There’s an old saying that goes “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” And in the case of these rap album covers, this is true.
Many of the rapper’s album covers have been inspired by what their parents listened to during their childhood. Many of the covers interpolate popular jazz or R&B albums from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Artists like Nas, Tone Loc, Smif-n-Wessun, Wiz Khalifa, Redman, Tech N9ne and others have delivered iconic LP artwork along with some classic music. There’s also album covers where it’s unclear if the artist copied another album cover or it was just a mere coincidence.
Overall, album covers matter. It’s the first thing fans see before they begin their listening journey. So we gathered some of the most iconic rap album artwork and paired them with their jazz and R&B (and reggae) inspirations, side by side. Check it out below.