With the rise of digital downloads and MP3 players, the album cover doesn’t mean as much as once was. Back in the past, the album cover meant a lot. It could catch you eye in the store; sometimes it even made you wanna buy the album. It was art, and it was sometimes part of the message and the music. Now, album covers are an after thought; rappers really don’t try to do anything creative anymore. Today, we pay homage to the album covers we liked (In no particular order).
Straight Outta Compton
Year: 1988 B-Easy: This album cover marked the public arrival of NWA. It was basically saying, “Welcome to our world.” It also had a view of a person who just got robbed. Eazy-E with the gun set it off too.
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Artist: 2Pac (as Makaveli)
Year: 1996 P-Body: When that shit first came out, it was very different, and rebellious for the rap world. Basically Pac wanted to let people know that the media crucified his career. I give much props to whoever drew the cover, I think it said inside the booklet. I’ll have to check, but dope pic. (R.I.P. Tupac)
Stakes Is High
Artist: De La Soul
Year: 1996 B-Easy: This cover is probably my favorite of all. De La Soul has always gone against the grain. In a world where rappers constantly take pictures with their cars for their album covers, this cover is refreshing. You can even say it’s more like a rock album cover than a rap cover.
Artist: Ice Cube
Year: 1991 P-Body: This shit right here fits the concept of the CD. Yo Cube, I wanna kill Uncle Sam too! Definitely dope cover. B-Easy: This is Ice Cube before his Are We There Yet days. What other way better can you say fuck the U.S. than this? Cube had a toe tag on Uncle Sam! What’s even better is that this fit the whole message of the album.
Ready To Die
Artist: The Notorious B.I.G.
Year: 1994 P-Body: Masterpiece. That nigga BIG said he is born ready to die. I guess we all should since that’s what’s going to happen to us anyways. I really dig this cover. (R.I.P. Biggie) B-Easy: Some people said Biggie bit off of Nas’ Illmatic, but I say fuck that, this was awesome in it’s own right. It’s simple and was different for it’s time. This also was the beginning of the whole Bad Boy style (Mostly black & white).
The Grey Album
Artist: Danger Mouse (with Jay-Z & The Beatles)
Year: 2004 B-Easy: Okay, okay, I know this wasn’t an official album but fuck it, this is our list! Let’s be real; Jay-Z hasn’t really had an awesome album cover. To me, this is his best album cover. I like the art; it’s simple and to the point.
Artist: Goodie Mob
Year: 1995 P-Body: Very dope cover. Classic album and much underrated in my book. Anyway the cover speaks for itself about the whole LP; very dope shit. B-Easy: I think most rappers would be scared to pray on their album cover (Not that shit Jeezy do to look like Pac either). This cover showed a real aspect of the southern rapper and how food and praying are a everyday thing.
We Can’t Be Stopped
Artist: Geto Boys
Year: 1991 P-Body: That cover was really trill and had a meaning at the same time. B-Easy: First of all, the story behind this cover is crazy. The album cover is a graphic picture of Bushwick Bill in the hospital after he shot himself in the eye after his girlfriend refused to shoot him. These guys was at the hospital taking pictures for an album cover! That’s enough to get on this list.
Let’s Get Free
Artist: dead prez
Year: 2000 B-Easy: When this album came out, Loud Records put a sticker on the cover to hide this “offensive” picture. This cover fits dead prez all the way; it was controversial and powerful at the same time. I’d hang this up at the crib; it’s art.