I was sitting back today going through some 80's Hip Hop 12" just at the same time Brand Nubian's "Dedication" just happened to be playing and I realized that there were some really great covers during that time which in some cases was the reason for me buying the album. Looking forward to the now, album covers are works of photoshop and cliche pics of the artist which are usually boring so I decided to do a few posts in the upcoming weeks dedicated to some of the freshest album covers of that time.
I'll start out with these two classic Sleeping Bag Recordings and Mantronix produced works which I really love (if anybody knows if there was ever offical promo posters put out for these to covers let me know, I need that!). Both of these covers done by graffiti artists Gemini and Gnome capture a time when everyone was fresh, even on your worst day you needed to be on point.
Mantronix "Needle To The Groove". Mantronix was a beast on the SP12 before anyone else had even touched one, he was the guy but that's another topic. This cover is of a classic club party with Mantronix on the wheels and "Crime Master T" aka MC Tee on the Mic. If you notice everyone is freshly dipped in sweatsuits, Cazals, Kangols, gold earrings and fresh kicks. I love how they drew the classic Otari reel to reel as it captures the live recording.
Next up is the classic Just-Ice "Back To The Old School" cover. This cover is a typical summer afternoon and as you can tell Fila was the brand of choice with the exception of Mantronix rocking New Balance. One thing that I really like about this cover is how they changed the classic Benetton rugby to spell Latoya instead. People today don't understand the importance and impact brands like Benetton, Coca Cola and Mikey Mouse Co. played within Hip Hop fashion. Also peep Mantronix carrying his Roland 909, that's how we did it when it was time to do a live show.