Public Collectors is dedicated to archiving and documenting cultural artifacts that libraries and other institutions largely ignore. And one of PC’s many great digital image collections is a series of album covers drawn by fans via basic computer programs like MS Paint. There are literally hundreds, but we, of course, took a special interest in the hip-hop covers – N.W.A, Ghostface, Nas, Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Geto Boys (seen above), Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Kool Keith, Big Bear(!) etc. – which have been reinterpreted in ways that are raw but charming in an abstract poetic sorta way. (And yes, if you’re wondering Tribe is represented too.) Hit the thumbnails to check them out (including a few non-rap covers repping some of our favorites – Kraftwerk, Funkadelic, Bad Brains, Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Suicidal Tendencies, Sun Ra etc. – for good measure) and read on for a more in-depth explanation of the collection.
CLICK THE THUMBNAILS TO CHECK OUT THE ALBUM COVERS
Writes PC’s Marc Fischer: The drawings in this collection were primarily made by various users in discussion forums on the websites www.foreverdoomed.com and www.stonerrock.com. Using MS Paint, and other rudimentary computer drawing programs, users attempted to recreate their favorite album covers and sometimes let others on the forum guess the band and title from the artwork. Given that the websites are largely devoted to underground heavy metal bands, metal album covers form the largest percentage of the recreations (but are not the only albums included). While some users ‘cheated’ by using a tracing function in the program, most attempted to recreate the covers freehand with just a mouse or the touch pad on their laptops. Some gave themselves a limit of five minutes to recreate the most recognizable essentials.
UPDATE: Someone who says was the originator of this drawing phenomenon reached out to us on The Twitter…
Says Kosyne: Back in 2002, Kosyne started a thread on a hip-hop forum (Y2hiphop) encouraging users to submit their own hip-hop album art inspired MS Paint pictures, he set the ball rolling with some crude depictions of Ghostface Killah’s “Ironman”, Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous” and a few other classic covers.
For more info (including how to order a Ghostface MS Paint t-shirt), go HERE.