While Black Hippy, Top Dawg Entertainment and the Empire That Is Kendrick prepare for the tactical onslaught of music the camp will release, Ab-Soul broods. His time is nigh, but The Black Lip Pastor has shown no signs of anxiety. The unflappable, ever-cloudy emcee relays his thoughts on his upcoming project and the immense exposure his super-group has enjoyed.

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In 1938, Alex Steinweiss, an art director for Columbia Records invented the concept of album cover art, making way for epic images that continuously influence pop culture. It’s different now that most listeners stream and download music, which has ignited a market for unique album artwork to differentiate one project from the next. Also, design software is much more accessible and apps like instagram are extremely popular. That accessibility has given artists a bevy of new media to expand greatly the idea of album covers. Artists can create several album covers with a mouse click, and with a simple QR code make them interactive, or create a vine video that gives the viewer a short film in lieu of a traditional static album cover.

So it’s no shock that this year is has delivered dope album covers.

Here is my list of 2013’s Five Best Hip Hop Album Covers, based on: visual aesthetic, concept in relation to album name and theme, and creative execution.

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Last night, My Name Is My Name got its official listening treatment. And, as expected, Kanye stole the scene from Pusha T by screaming his way through an endorsement. But one particular statement may have been aimed at October’s Very Own, Drizzy. Check the quote after the jump.
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