We have all been seen some cringeworthy album covers by some of our favorite artists, but of course there have been times when they nailed it. For this list we are considering originality, concept and the general feel of the artwork in relation to the artist and the music. So here are our top 10 best artworks in a while.
10. M.I- The Chairman
One of those album arts that come simple, but suggestively deeper in meaning is M.I’s 3rd studio project. The Chairman artwork is almost the typical format that features the artist’s face, but that transparent red box makes it seem like there is more to what you see, than is readily identifiable.
9. Tiwa Savage- Red
Tiwa’s ”Red” album is an almost blinding experience, whether you are scrolling through your screen online or you see a CD hawker carrying a pile of Naija albums. The flash of red will always catch your eye, and she kept it unique by featuring only her eyes, as opposed to the usual full face view. We are not sure she nailed the meaning of the acronym R.E.D sha, but the album art gets a pass mark.
8. Jesse Jagz- Jagznation Vol 2: Royal Niger Company
If you know Jargo aka Joe Louis as he self proclaims on this album, you know he don’t play. Most likely to depict the African theme of the Royal Niger Company (which was a company that aided the British in forming colonial Nigeria) Jagz brought us a map, with the Naija man dressed in what could be royal traditional gear. The artwork can easily be criticized of course, for being too vague, but the plus side of it is that it is not over done. The image as a whole is not too overwhelming, because if you take out the map behind the man, it is a pretty basic photo.
7. Boogey- T.I.N.A.A
This Is Not An Acronym is the Boogeyman’s 2015 mixtape. The album art features Boogey and Charlie X, in front of a riot. While Boogey himself is holding a sign that reminds you that TINAA is not an acronym, Charlie X is beside him in a Jason X mask and clutching a guitar. For a core rap album that plays by no mainstream rules, the album art suits the ”I came to do my own thing” theme of Boogey’s tracklist.
6. Olamide- Baddest Guy Ever Liveth
This one even set a trend and had other celebrities doing the gun man pose. Olamide’s album came with a simple and mildly sophisticated cover where its just Badoo himself…..but donning a Roman outfit and holding that cryptic pose. For an album titled ”Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” all you really need is a picture of the guy….looking badass!!!
5. Iyanya- Signature EP
For a musician who is on the path to re-branding and a general do-over, Iyanya’s new EP is not a bad look. It is bright and friendly with its scattered graphics and happy colours at the lower section. Nice haircut, stylish jacket and a firm look are the elements Iyanya brought, while the artwork blends with him and makes a catchy presentation. Sometimes, your fine artwork may just make someone buy the CD, and that’s how they’ll jam the album.
4. Show Dem Camp- The Dreamer Project
Going by the album title, you’ll probably expect some deep imagery, or some ghetto child looking up at the skies as he imaginatively beholds his dreams coming true….then you get this. 2 naughty agbayas in class reacting to their voluptuous school teacher’s curves. This is a great artwork simply because it is an interesting and comical scene. If the album can start entertaining you from the cover, you may have a positive outlook through the listen. It also follows that hiphop element of comedy just like MCs such as Eminem, Ludacris and others bring to some videos and artwork.
3. Bez- Gbagyi Child
Probably the most simple artwork on this list. Bez’s 2nd studio album is typically just a photo of the singer abi? But then again, looking at the facial expression, the white cloth, and the artsy/cloudy background, the artwork feels deeper than just a picture of Bez. It is a sweet and safe approach that easily depicts the laid back but rich theme of Bez’s music and also the native sounds he sampled for the album. He really looks like a Nassarawa boy.
2. Wizkid – Ayo
Of course, this Starboy nailed it with his sophomore album art. For a young African artist who was gaining international recognition like BET nominations it was fitting for him to let out his album with imagery that declares his African heritage. This was the album that featured ”Ojuelegba” which started the Drake feature relationship with its remix. That loyal African appeal is partly what drives the international power of the music, just like the artwork represents.
1. Reminisce- Baba Hafusa
Coming in at number 1, Alaga Ibile aka Reminisce. This is one 2014 album cover we were not ready for. As fans and members of the public already knew that Reminisce’s daughter’s name is Hafusa, the concept of the album art was an instant win. It shows Reminisce publicly declaring that he is a man on daddy duties, while keeping that stern and hardcore look to remind you that he is still coming with the bars, so don’t let the teddy bear and baby carrier fool you.
Did we leave out anyone? Let us know your favorite Nigerian album art in the comment section.