The whole notion of album cover art seems sort of silly these days, what with so few people actually buying albums. (Though I’m very interested in seeing what kind of numbers Drake puts up this week-half a million is projected, and 20,000 people is a lot of people to draw to South Street Seaport.) This makes me all the more pleased that Atlanta rapper T.I. put the effort he did into the picture which will adorn his new King Uncaged when it hits stores come August.
As he explained to hip-hop photography magazine Respect:
I went and told them, “Get me as close as you can to a lion.” He had a trainer holding him on a chain. They took the chain out [in post-work]. It really went down. I wanted to pet him. I said, “Let me get hands on.” They were like, “No. We could only let you do but so much.” So I did as much as they would allow me to do… I wanted it to be a a busy city street. My original idea was to lock down Times Square and let me and the lion do the same thing right there, but we couldn’t quite pull that off; they said it had to be in controlled environment. They tried to do a artsy kind of drawing. It looked good, but it didn’t serve my purpose-it was just a painting. I figured, if it got to be a controlled environment, we may as well just keep it all the way simple make it black and white, white background, me, him, cool chair.
And here’s a video trailer for the album that features more of the lion and a suitably exciting song snippet:
It should be an exciting time for album covers, now that they don’t matter! People can literally do anything.