Well, Grand Daddy IU, another Cold Chillin’ artist. He had the foulest mouth out of any of the artists. I don’t know if he was so much of a gangster, but it was just more…curses and demeaning to women. One time I photographed Grand Daddy IU for a single, and they wanted to do a drive-by. But the record company said “No Guns, No Guns!” I say “No problems, what we’re gonna do…ok the guys in the street will have crow-bars and baseball bats. We’ll get about twenty guys, so it looks like a gang, that are gonna attack Grand Daddy IU in the car.” He wanted to have…The name of the single was We Got The Gatts and Gatt comes from Gatling gun so We Got The Gatts was “our gun’s bigger than your gun!” Grand Daddy IU wanted to have a Gatling gun, but that was going to be too expensive. Plus they said “no guns on the cover!” So I said “Ok we’ll have the drug dealers on the street holding baseball bats and crow bars. Grand Daddy IU, you’ll just be sitting in the back seat of the car. You just get up and put your hand into your jacket, like you’re going for your piece.”
We go to Hempstead, Long Island, which is a pretty run down suburb of New York, and a lot of black people live there, it’s a pretty dangerous neighborhood for white boys to go to. But I’m there with the badboys again, so I felt safe. I have got together about twenty baseball bats and crowbars, and Grand Daddy IU was going to organize some tricked out cars. He had some nice fancy Mustang convertible and he had a nice Firebird that was all tricked-out too. The idea was that this was going to be a Police surveillance camera, so it would be a kinda real grainy picture that was tinted green like from the infrared. Then we would add some red lines to it, so it looked like a scope kind of a thing, with the wind direction and the temperature of the compass and this kind of stuff. So it looked like a police surveillance of this drive-by. I get up on top of my old ‘67 Volvo, I have a tripod up there and I get one big strobe-light up really high, on a pole/light stand. About thirty feet in the air, so you know the whole thing looked like a street light. I get up on top of my car and I’m like “Ok so everybody knows what to do, I’m gonna count to three and I want the guys in the street to run back and I want IU to jump up from the back seat of the convertible and reach for your gun. 1…2…3!…”
Well Grand Daddy IU and his DJ, I forget his name, and the driver and the other guys, four guys in the car. They all jumped up and Grand Daddy IU pulled out an AK47, another guy had a thing called a ‘Street Sweeper’—which is a 12-gauge automatic shotgun. They had a four-shot Derringer and they had some other evil weapon. I didn’t even take the picture. I said “STOP!, IU you know they said no guns in this picture!” and he just said “aw George”, he knew me from doing other covers and stuff. He said “George, just take the picture for us and then we’ll do something without the guns.” So I’m like “ok” and I climbed down off the car. I walked over to IU and I said “IU I gotta tell you, there’s two things in life I don’t do. One thing is to ride on the backseat of motorcycles; and I don’t take pictures of guns unless I know they’re unloaded. So if you’ll please open up your AK47 and show me that it’s empty we’ll proceed.” Well that gun was not empty, it had a fifty shot banana clip on, it was full of bullets and it had a round in the chamber. All he had to do was pull the trigger by accident and that thing would’ve gone off like popcorn and taken out half the neighborhood…we unloaded the gun and proceeded. — George DuBose in Grandslam Magazine (2003)
Alright so Biz’ first promotional poster for the first album Goin’ Off was a drawing of Biz sitting in the toilet, with the door open, picking his nose. It was for Pickin’ Boogers , it was a drawing like a watercolor, and I thought that was really cool, and I always wanted to do a photograph of Biz on the toilet. So the great day came, ‘bout four-five years later, Biz has gotta do a cover for Toilet Stool Rap, so I said “We gotta get him on the toilet”. So I said “Biz, I’m gonna come to your house.” We’d made up custom pyjamas with little blue teddy bears on ‘em, and a custom stocking-cap. Then I took rolls of toilet paper, and put two-three rolls together so I had this giant, actually not toilet paper, towel-paper, so I had this 18” thick roll. Then I put sheet music around it, all taped together, blank sheet music. So then it snakes up from the roll which is at the front of the picture, up to Biz’ lap and he’s writing with a feather. Like he’s sittin’ on the toilet writing his music. And I thought, this is pretty dope. — George DuBose in Grandslam Magazine (2003)
We’re looking at Mobb Deep from their first album cover session, these two kids were fourteen years old. Prodigy and Havoc were fourteen when they released their first record and they came to my studio for the album cover shoot. Before that, I had met them and they had shown me this Japanese rice-cutter, it was like a little scythe. And they wanted to use it in the picture but they only had one, they needed two of them. So I made two little choppers that looked like sickles, made ‘em just for the photo-session. Then this particular picture, we were in the photo-studio and the smoke machine broke down in the middle of the shoot and wouldn’t make any more smoke. So we just took some tissue paper I had collected, a pile of garbage all around the East Village of New York, and brought it to the photo-studio. So we just stuffed tissue paper into the trash and just really started burning it and making more smoke. That made a pretty cool shot. — George DuBose in Grandslam Magazine (2003)
George DuBose’s cover shot for Kool G Rap and DJ Polo’s album Live and Let Die.
…they wanted violence, they wanted guns, but we couldn’t do it. So what we wound up doing was we got two white guys, two of my buddies, dressed up as narcotic agents with army fatigue jackets. One guy had D.E.A. printed on the back of his jacket for Drug Enforcement Agency. And these two white guys are standing on chairs with nooses around their necks, real big thick rope, in what looked like some kind of warehouse. Standing on the chairs with the rope/nooses tied up to the ceiling. Attached to each leg of each chair was a chain, and at the other end of the chain was a Rottweiler. Kool G Rap and DJ Polo are dressed up as Ninjas with masks, full black masks, full black clothing, and they had steaks. Waving them at the dogs, you know “here doggy, here doggy”, haha…So the dog goes for the steak and pulls the chain, the chair comes up, etc…So it was like the violence they wanted but in a safe humoristic way. I was always in between what the artist wanted and what the record companies wanted. — George DuBose in Grandslam Magazine (2003)