UNCOVERED: The Making of Raekwon The Chef’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Album Cover (1995) with photographer Daniel Hastings.
…Continued from Page 2.
While you were shooting did you know that was going to be THE cover shot?
Daniel Hastings: [smiles] I’m gonna answer this question this way. Unlike a lot of photography today you couldn’t tell that was the shot because you couldn’t see the shot until you developed the film. [laughs] But I would do Polaroids and test the light and see that it was really cool lighting. And I think I’m the type of person that when you see me shooting I’m talking to the subject and I’m trying to get movement. There is always movement in my photos. So you know, [Rae] was puffin’ [on a blunt] and everything is happenin’ and there’s smoke goin’ around and obviously you can’t have somebody [smoking] on the cover. You can’t use that, you know? But there was that moment when he just puffed and then he put his hands down and the smoke that came out of his mouth just like went past his hair and it was just magical. That’s just how the shit came out. There’s no Photoshop or anything like that in there.
And Ghostface’s whole approach to the whole thing was like he never wanted you to see his face. He was always covering his face. And it all kind of came out perfect that he fell into the shot like that while [Rae] was [blowing smoke] into the camera. And boom, there you go.
I can imagine while you were getting those shots you were pretty excited. Not just the cover shot but the group shots as well.
Daniel Hastings: Absolutely!
And they involved all the members of the Clan.
Daniel Hastings: And I think there’s only three photographers in the history of Wu-Tang that took a picture of all the members together. I think one is Piotr Sikora and somebody else I can’t remember. But there’s only three photographers that were able to capture the original eight or nine members I think it is, counting Masta Killa because Masta Killa was part of [Wu-Tang], he just didn’t make it to, from what I understand, the “Protect Ya Neck” [recording session]. So everybody who was on “Protect Ya Neck” plus Masta Killa was in my shoot. And it was fuckin’ chaotic. [laughs] It was crazy! Learning how to deal with a lot of different energies is something that I think that I’m known for. I’m able to balance everything out. For some reason I’m able to work with a lot of different personalities and I was able to work with all of them. And they nearly had a fight with each other right there.
It was just crazy, man. That day was insane.