moment in time. The documentation of his journey is so thorough, because he drops albums with regularity. It’s all just storytelling. We’re telling the story of this rise.

“I don’t know where it’ll go next, but we’re going to figure it out. We work really well together. He’s one of my favorite people to shoot.”

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