G.O.O.D. Music: New Religion

Issue: August/September 2012

Photographer: Nabil (@nabildo)

Written By: Noah Callahan-Bever (@n_c_b)

 

We shot it at the Angel Orensanz synagogue in the Lower East Side, where they shot Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers, because it's a gothic, super crazy-looking space.

 

Gina Batlle: "Originally, we had four or five days to plan this shoot. We met with DONDA and had to pitch them photographers and ideas, all within 24 hours. Kanye said that Nabil could shoot it. He already has a relationship with DONDA, which helped."

Brent Rollins: "It's hard to do something with a bunch of people, especially a bunch of guys. It became difficult to get approved. Working with DONDA was the smart thing to do from an execution standpoint. We shot it at the Angel Orensanz synagogue in the Lower East Side, where they shot Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers, because it's a gothic, super crazy-looking space. Nabil wasn't feeling the grittiness or religious vibe that G.O.O.D. wanted, but he did a variety of photographs and portraits that became a cross through DONDA. We refined it from there. Nabil ended up shooting Kanye and John Legend separately in Paris."

Gina Batlle: "The shoot itself was really intense because all six of them were there—Cudi, Common, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, and Q-Tip."

 

It was like, wow, this is some serious star power—some serious rap history in the room.

 

Brent Rollins: "It might have been the first time they were all together, so the record label had all their people there to shoot publicity shots, as well. It was just like a crazy, manic G.O.O.D Music day."

Gina Batlle: "It was a lot, because we were dealing with six different people being ready, six different needs to meet, and all of their teams, too, but I think it worked out really well."

Brent Rollins: "It was kind of cool to see Q-Tip, Pusha, and Common all in the same room. It was like, wow, this is some serious star power—some serious rap history in the room."

Gina Batlle: "They have a genuine respect for each other, so it was cool to see them interact and talk with each other. During that roundtable Noah had, it was really cool to hear what they all had to say."

Brent Rollins: "And they weren't there to work on music, so they were just in a social environment, which was cool to witness."

Read the Cover Story