A wise man once said, don’t judge a book by its cover. That may be a fitting assessment for the written word, but when it comes to rap music, we like our album covers to be as colorful as the artists themselves. That’s why fans were so psyched yesterday when the final comic-book inspired artwork was unveiled for Meth, Rae and Ghost’s upcoming collabo LP, Wu-Massacre. The Shaolin rhymeslingers are just the latest MCs to get animated. XXLMag has compiled a list of some of hip-hop’s illest illustrated album covers, dope enough to hang in any collector’s art gallery. Brush up…
1993 Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggystyle – Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Snoopy character never looked this gangsta.
1994 Organized Konfusion, Stress: The Extinction Agenda – Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po have the power to “crush, kill, destroy…”
1995 Gza, Liquid Swords – So, that’s what “chessboxin’” looks like?
1996 OutKast, ATLiens – Long before they found their home in Stankonia, these two Southern dope boyz stood out in the East Coast-dominated rap scene, as shown in this cover.
1997 Camp-Lo, Uptown Saturday Night – Not only did Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede name their debut after the 1974 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier movie, the ’70s obsessed duo also payed homage to Marvin Gaye with their album art, which borrows from his 1976 album, I Want You.
2003 Ja Rule, Blood in My Eye – At the height of his beef with 50 Cent, Ja made sure to display himself as larger than life.
2004 Ill Bill, What’s Wrong With Bill? – What’s wrong, the former Non-Phixion rapper is in a midst of a war between good and evil.
2004 MF DOOM, Mm.. Food – Keep your hands off the masked villain’s liquor soaked cocoa puffs.
2005 Sean Price, Monkey Barz – In the planet of the apes, Kimbo Price reigns supreme
2007 Kanye West, Graduation – For his graduation ceremony, the Louis Vuitton Don tapped famed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, to blast his album cover to the next level.