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You Never Thought That Hip Hop Would Take it This Far

Back when we were reading Word Up magazine, sippin’ on gin and juice, or trying to figure out who the real Slim Shady was, hip hop videos and visuals were overrun with women in bikinis, cars, drugs, and extravagant jewelry. Hip hop carried the stigma of being music for thugs and criminals because of their aggressive lyrics and visuals. Who would have thought that hip hop would soon become so mainstream that we can now see soccer moms with their iced Starbucks sugar free latte with a pump of vanilla on their way to yoga class bumpin’ Eazy-E on the car stereo?

As hip hop became more and more popular, I started to notice a change in the designs that recording artists were releasing. Design has a lot to do with the type of mood or impression artists want to set for viewers. Kanye West’s 2007 Graduation album cover featured Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s work, and more recently, Jay Z’s much anticipated album 4:44, featured a song titled ‘The Story of O.J.’ with a completely animated music video. By changing their designs, these artists are reaching out to a broader audience and rejecting the stigma that hip hop has carried for so long.

Still from ‘The Story of O.J.’ music video by Jay-Z


You can watch Jay-Z’s video here:



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