*Disclaimer* If any of the above or below images offend your dainty little senses please go read something else. There will be no apologies made or given for anything you are about to see or read.
I started writing this blog back in May when my boy Dlay06 was in town doing one of his infamous guerilla visits to Chucktown. We met up at one of Charleston’s few locally owned music stores, Monster Music, and we spent about an hour going through the used and new stacks of cds and vinyl. We really didn’t buy anything but we did enjoy the time making snarky comments about album and cd covers. We discussed Felt‘s (Murs and Slug of Atmosphere) brilliant idea of naming cd’s after actresses (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet, Christina Ricci, and Rosie Perez). How much Gucci Mane (burrrr), Wacka Flocka Flame, your little wardie Plies, and OJ da Juiceman sucked balls. Then we had a brief conversation of the different non-black artists that we’ve been listening to. Soon we came across a copy of the Ohio Players’ Angel lp and Duane and I both noted the racy cover. As you can see above in the header that was kind of Sugar Foot and the Ohio Players’s thing. The Ohio Players were responsible for some of the most iconic songs and album covers of the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
This got me to thinking about some of the most iconic album covers during my lifetime. Naturally, because I’m me many hip hop album covers popped into my crowded head. After I logged on to that series of interconnected tubes called the Internets and got to Googling and these are some of my pics for iconic album covers that resonated with me. If you like find a jpeg or gif of the albums that stick out in your mind just because of the images.
Prince by Prince
First of all shout out to my sisters Theresa and Regina for helping build my strong tasted(Well I think it’s strong. Seriously, there aren’t many 31-year-old black guys from Allendale County, SC who listen to the Police.) Mr. Rogers Nelson has a ton of albums but this one is the most memorable one to me. The “Prince album cover always stuck out to me but it came back into the forefront of the mess between my ears because he looks exactly like Ben Stiller portraying the Mexican newscaster in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Prince is one of my favorite singers of all time and this album cover cracks me up to no end. There’s also a dealer barista at the Starbucks across the street from my job who grew a stache that looks just like this one.
Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest (You’ve got to say the whole thing.)
A Tribe Called Quest is one of my favorite hip hop groups ever. Once again one of my sisters put my brother on to Quest and the Native Tongues because they didn’t curse as much as some other rappers out there. (I’ll get to that later.) This album cover was dope to me because there were a slew of big-name hip hop artists on the cover. Dela Soul, Ice-T, Too Short, Mc Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Red Alert, Kid Capri, Diamond D, Organized Kunfusion, Third Base, The Lords of the Underground, the Large Professor, and tons of other artists that represented an era when you could maintain a major label deal and not got platinum. The cover or Midnight Marauders is iconic simply because it’s covered with pictures of icons. Dope album cover. Even doper album.
As Nasty as They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew
If you have to ask why this cover is iconic you’re an idiot. Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew’s filthy masterpiece was iconic to me for an obvious reasons. 2 Live Crew released this album during the height of the music industries battles with Tipper Gore and company over indecency standards. Many of 2 Live Crews’ classic were on this album including one of my good friend’s favorite spelling lessons.
We Can’t Be Stopped by The Geto Boys
This album cover will always hold a special place in my heart because it lead directly to me being put on to A Tribe Called Quest. My brother, my friends Mario and Phillip, and myself were listening to a copy of We Can’t Be Stopped and once again one our sisters stepped in and narced us out to our parents. If you know anything about the Geto Boys you can understand why she took the actions that she did.
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy
Projecting an image of Chuck D and Flavor Flav behind bars (Like a public enemy should.), the pace setters for hip hop’s pro-black movement let listeners know that this album DOES NOT include party jams. If you want to shake your a** go listen to the 2 Live disc up thread. This wasn’t party music. This was liberation music.
Power by Ice -T
Ice – T, Darlene, Shotgun. I actually remember the first time I saw this album cover. I was a bootleg at the counter of the old Stop N’ Go on Flat Street in Allendale during the Christmas holidays. It says so much without saying anything at all. I had never even heard of Ice-T until that point and after that dude was everywhere.
License to Ill by The Beastie Boys
Arrogance. Pure arrogance is what I think when I see image of the tail section of a jumbo jet adorned with the Beastie’s logo. The nerve of three white boys from Brooklyn to think that one day they would be this big. Honestly, Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D’s bravado paid off.
Thriller by Michael Jackson
It’s Thriller. If that isn’t iconic enough for you then I don’t know what is.
Nevermind by Nirvana
To my knowledge, I’ve only listened to two Nirvana songs, but I will always remember this album cover. Back in high school I attended a summer art program and a kid named Joey Still was wearing a t-shirt with this album cover on it. Jason Kinard, another attendee walked up to Joey and utter two words that caused this cover to become committed to my memory: “Baby pecker.”
These are a few of the standout, iconic covers that I came up with. If I were 90 and I saw these covers I’d remember them, barring dementia and Altztimers that is. What album covers give you found/bad memories? This isn’t about the music either, just the images.
Vaya con Dios.