Brooklyn's Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire brought his Peel Off Passion Crew to Los Angeles where he performed at HARD Summer last Friday night in the festival's Fool's Gold Clubhouse. He spent ninety percent of his set in the audience getting "personal" with his crowd, bouncing around energetically while throwing out rhymes. Following the show, we caught up with the controversial rapper to get the back story on his "Lost in Translation" album cover -- the notorious photo of a porn star sipping a bottle and fondling herself while eXquire is passed out in a bathtub in the background.
Let's talk about your album cover for Lost in Translation. What exactly is the story behind that shot?
The girl in the photo is Lethal Lipps, the porno star. She's drinking a bottle. Basically what that cover meant was duality. My name means duality - Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire is: muthafuckin' - super bad and eXquire - super good. Good and bad. Duality. Ying and Yang. But that picture and that whole cover basically means I'm lost. When I did that cover, I had a really bad day that day. My grandmother had a stroke, she almost died. I drank a lot of Ciroc and I passed out in my tub and Lethal Lipps wanted to use the bathroom in my house.
And she just grabbed a bottle and put a hand down her dress?
Yeah, and that became my album cover.
That was just natural?
It really was. It was a weird picture we had and I didn't realize it was taken. I didn't know who took that picture for a year.
So she used your bathroom and grabbed a bottle?
While I was passed out. She was drinking anyway.
And just shoved her hand down her pants and…
The rest was history. What's funny is I had actually called her to do a different album cover shoot that we posed for but I got way too drunk that day, I passed out, and someone took that picture. It was meant to be.
What happened to the photos you posed for earlier in the day?
I didn't like them. That one said the most.
Do you have to pay a porn star like that to get involved in a photo shoot with you?
You always gotta pay. But it wasn't a lot of money but it was a little money. But she's happy with it. I'm happy with it. I guess it was kind of legendary.
So no regrets…
I don't have a regret in my life. That picture is really about how fucked up my life was at that time. I was damn near homeless. I had like two dollars to my name and I just put really everything I had into this album and I made it -- well it kind of made me -- and it got me a record deal. I'll always cherish that picture.