Controversial Rap Album Covers

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Controversial Rap Album Covers

Album Art Overview

Album Art Overview

Corine Tamayo

Album Art Overview

Corine Tamayo

Corine Tamayo

Album Art Overview

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When you decide to listen to an album for the first time, what draws you toward listening? What about it gets your interest? Does it shock you? Many people look to cover art for an idea about the project. Hip-hop and rap music has a history with controversial album covers. This year, in particular, has sparked hip-hop and rap music lovers’ interests.

In April of 2018, J Cole released his album, “KOD.” Created by artist Sixmau, it shows an image of Cole dressed as a king with a crown, rope, and jewelry. His eyes are glassy and appear to have something under his shroud, making it apparent that he is a “king overdosed” in this image. Under his robe, are eerie images of children using drugs. Cole preaches to “meditate, don’t medicate” on the album. Hence, the third meaning of KOD being to “kill our demons.”   

Any fan of rap music has heard about the “rap beef” between rappers Drake and Pusha T. In May of 2018, Pusha T released “The Story of Adidon,” which was a final diss track in this rivalry. The shocking track cover is a photo of Drake in blackface makeup in 2008. Drake soon apologized for the image, explaining that it represented how hard it is for African-American actors to get roles.

By July of 2018, Denzel Curry came out with his third studio album, “Ta13oo.” The main cover for the project from act three of the album, pronounced, “Taboo.” It is a black and white with a headshot of Curry wearing a striped shirt and clown makeup. He mocks part of the rap culture, which does all sorts of publicity stunts for the sake of fame or “clout.”

Kanye West’s “Love Everyone,” still does not have a release date. Though, the cover art is of plastic surgeon Jan Adams, who performed the final surgery on his mother. The album’s name was proposed by an unknown person over text. Kanye, like many other hip-hop and rap artists spark controversy and meaning though their work, or rather meaning through controversy.