HipHopWired Featured Video

Photog Recalls Nearly Suffocating Nas

Heralded photographer Danny Hastings recently revealed to that an on set mishap nearly killed Nas during the 1999 photo shoot for I Am.

Hastings, famous for capturing images for such iconic hip-hop albums as Big Pun’s Capitol Punishment and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, says God’s son nearly suffocated while being fitted for a clay mold in order to capture the King Tut image used for I Am’s cover art.

“The funny part was that the first attempt, Nas was getting asphyxiated. We almost killed Nas,” Hastings told

Luckily, things were OK. “We cleaned him up, and he was like, ‘Let’s do it again!’ […] Nas was a true sport.”

The vision of continuing the lineage of album covers no doubt added to the illmatic rapper’s determination. Hastings dropped the knowledge on each covers theme saying,

“The first one, you have him being a boy, very young. The second was a little bit older. And the third one, he was a king,” he explained. “He already conquered the world. He was on top of the world. He was doing a lot of big things. We came with the concept of making a King Tut sarcophagus piece.”