Underground hip hop blog - best new hip-hop songs, mixtapes, music videos, album reviews, graffiti and urban culture.

Top 10 Album Covers of 2011

10. Brotha Lynch Hung – Coathanga Strangla
Sacramento rap veteran Brotha Lynch Hung has made an entire career out of being one of the most depraved and deranged personalities in hip hop. After years of spewing his graphic rhymes about cannibalism, murder and rape in the hardcore underground scene, it appears that Lynch has finally found a home at Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label. The album cover to his most recent offering, Coathanga Strangla, is a simple but effective depiction of what Lynch is all about. Oh the horror….

9. Murs – Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation
Recently, Murs teamed up with producer Ski Beatz to bring you Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation via Damon Dash’s BluRoc label. In-house artist, Dave Burnett, is responsible for the album’s artwork which depicts the dawn of civilization. For those unfamiliar with Dave Burnett, his work can also be seen on the covers of Curren$y’s Pilot Talk albums.

 

8. Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day In Hell
Clothing company LRG linked up with highly acclaimed graff writer AUGOR to come up with a vision for the the cover art found on Freddie Gibbs’ awesome mixtape, Cold Day In Hell. AUGOR did an amazing job of translating Gibbs’ dark thoughts into an illustration.

 

 

 

7. Cunninlynguists – Oneirology
Southern underground stalwarts, Cunninlynguists, dropped a very solid concept album this year called Oneirology, which literally means the scientific study of dreams. The nightmare-ish artwork, courtesy of Lois Van Baarle, is totally appropriate as it ties into the dream theme that runs throughout the entire record.

 

 

 

casey-veggies-sleeping-in-class-deluxe-edition6. Casey Veggies – Sleeping In Class
There’s just something about this album cover for Casey Veggies’ deluxe edition of Sleeping In Class that brings me back to my younger days as a kid, when the world was my oyster anything was possible. This illustration by Matt Martian seems to capture that essence of being young, as an explosion of colorful thoughts and ideas come bursting out of young Veggies’ head.

 

5. Ski Beatz – 24 Hour Karate School 2
I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on in Dave Barnett’s painting which adorns the cover of Ski Beatz’ compilation, 24 Hour Karate School 2, but I like it! Reptillian monster versus a horned alien in a martial arts battle while a rocket ship blasts off from a dojo in the background. Creative control indeed.

 

 

dj-drama-presents-spitta-andretti-verde-terrace4. Curren$y – Verde Terrace
Inspired by a Brazilian jazz album from the 1970s, Curren$y’s Verde Terrace mixtape features the original artwork from Cartola’s 1977 record, Verde Te Quero Rosa. However, with the help of some digital magic, you will notice a green lambo photoshopped into the portrait. A lot of folks weren’t feeling this concept. I wasn’t one of them.  It’s a mixtape, people. He doesn’t need to spend a ton of time and money on a cover for a free album.
3. Big K.R.I.T. – Returnof4eva
The artwork by Eric Bailey which accompanied Big K.R.I.T.’s free album, Returnof4eva, is essentially a microcosm of everything that KRIT stands for. Bulldogs, chevys, cadillacs, women, black pride, peace, music, and Mississippi all rolled up with some old school flavor. It looks like it could have been a Blaxploitation movie poster from the 1970s.

 

madlib-medicine-show-no-11-low-budget-hi-fi-music2. Madlib – Madlib Medicine Show No. 11: Low Budget High Fi Music
Jeff Jank is the art director over at indie hip-hop label, Stones Throw Records. He is responsible for more than half of the label’s covers over the years. Madlib’s 11th installment to his sprawling Medicine Show series features this porcupine chillin’ in a forest, with a hair pick and some blinged out brass knuckles. What?! I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of America’s most blunted. The actual cover art is by Isabel Samiras.

1. Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers
If only Wiz Khalifa’s major label debut came as hard and gritty as Greg Gigendad Burke’s album cover for the project. While I find the cover art to be the best of 2011, musically Rolling Papers was in my opinion, one of the biggest disappointments this year. If I had to judge an album by its cover, I would have expected to get hear something along the lines of Snoop and Cypress Hill. Instead, we get smore akin to Nelly and Afroman. Can’t hate though, Rolling Papers still went Gold, and the royalties from “Black and Yellow” probably set Wiz up for life. The kid made paper.

 

 

There it is. BoxCarFlow’s Top 10 Album Covers for 2011. Hope you all enjoyed checking out our nominations. Please feel free to let us know what your favorite covers were this year. We would love the feed back.

 

 

  • MAXXXIMU$

    #1 is the best foe-show! love the hidden faces in the smoke! Or maybe thats just me LOL