Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday's 5 - Hip Hop Album Covers

Music is a big part of what we do here at The INC! There are very few moments in the day when I don't have music playing and I think the same goes for Kelly and Stew. My personal favorite genre is hip-hop or rap or whatever you'd like to call it. I think it has a very direct way of expressing the emotions, where a lot of other music is hidden behind metaphors and abstract lyrics. Not that I don't like other music too, I pretty much love it all. But that's not really the point of this Friday's 5. Like I said I take a lot of inspiration from rap and as a visual artist, the album covers are often the best way to connect visually with an album. That being said, there are a lot of bad album covers, but that just makes the good ones stand out even more. So here are my favorite 5:

PS. These are all pretty recent. There are a lot of picks that should be on here but I just didn't think of them so don't get offended please.

#5 - A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory

Not only is it a great album, but the album artwork is really special. Super simple and understated, but really dope. Black, red and green is a pretty cool colorway, but often used poorly in Gucci knock-offs. Not this time. Anyways, just a cool one, and very unique as far as hip-hop goes.

#4 - Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers

There is probably no album cover more menacing than this. I heard the story behind it and I guess two of the actually Clan aren't even in it, but that doesn't really matter. The way everything in the back is kind of abstracted is sweet and the front man really expresses it all. Whether or not you like the cover, you should certainly hear the album because it's awesome. But the album cover has a great aesthetic that perfectly shows their blend of hip-hop and kung-fu.

#3 - Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return to the 36 Chambers

Keeping in the Wu-Tang Clan, ODB's first album cover is really perfect. I think its taken from his actual state welfare card, which I think he used well into his music career. This cover is not only funny, but also connects the artist with the people. Super dope album, super dope cover, super dope artist.

#2 - Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Her first and only album of all time, and she really did it right. The entire album has interludes of a children's classroom, tying in the album cover really well. This album talks a lot about going against what's popular, which Lauryn certainly did herself, quitting music altogether after this album. We've all spent plenty of time at a desk, and I know personally that that's where a ton of my creative works gets done.

#1 - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

This one is actually 5 covers in one, making it really the coolest thing that's come out in a while. No music artist really uses visuals as well as Kanye in my opinion, but no music artist is really as good in general. He linked up with the painter George Condo to do 5 different covers, one of which was too much for Wal Mart and Target to even shelve it. So what did he do? Just pixelated it and used that version. November 22, get ready.

There you go, I hope you enjoyed it. Time to go Friday.

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