The 10 Best Album Covers Of 2010
We pick our favorite COVERS of 2010. These are not our favorite albums of the year. That list is coming later.
10. Lil’ Jon – “Crunk Rock” – Jon had an amazing year as the ultimate club hype man, despite the fact that Crunk Rock was essentially a sales stinker. The album art, however, was chaotic, eye catching, and gorgeous, suggesting that the content inside might be wall-to-wall bangers. This summed up his style much better than his usual fare, featuring a picture of Jon mid-”yeaaayaaaah”.
9. Nicki Minaj – “Pink Friday” – Clean, classic, sexy, and a little warped. If you hate Nicki, chances are you hate this album cover as well, as it pretty much exemplifies everything she’s about. The extra-long legs, bulging boobs, and “fuck me” doll face help sell this thing, even if it didn’t live up to the hype.
8. Kanye West – “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – Chances are, ‘Ye believes his album cover should be at the top of this list. We didn’t particularly love the art direction here, but there’s no way we could front on the packaging of the deluxe edition. Layers of beauty to uncover; we can’t wait for the vinyl to get here.
7. Eminem – “Recovery” – Em’s literal take on the “long road to recovery” looks clean and iconic. An added bonus is the back cover of the album, featuring an enclosed glass case of a living room dropped into the middle of the city; an image that pretty much sums up Em’s life. This one is all in the photography.
6. Kid Cudi – “Man on The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager” – Cudi’s album cover is closer to what you’d expect from a rock bands than most any of the rappers under Universal Music Group. Fuck the major label formula of “photo of rapper + fonts”, Cudder’s instant vintage wins.
5. Janelle Monae – “The Archandroid (Suites II & III)” - Janelle’s Metropolis inspired robot suit murdered this album cover, not to mention helped animate the album’s concept. Too bad she rocked that tux all year long, although probably hard to do the “Tightrope” wearing that crown.
4. Erykah Badu – “New Amerykah Pt. II: Return of The Ankh” – Guess we’re suckers for fem-bots. Though we like New Amerykah Pt 1‘s cover better, she killed it with this one too.
3. Sage Francis – “Li(f)e” – Yeah, if you hire Shephard Fairey to do your album cover, and you’re pretty much going to get daps from us. More than that, there’s a lot going on here; some religious imagery, some political sarcasm, and not to mention some beautiful composition.
2. Curren$y – “Pilot Talk” – Wow, this is fucking ill. Curren$y reps the Jets, not to mention his drug of choice with this lush green illustration. Easily the most creatively put together album cover of the year; too bad Pilot Talk 2 didn’t look quite as fresh.
1. Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface – “Wu-Massacre” - Not only did the Three-The-Hard-Way trio come with the freshest cover, they did it three times. This is how you do a comic book themed album cover, motherfuckers. Don’t get your boy who’s trying to break into comics to make a half ass caricature of you. You pay a guy like Chris Bachalo who usually draws X-Men or something for Marvel to do it.
The 10 Worst Album Covers Of 2010
10. Drake – “Thank Me Later” – You all know we love this album. But what we don’t love is the cover. Is that supposed to be like Drake in 3-D or some shit? Our eyes hurt.
9. B.o.B. – “The Adventures Of Bobby Ray” - Yo, seriously? What the fuck is happening here? Is he coming out of a portal? Is he coming out of a backflip? Both? Who knows. Great album, inexplicable cover.
8. Ludacris – “Battle of The Sexes” – Looks like a reality TV show promo. Just. Plain. Lame.
7. Plies – “Goon Affiliated” – Does this look like an album you want to listen to? Us either. Not to mention, Young Buck did this five years ago.
6. Capone ‘N Noreaga – “The War Report 2: Report The War” – At least somebody is keeping Pen ‘N Pixel in business. Good LP though, don’t judge an album by it’s cover.
5. T.I. – “No Mercy” – Simple and clean, yes. Boring? Hell yes. Rap industry, please take note. We’re sick and tired of unimaginative, no concept, stock photos of rappers with some logos pasted on top of it. Nothing says “this album sucks and is generic” than this type of album cover. We all know this was a rush job because of Tip’s last-minute incarceration, despite all that money they spent renting that lion for the original King Uncaged cover, which also, in a nutshell, blew. To make matters worse, this is a black and white version of Gucci Mane’s The People Vs. Radric Davis album cover – same “I fucked up and now I’m sad” pose – released last year at this time when he was heading off to jail. You lose, plus you caught the ill street blues.
4. KRS-One + True Master – “Meta-Historical” – Then again, on the other hand, there’s the opposite, when artists get a little too imaginative with their album cover concept. Uh, we’re guessing that’s the Temple of Hip-Hop there.
3. Keyshia Cole – “Calling All Hearts” – “Aw Keysh, you ain’t really gonna leave the house like that, are you? Oh, uh, you’re going to your album cover shoot? K, um, good luck.”
2. Sheek Louch – “Donnie G: The Don Gorilla” – No.
1. Duke Da God – “The D.I.P. Agenda” – It was a fateful day in Harlem. A day when millions of screaming fans, of all races, creeds, and classes came together to see a legend in the flesh. Together, they joined hands and screamed his name in unison. “DUKE! DA! GOD! DUKE! DA! GOD!” they chanted. Over and over again. For hours. Suddenly, he appeared. Calm, somber even. He graced the stage and took a long pull from his spliff, and then exhaled. Before he could even speak, from high above, The Bald Eagle noticed him, and then descended upon the stage. Duke Da God outstretched his arm in welcome. He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them to say one word. “America.”
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