Cover art is the opening statement to an album. Just like the music behind it, artwork has the potential to live on forever. Now, whether that’s in good or questionable favor among fans isn’t as certain. That’s no disrespect to the creators, but over the last few years, there’s been several pieces of hip-hop cover art that have leaned more towards the latter.
One glaring cover that wasn’t too successful in the court of public opinion points to Drake’s 2021 album, Certified Lover Boy. The cover features 12 different pregnant emojis, all of different colors and complexions. Fans on Twitter chimed in to suggest that the artwork was some variant of trash and others argued that he was trolling by releasing such a thing.
Kanye West experienced similar backlash when he dropped the lead image for Donda, released that same year. The cover was a simple black square, to which the public wasn’t too pleased to see. People got their jokes off, mostly poking fun at the idea of the cover having hidden messaging or imagery that plays into Ye’s brand as an artiste.
In 2022, Meek Mill hopped in to continue this trend of “underwhelming” album visuals. He restored rap’s prosperous mixtape era with his latest release, Flamerz 5, which features a black square with five fire emojis on top of it. Nothing more, nothing less. At this point, folks had enough and got on social media to press Meek on who was responsible for the work.
There’s a number of other album covers that have been shunned by the public on social media. From Kevo Muney‘s goat giving birth to DaBaby‘s ghoulish face, XXL packs them all together and briefly aggregated what fans have been saying about them over the last few years. Check out the full gallery below.