Photographer B+ on working with DJ Shadow

In 1996, photographer Brian Cross – aka B+ – shot the iconic cover of DJ Shadow’s album Endtroducing. At the recent Offset festival in Dublin, Cross talked about the experience of creating the work, as well as the importance of mistakes

It’s difficult to explain quite what makes the cover of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing so special. Unlike many hip-hop albums, the image is not flashy or glamorous. But the photograph, taken in a used record shop in Sacramento packed with row after row of vinyl and featuring three of Shadow’s friends – Beni B, Chief Xcel and Lyrics Born – is undoubtedly very, very cool.

Its subtle styling and muted colours (created due to the fluorescent lighting in the shop) became the perfect accompaniment to DJ Shadow’s groundbreaking style. “This was the first time a record, apparently, had been made entirely from samples,” said Brian Cross during his talk at the recent Offset festival in Dublin. “So the entire record, Endtroducing, is sample based, there’s nothing else on that record except samples of other records.”