Rap-A-Lot has churned out a kabillion albums from its rap assembly line over the last two decades. But only a handful of those albums made an indelible impression on us for their visual dimension. We picked these covers for their originality, impact, and ability to scar unsuspecting viewers.
5. Bun B, Trill (2005): You couldn't go anywhere in Houston in 2005 without seeing a poster of Bun B casting a distressed look on the cover of his solo debut, Trill. What etched this image in our memory, aside from Bun's scowl, was that Trill arrived at a time when UGK's other half, Pimp C, was serving time in jail. This was probably on Bun's mind during his cover shoot with Jack Thompson. With his partner-in-rhyme locked up and the responsibility of fanning UGK's flame on his shoulder, all Bun could do was fold his arms and look on in frustration.
4. Devin the Dude, The Dude (1998): If you look at Devin's The Dude cover and see a guy taking a deuce while catching up on local news, then we're not looking at the same cover. When we look at this cover, we see a man who has no shit to give. Naturally, the album contains a song about avoiding sticky situations by taking refuge in the toilet.
3. Scarface, The Last of a Dying Breed (2000): Last of a Dying Breed is an incredibly dark yet widely personal album. So, it only makes sense to promote it with an equally gloomy image. The cover shows an ultrasound of a baby enveloped by the darkness of the world it's about to enter.
2. Gangsta N-I-P, Psychic Thoughts (1993): Gangsta N-I-P is a madman with a mic, and his album covers always reflect his message. Psychic Thoughts might be the most provocative cover he's ever cooked up. The cover shows N-I-P pointing cold steel at a black dude on the "mentally dead" side of the split screen, while the "resurrected" side shows him blasting a white victim out of existence. N-I-P is making a statement against black-on-black crime on one hand and promoting violence against whitey on the other. Like we said, madman with a mic.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. The Geto Boys, We Can't Be Stopped (1991): Who can forget this gory album cover? It shows an actual photograph of Bushwick Bill being wheeled in the hospital after popping a cap in his own eye during a botched suicide attempt. The group's pint-sized bundle of horror narrates the entire ordeal on "Ever So Clear" from his 1992 solo debut, Little Big Man.