The Most NSFW Rap Album Covers Ever
May 7th, 2016
Azealia Banks will probably never be considered a pioneer for her topless Slay-Z mixtape cover but best believe she boldly went where no female rapper has ever went beforehand.
The ex-Playboy cover star’s comfortability in baring skin mirrors the heavy-handed liberalism in much of today’s society but it wasn’t always like that. Hip Hop and R&B are more renown for its explicit lyrics than what’s plastered on the front cover but there have been several artists, like Banks, who have pushed the imagery to the limits.
SLAY-Z COVER ART (HQ) pic.twitter.com/5ymXX1wb17
— BRUJA DEL BLOQUE (@AZEALIABANKS) March 25, 2016
Peep the most NSFW album covers from Hip Hop and R&B stars down below. Sex, drugs and (rap) ‘n roll, baby.
2 Live Crew – As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989)
The first rap album from the south to ever go platinum did sport the all time raunch classic, “Me So Horny” but its bootiful artwork was undoubtedly a draw for consumers, who, at the time, weren’t as desensitized as fans in the present day. Uncle Luke had vision, even outside of Miami Beach.
Big Daddy Kane – It’s A Big Daddy Thing (1989)
In 1989, Kane was one of the rawest lyricists around and he put out a sophomore album whose cover art resembled a Jake Steed porno. (A sentiment echoed in the hit single “Smooth Operator.”) Hip Hop would inevitably go on to become more raunchy but the album would definitely go to become a precursor for much of it. Oh yeah, he decided to pose for Playgirl a couple of years later.
Akinyele – Vagina Diner (1993)
With a name like Vagina Diner, Akinyele “Put it in Your Mouth” Adams could have pushed this presentation to the XXX limit but he settled for a TV-MA version here. The album was released not too long after his breakout appearance Main Source’s Breaking Atoms via the classic “Live at the Barbecue” but failed to get any attention outside of its muffdiving menu.
The Weeknd – House of Balloons (2011)
Before he was a Grammy Award-winning, Victoria Secret model-dating, Top 40 radio draw, The Weeknd deemed it best to free the nipple before he showed his face to the world. The layers of mystery worked wonders for him leading up to his current dominance in the R&B space.
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda” (2014)
No matter your thoughts on the actual record, there is no dispute on the cultural impact the artwork for The Pinkprint’s second single caused around the web. The most memed artwork of all time had non sneakerheads googling “Air Jordan 6″ and everyone else shamelessly broke out the lotion and dimmed the lights.
Esham – KKKill The Fetus (1993)
No matter who’s slinging mud to get into the White House, abortion will also be a blistering hot-button issue. OG Acid rapper Esham made the issue personal on the self-titled track that encouraged unfit mothers to dead their fetuses and he put it in living color on the album cover.
Ice-T – Gangsta Rap (2006)
The world knows that “Ice loves Coco” to no end and his last released album went hard on the TMI tip on the front cover. The long-married couple were obviously in their having fun phase and switched up their approach as they welcomed their first child together last year.
Master P – The Ghetto’s Tryin’ To Kill Me! (1994)/Ghetto D (1997)
The Ice Cream Man always preached he wasn’t safe in the hood as he amassed his multi-million empire. Even when he was up to his waist in the best the ghetto had to offer. If you look closely, you’ll spot a hitter-for-hire looking to take P out before he gets a chance to say “Ugh.” A few albums later on Ghetto D, he showcased the urban reality of crack fiends doing their do in the middle of the streets. Suffice to say, it had to be cleaned up for wholesome retailers nationwide. A smart decision seeing that it eventually went triple platinum.
Action Bronson – Saaab Stories (2013)
At the time of Saaab Stories‘ release, social media revolts were beginning to understand and learn the power of their fevered reactions and Action Bronson was dragged through the tweets by the hairs of his chinny chin chin. The sight of him objectifying presumed Asian sex workers wasn’t easily digested by many but let us thank all things “Baby Blue” he didn’t pick any black models to express his BDSM ways. The community probably would never let him live that one down.
Lil Cease – The Wonderful World of Cease A Leo (1999)
Post Notorious B.I.G. era, Junior M.A.F.I.A. status was uncertain and Lil Cease decided to finally step out a limb and release his debut solo album. And he stepped out without his clothes—accented with a purplish Willy Wonka backdrop—and the cheesiest of all grins. Combine that with the album’s lack of promotion and it likely cause many potential fans to pass. Which is a travesty, as the album is pretty solid.
Z-Ro – Crack (2008)/Heroin (2010)/Meth (2011)
In many ways, Z-Ro’s music could be likened to heavy drug usage. It’s heavily addictive but also not for everybody and it would take a probing to see who is really self-medicating to his sounds. But much like “shooting up,” everything isn’t meant for the eyes, which is why you never saw these covers at Walmart.
Fat Trel – Gleesh (2014)
The Slutty Boyz leader admitted he wasn’t the brainchild behind the artwork that christened the face of Leah Michele’s Glee character, Rachel Berry, with his essence, but the damage of the DNA was already done. Trel’s label home Atlantic Records shortly sent out cease and desist letters to all your favorite rap sites like it was our fault they let the image pass through the marketing department.
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Coming off the MTV Awards Taylor Swiftgate, Kanye West embraced his bad guy role and intentionally gave artist George Condo the green light to illustrate artwork that would undoubtedly be banned in the U.S. of A. Yeezy later cried wolf tweeting “They don’t want me chilling on the couch with my phoenix!”
Outkast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik/ATLiens (1994/1996)
The first pair of Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s funky, spottieottiedopaliscious LP’s featured unforgettable cover art (with ATLiens serving as one of the best ever, period) that was more than safe for retail shelves. However it was the actual CDs that exhibited the uninhibited: the beauty of the black woman’s naked body.