They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And while the same probably goes for music, we all know quality artwork on an album’s outer packaging sparks interest about what’s inside.
Like any genre, Christian hip hop has had its share of ups and downs when it comes to this department. Probably the less said about rap’s Pen & Pixel Era, the better, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had some standouts.
Presented in alphabetical order, Sketch the Journalist and The Wade-O Radio Show present:
10 Great Christian Hip Hop Album Covers.
It’s not an exhaustive list, not a ranked list, and tends to lean toward the old-school aesthetic preferences of the author, but it certainly celebrates what we believe to be the cream of the crop.
Artist/design firm information provided where available.
Illect Records (2010)
For the Christian rap veteran’s second beat tape, the label went with a time-lapse photo of the multi-hyphenated artist in motion. The image positions Peace 586 as a studio rat (“Tunnels” also) who digs crates, Starbucks, and the NBA.
Backbreakanomics- Mars Ill
Gotee Records (2003)
The cover art lies. The fourth album from manCHILD and DJ DUST is anything but an unfinished, Paint-by-Numbers collection of solid hip hop.
Uprok Records (2002)
Type + Image: DonBreezee (Tee-Art Design)
Cover Illustration: Steve “Frustr8” Lopez (ikeepmoving.com)
Unlike our previous entry, this cover is the equivalent of a nutrition label on the side of the box. With one glance you’ll know exactly what you’re getting inside.
It’s dark. It’s colorful. It’s underground. It’s boom bap.
Illect Recordings (2008)
With a clever nod to the type of block party flyers that birthed hip hop, Beat Rabbi’s solo production effort let audiences know they were going to hear a gang of ill MCs flex on top of sample-heavy tracks. Bonus points for the four-way creases you know you’d see after pulling this thing out of your pocket (or scrapbook.)