ARCHIVES: The infamous Nas photo.

Back in March of 2012 I had been hired by VEVO to run around SXSW and document everything fun I could find and then post the photos to what was this site. One of the nights I had gotten a backstage pass to the Nas show… the rules were I could only shoot the first 3 songs and absolutely no flash photography (as is typical for most concerts). I had arrived early to the venue so I could tinker around with my camera to find the best places to shoot from. By chance I ran into a DJ friend of mine, Mel DeBarge, who was hanging by the backstage hallway that lead to the stage… I saw a small light shining on a wall and asked him to pose for it and I instantly knew this was my spot…

DJ Mel DeBarge

I knew this is the shot I needed to get of Nas. I didn’t give a fuck about shooting the performance. Anyone can shoot that. That wasn’t interesting to me. I spent the next hour sweating and pacing and trying to find a way to get Nas and his team on board to just stop for 5 seconds in the same spot and pose for a photo. I pleaded with his security. They assured me they’d ask. I see them walking out of the dressing room. They’re approaching me. Nas is surrounded by security. Fuck. I’m not gonna get the shot. I froze. Security stops in front of me and says “you have 3 seconds.” I ask Nas to not make eye contact with me, I snap 3 photos and he walked on stage. I posted the photo online. The next day Def Jam bought the photo and the rest was history.