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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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Wu-Tang, Tyler The Creator, Danny Brown (and special performances from ODB and Eazy-E) are just a few of the names that headline this year’s Rock The Bells Festival. Check out the full lineup after the jump. Read More

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