Oh, hip-hop. If there’s one thing the most American of musical forms is not known for, it’sself-restraint. A perfect place to see this in action is the album cover – that 5″x5″ square that sums up in a single image what the record is about. The following twenty covers are so amazingly terrible that they’d make records scratch all by themselves. Ready to get funky?
Da Brat – Da Brat – There’s two possible explanations here. One is Photoshop. The other one is that Da Brat actually got a custom painted leotard with images of herself on it. I am pulling so hard for #2 it’s not even funny.
Sweet P – I Toast Myself – The ontological implications of this image are astonishing. Jesus turned water into wine, but Sweet P can apparently turn cognac into his body and then back into cognac. And then, in theory, he will alco-bang the girl in the ill-fitting denim bikini who got his name tattooed on her titty.
Iceberg – Gangsta Rap – Yeah, but if you put a huge gilded frame around it, it’ll be classy. No matter that if you peek you can actually see his ho’s vajayajy.
M$ Tee – Havin’ Thing$ – Yes, having your grandma’s things. I wouldn’t really brag about that living room set.
Big Bear – Doin’ Thangs – This is such a legendary cover that any words I could say about it would be wasted. I just love that instead of the typical pile of bling, we have nuts and berries. This guy lives the gimmick.
Mystikal – Unpredictable – We all know that Mystikal is batcrap crazy anyhow, but this cover really drives the message home. I’M AN EXPLODING JIGSAW PUZZLE! PREDICT THIS! YOU CAN’T!
1st Famm – Best Kept Secret – You know, as phony as this dude’s Terminator 2 liquid metal face mask job is, you’ve got to give him props for hiring identical twin bodyguards to protect his pile of gold bars. Oh wait.
Baby aka #1 Stunna – Birdman – Photoshop is a hell of a tool, man. Do you think they nerds at Adobe in like 1990 when they first released Photoshop 1.0 had any idea that twenty years later people would be using it to create deformed rapper/bird hybrids?
South Coast Shorty – The Hot Girl – Seriously? I’d hate to see the ugly girl, if that’s the hot one.
Spank Rock And Benny Blanco - Bangers And Cash – Okay, it’s one thing to pay tribute to 2 Live Crew’s classic As Nasty As They Wanna Be. It’s quite another to put cellulite that nasty on full display. Damn, girl, take some sandpaper to that mess.
Candyman – Ain’t No Shame In My Game – Well, you know, maybe there should be. Just a little bit, you know, enough to stop you from playing Willy Wonka Twister on the cover of your record.
Common – Finding Forever – Yo, if you thought that Candyman record was homo, this is a whole ‘nother level. I love Common to death but brother’s wearing eyeliner and he just got a copy of Illustrator. He looks like Andre 3000 went to community college. Bad decisions all around.
Cam’Ron – Confessions Of Fire – Okay, the degree of gayness between Candyman and Common is the distance from New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The degree of gayness between Common and Cam’Ron (what’s up with all these C names?) is the distance from Cleveland, Ohio to Jupiter. Look at him. He oiled himself up for this cover. He should call it Confessions Of Fire Island.
Ghostface Killa – Bulletproof Wallets – All right, enough gay jokes. This is just Ghostface… making breakfast for Raekwon… in his bathrobe. Oh God dammit.
Majik Most – Molesting Hiphop – Yo, I know it’s street to act like you’re a hardened criminal, but somehow I don’t think “child molester” is really what you want to shoot for. Especially with your snorkel and barely-past-puberty facial hair. Bonus points for the completely inappropriate Ernie and Bert cameo.
Lil Rascal – Like A Grown As Man – So ups to Lil Rascal for using the pronunciation mark in the title, but how much crap do you think he got from people? He probably just got business cards that read “THE LINE OVER THE S MEANS YOU PRONOUNCE IT LONGER, IT’S GROWN ASS MAN.” And then there’s the hilarious photoshopped stretch Ford Explorer to add insult to injury.
A.P.9 – The Grinch – The Photoshop quality on this one is better than normal, but it keeps you asking the question: is Jim Carrey’s Grinch really something you want to build a rap identity around? Is A.P.9. working on a Cat in the Hat mixtape next?
Trick Daddy – WWW.Thug.Com – Hip-hop: on my Internet? Apparently so, as Trick Daddy’s absurd recreation of a mid-90s Netscape Navigator window comes complete with grody pixilation, a ghetto navbar and more. I’m surprised he didn’t hire a guy to make it drop a bunch of pop-up windows when you open the case.
Master P – Gameface – I probably could have just picked 20 Master P covers for this piece and rolled with it. Instead, I decided to go with TKTK’s Gameface, where he stepped away from his diamond-encrusted tank and bling fonts approach for something a little… creepier. You can almost hear a muffled voice screaming “Hootie Hoo” with its last breath.
Top Dog – Slam Dunkin’ Hoes – I love the ones that are just super literal. Your album’s called Slam Dunkin’ Hoes? Let’s just put your ass on the cover slam dunking a hoe. No, you don’t actually have to do it, they have this thing called Photoshop and I can just – aw, let me just show you. And then Top Dog was all like “PERFECT!”
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