Kareem Black for Vibe's 20th Anniversary
Vibe asked Kareem Black to capture the "#NewRules of R&B" for its 20th Anniversary Collector's Issue, which meant a photo shoot with musicians Janelle Monáe and Robin Thicke. Though the cover (one of three for the edition) was taken in front of a white backdrop, the team – including B&A prop stylist Tara Marino – headed to Lower East Side nightery Beauty & Essex for a series of party scenes.
"I wanted it to be a combination of studio work and environment pictures of people having a good time," Black explained. "Robin and Janelle played off each other really well. I think Robin is savvy about his image, and the same with Janelle. When she hit the set, I noticed she's completely aware of her character." That's not to say the pair didn't let loose. Thicke mounted a table, "but the whole time, he was wearing his shades," Black remarked.
He called the gig a huge honor: "When I was in college, I wanted to be in Vibe ... I remember going to bookstores and thinking, 'This is it.' I've always felt like I've had a relationship with the magazine, and this is the second cover I've done for it. So to participate in the 20th anniversary was awesome. Genuinely."