Thursday, February 22, 2007


About ten years back when labels and artists were on the same page creatively and shared a similiar vision for what the identity of the artist would be (or, rather, artists were given the space to do their thing because they could do them better than the labels could), it led to some fantastically awesome hip hop. Moreover, the packaging reflected this artistic freedom--almost a declaration of sorts--and no collective used it more to their advantage as the Wu. I remember when I first picked up Enter the 36 Chambers and how I was captured, arrested by the image of the members in ghostface masks and Wu hoodies. That image is pressed deeply in my memory and my reaction to the album without even hearing it was immediate and severe.

They did it better than anyone else. Take for instance RZA's Bobby Digital where the artwork depicts RZA as a Superfly of sorts in classic blaxploitation style. Women, guns, women holding guns, the huge Wu logo behind it all, explosions and the superfresh text treatment. And the white space helps create room for the detail to shine. Wonderfully done.

The other end of the design spectrum is the Gravediggaz first outing, Six Feet Deep. The album marked one of the earliest Wu side projects (as opposed to solo projects) yet that signature look of danger and darkness. The exaggerated contrast of black and white and everyone mean-muggin--this is vintage Wu right here.

Of the Wu solo projects, Ol Dirty Bastard's first solo album takes the cake, hands down. The insanity about this album cover, which features Dirty in all of his glory on a welfare identification card, is that after dropping this soon-classic album, he went and picked up his food stamps at the welfare office and then drove off in a limo. We have this downright stupid album cover to remember the event by.

1 comment:

daunda said...

lovin' it kid. you forgot GZA's liquid swords album which had that bomb ass comic feel to it. on another note have you seen
this site? holla at me.