As with any genre of music, hip hop has gone through its fair share of changes. There’s east coast, west coast and about a million styles in between. Then there’s southern hip hop and the album covers that came along with it.
Aesthetically, it was a time of exploration excess, and there was one name at the forefront of it all – Pen & Pixel. Affiliated with labels including No Limit, Rap-A-Lot and Suave House, the design firm defined the dirty south artist. With an ordering form that resembled a Chinese takeout menu and an inclination towards cold hard cash, Sean Brock and his brother Aaron said no to very little, quickly becoming praised for the material opulence and newly coined term “bling” that they could squeeze onto an album cover.
In a recent interview with Noisey, Sean even quoted that during their 11 year run, they worked with 6,000 to 8,000 clients, producing approximately 19,180 covers. With such a design feat behind them, we thumbed through the good and bad to collect 10 covers that embody a cut-and-paste design style that’s still sought after today. From Lil’ Wayne’s old group Hot Boy$ to Master P, take a look at some of the most defining Pen & Pixel covers in the gallery above.
1 of 10
Big Bear's Doin Thangs, 1998
2 of 10
Pluto's Players Like Us Takin' Over, 1995
3 of 10
S.B. & Joey's A Clear Dark Nite, 1996
4 of 10
Three 6 Mafia's The End, 1996
5 of 10
Master P's MP Da Last Don, 1998
Album Art Collection
6 of 10
Hot Boy$' Let 'Em Burn, 2003
7 of 10
Big Tymers' How You Luv That, 1998
8 of 10
Snoop Dogg's Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told, 1998
9 of 10
Trinity Garden Cartel's The Ghetto My Hood, 1992
10 of 10
Sexx Fiends' Let's Get Butt-Naked, 1994