Drake’s animated visage for ‘Nothing Was the Same’ as both a man and a boy is striking but it’s also nothing new.
Biggie Smalls’ 1994 classic debut ‘Ready to Die’ featured the stark image of a Afro-sporting baby, which presumably was meant to be B.I.G. as a little one.
Not be outdone by his crosstown contemporary, Nas’ legendary ‘Illmatic’ (also 1994) features a memorable shot of him as a child. Fitting, since so much of the album features nostalgia-drenched lyricism.
When Lil Wayne, at the peak of his powers, released ‘Tha Carter III’ in 2008, complete with a baby photo of himself, it was seen as his way of elevating himself among the great icons of rap. Lucky for him, the album was a classic.
Still, when he returned to the baby picture well for 2011’s ‘Tha Carter IV’ some wondered if it had become too much of a good thing.
Kendrick Lamar continued the tradition of pint-size retro shots with his wonderfully authentic Polaroid on 2012’s critically acclaimed ‘Good Kid M.A.A.D. City’ album.
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Drake‘s highly anticipated third official album, Nothing Was the Same, is due out on September 24th, but he’s already wetting fans appetites with the new LP’s artwork.
On his Twitter account the “Started From the Bottom” rapper released two images, one of himself now and another of himself as a baby with an Afro, which appear to be alternative covers for his album.
Here they are in a single shot:
Of course, Drake is far from the first rapper to take a trip down memory lane with their album covers.
Arguably, Biggie Smalls started the tradition with his seminal masterpiece Ready to Die back in 1994, but since then several other artists have taken the nostalgic route too.
Check out our slideshow of baby pictures that became iconic rap images.