Kanye West and Drake both have released new albums and I can’t help but enjoy them both. I have been listening to Donda since its release only to take a break from it to listen to Certified Lover Boy after its release.
Both albums sound great, but I want to take a moment and talk a little bit about both album covers.
Personally, I hate the all black cover from Donda. I wanted the album cover to be the one shown back in June, which was a cropped version of art piece FEMME (2007) by artist Louise Bourgeois.
Given that Bourgeois used art as a way to cope with emotion, including the loss of her mother, I thought it was fitting for Kanye to use it as the cover for an album named after his late mother. However, it is reported that West used this art at listening sessions without permission, and once the copyright holders did call they were not pleased.
Still, the backup option was to just have an entirely black album cover? It’s too on the nose as a This is Spinal Tap parody if you ask me. To me, that seems like such a bad call. There were much better possibilities with this album cover, and I wish West did better by the artist instead of “treating it like a sample.”
That being said, I am writing about it and thinking about this album cover more than any other album cover Kanye has released, which could be the point as well.
As for Certified Lover Boy, this is an album cover made by Damien Hirst, but it isn’t a piece that is controversial like throwing a dead shark into formaldehyde. In fact, it seems more of an intentional meme than anything, and I’m not the only one feeling this.
The 12 women holding their babies could tie into the fact that Drake’s album was delayed by nine months. Some have criticized the cover for not having a red-haired woman represented in the piece.
But for Drake, who has an art collection that includes artists like Andy Warhol, KAWS and Takashi Murakami, this is just a piece of pop art for the meme-baited public, no less. Plain and simple.
For me, at least Certified Lover Boy has something to look at instead of being a single black void.
All this being said, the music these two artists produced are fantastic and I couldn’t be more excited to listen to them more as the Summer turns to Autumn.