James Pearson-Howes has shot Lil Yachty for the cover of the 70th issue of Crack magazine. “Divisive” Alabama-born rapper Lil Yachty made his public debut as a model in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 at Madison Square Garden, a fashion show which, in typically Kanye style, was screened live in cinemas around the world. Yachty has since released two mixtapes and is said to be working with industry heavyweights Lil B, Soulja Boy, Rich The Kid and iLoveMakonnen, despite claiming to Crack that “I wasn’t trying to be no lyricist. That’s what people don’t understand. All these blogs and old hip-hop MCs don’t understand I’m just having fun.”
Photographer and filmmaker James Pearson-Howes who was tasked with shooting Yachty, has worked with cult British shoemaker Dr. Martens since AW13 on their Stand for Something campaign which looks at subculture around the world. As comfortable shooting temperamental rappers as Morris dancers, his sleek but lively style lends itself to diverse commercial work with clients including Christopher Raeburn x Gap, Kiosk magazine, Stussy, Adidas x JD Sports, Boiler Room, Levis, Channel 4, Umbro, INQ mobile and Vodafone.
“A friend of mine put me onto Lil Yachty a while ago and when I was asked to shoot him for Crack I jumped at it,” James tells It’s Nice That. “It was a 10am call time at my studio in Clapton — lil early for a 19-year-old let alone a 19-year-old world-famous rapper. But credit to him he was on time. He was a little sleepy to start with but he soon warmed up and was great fun to shoot. I knew that with his style, his trademark red beads and lots of jewellery, if I shot double exposures in-camera and put in some red and blue gels on the HMIs we could create some nice trippy images. I used an old star burst filter on my Mamiya to let those diamonds shine.”