Photographer Jonathan Mannion Recalls DMX's "Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood" Cover Shoot

Photographer Jonathan Mannion recalls his photo shoot with DMX for the cover of "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood."

Although he's famous for his rough delivery and hard lyrics, perhaps one of the most striking images of DMX's career is the cover of his second album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. Now, in a recent interview with Skillshare via Nah Right, the photographer behind the iconic image reminisces about the photo shoot.

Photographer Jonathan Mannion explained that he was given free reign to direct the photo shoot for X's album. He said that once he had come up with an idea for the cover, his next obstacle was convincing DMX to get in the blood-filled tub. Although X did end up hopping in the tub for the shoot, it wasn't without some resistance.

"Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, I was given total free reign. I conceptualized the entire shoot, I spent days and days and days researching, looking at books about African voodoo and color theory, why red is an intense color and why white is a calming color," Mannion recalled. "I had 60 gallons of blood in a bathtub and I was like, 'Now my challenge is getting DMX in this blood and what am I gonna do to get him in there.' He's looking at the tub, and I'm looking at him, and he's looking back at me, and he's like, 'You want me to get in it?' I was like, 'Yeah, that's how it's gonna happen today.'"

He continued, "He was like, 'Aw man dawg, I'm not going to get in it because man, I don't know if it's right. I've got these new pants on…' - I was like, dawg, are you really going to use the pants excuse to not get in there? I was like, 'Here, why don't you just wear my pants?' and I dropped my pants in front of a studio of 20 people. Everybody's looking at me like I'm totally insane, but it showed how much I believed in my work, and he couldn't deny it…so he got in. I had chills the entire time I was shooting. He got in with his own pants [on], realizing that he had 14 other pants on a rack in the other room that the stylist brought."

Check out the full interview below.

RELATED: DMX Says He Will Not Be Releasing Christmas Rap Album


  • Judge Dredd

    You people must be fucking retarded.... you think he hopped in a bath full of real or pig blood? Think about the health risk and on top of that.... where the fuck are they getting 6 gallons of human blood? Red Cross is begging for donations and ya'll think DMX is using it for a photo shoot?? No wonder they try to play hip hop as kids music you dummies.... You people cannot logically put two and two together..... WOW

  • Anonymous

    lol @ him saying he had 6 gallons of blood laying around. where the fuck did he get it from? from who/what?

  • Anonymous

    Flesh of my flesh is absolutely not a classic album. Don't even start with that nonsense.

  • jay

    still one of my fav album covers.. yeah it wasnt better than hell is hot but i dont rly like getting into comparing ppls new vs old as much when there both classic material

  • Anonymous

    Honestly I can give two shits about the cover. It's dark and hell is hot is his best shit. This dude is full of shit too. It was herseys chocolate syrup and they used a lighting effect to turn it red in the photo. If u believe him now you are an ignorant fuck. I read about this shit over a decade ago and still remember. Herseys. Mother fucking. Chocolate. Understand me? Bitch getcha minds right,

  • Anonymous

    Spoiler alert they used chocolate. Dumb niggas.

  • Hip Hop please

    I never knew it was real blood, damn, hehe

  • SDK


  • Anonymous

    Huge X fan & i love this album. Classic without a doubt. The real reason he dropped 2 albums in the same year was for business reasons. Def Jam was having a buyout & were trying to accumulate revenue & sales to strike better deals & money, especially since they were in the hole financially alot in the 90s. X was scorching & they know hed rank in #s & be able to tour on the Hard Knock Life tour with fresh new & more material since he was co-headlining. This is why we saw so many releases & collabs by Def Jam between late 1997 & late 1999 for example. Between thhose years we got 3 DMX albums, 3 Jay-Z albums, 1 Method Man album, 1 Redman album, 1 Meth & Red album, 1 Def Squad album, 1 Onyx album, 1 Jayo Felony album, 2 EPMD albums, 1 LL album, 1 Ja Rule album, 1 Foxy Brown album, 1 Warren G album, 1 Public Enemy album, almost 1 Murder Inc (X, Ja & Jay) album, soundtracks etc. Just look at Def Jam's hip-hop releases in 1998 alone. X, Jay, Onyx, Jayo, Meth, Red & Def Squad all dropped & all of them except Jayo & Jay (minus a few appearances) featured on the Survival Of The Illest tour. It was all business. Classic nonetheless.

    • Deaf

      Thats crazy I remember they were dropping mad albums but really didn't think too much about it. Now it makes sense.

  • Anonymous


  • zzz

    ah, the good ol days of 1998... too bad DMX is a washed-up bum now lol

  • Anonymous

    great album doubt.....

  • Zim zimma

    Man, I remember when that album dropped. I was straight up a fresh x fan right after hell is hot, and I was like WTF? It was a brave move on his part. The album was dope but not like hell is hot. At the time I was like man, X going to lose a lot of fans for this bravery. But he came out on top! Props to Mannion and his unique concept. Definnitely one of the unique album covers out even to this day...

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. It didn't top It's Dark and Hell is Hot, but it was still a dope cd, and the cover was ill as well. Good times.

  • Anonymous

    That is a crazy ass cover. I didn't know it was real blood though. Game and Lil Wayne should take tips.

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