Do Artist Even Care About Album Artwork Anymore?
An important part of music culture, or at least hip hop culture, that I feel has gotten lost within the last couple of years is album artwork. The music artist of today seem to not put much thought or effort into their albums/mixtape cover and it bugs me a little.
I remember growing up in a time when physical albums and CD’s were bought in a entertainment store like Best Buy or FYE and you seen the ACTUAL album of your favorite artist posted on a shelf, glistening in perfection, packaged perfectly from cover to cover. Opening the album felt like opening gifts on Christmas, excited to see what the album booklet looked like, if it came with a signed poster, upcoming tour dates etc. One of the best album covers and booklets of all time was Kanye Wests’ My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The album was well designed, beautifully displayed and came with a poster of the album artwork.
Nowadays, artist of todays climate, in my opinion, don’t put much effort into the cover art for their albums and singles. Maybe it has something to do with how everything is digital now, and there isn’t a real need to pour copious amounts of time into the albums artwork because the fans won’t experience the albums like they once did before. I believe the latter is the honest and most truest answer, but I would be remiss if I said that all artist in Hip Hop are dismissing the importance of artwork in album releases. For instance, rapper Cordae back in 2019 released his Freshman album “ The Lost Boy” with featured a pastel like painting of an album cover that conveyed, what I believe a deeper meaning that coincides with the album title.
But an example of an artist who couldn’t care less about album artwork recently is the great Kanye West. Yes, he is considered a GOAT in the Hip Hop lane, but his last 3 album releases has had lackluster album artwork. From the careless, self taken iPhone photo of an album cover with “Ye” to the blank and all black album cover for “Donda” it’s clear that Kanye knows his name and brand alone can sell albums, no need for intricate artwork.
And don’t get me started on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy.
I’m not here to complain, I mean it is what it is. But I would love to see more artist give a damn about the artistic value of their album covers. Although everything is digital nowadays, the artwork of an album will sit well with most fans and create an nostalgic moment for them that will last their entire lives.
Follow me on Twitter @ZeeGawd
Originally published at http://zeegawdmedia.wordpress.com on January 17, 2022.