1 Jun 2012

16 Nov 2009

Graffiti Vinyl

Graffiti vinyl - the archive that showcases the best graffiti based album art releases of the last four decades.

Graffiti album art is wrapped up in the epic story of graffiti/street art & it tells their story too. The genre brings together art, music and design and shows-off the ongoing creative mix.

The genre features classic cover art from Futura and his contemporaries, through to the iconic Breaks and Beats series, and recent cover art such as Massive Attack's morbidly magical Heligoland + there's loads more well-known and obscure covers out there to be found.

I hope it's a genre that inspires you!

You're welcome to check out these other street art related blogs also:

http://graffiti-vinyl-gallery.blogspot.co.uk - an ongoing Graffiti Vinyl gallery

http://graffiti-vinyl-story.blogspot.co.uk - the story of Graffiti Vinyl

http://graffdesign.blogspot.co.uk - showcasing graffiti art/street art in relation to culture & design

www.graffcities.blogspot.com - an ongoing collection of street art from different cities

Tim 2011

15 Jan 2009

One Big Trip

To begin we have One Big Trip on Hiero Imperium. The cover camera image is a painting by Steve Ellis, with cover design by Peter Bittenbender & Jason Goldwach and the One Big Trip logo drawn by Sandro Tchikovano aka Misk One. There's some really stylish Misk One artwork at the following site with a link to her homepage also http://www.formatmag.com/art/misk-one.

Hiero Imperium is owned by the expansive Hieroglyphics crew. The label releases Hieroglyphics material along with work by Souls of mischief, Casual, Domino, Del tha funky homosapien (Ice Cubes cousin) and others. The label can be found on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/hieroglyphics and they also have their own website at http://hieroglyphics.createdevelopsite.com.

One Big Trip features 90s hip hop from Jurassic 5, Hieroglyphics, Dilated Peoples, Royce Da 5'9", Del tha Funky Homsapien and others.

Selected artist links are as follows:

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This energetic cover comes courtesy of a Vangard re-issue
of the classic Jean Jacques Perrey track E.V.A. The original
mix of the Moog masterpiece is included along with Fat Boy
Slim mixes. The un-credited cover doesn't have much to do with
the music but works well as a stylish piece of colourful cover art.

Jean Jacques Perrey is still going strong into his 80th year and can be found on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/jjperrey.

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Theme comes courtesy of 90s electronic experimentalists the Sabres of Paradise. The Sabres were led by the prolific Andy Weatherall alongside Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns. Theme was released on Weatheralls Sabres of Paradise label and features original artwork by Richard Sen and cover design by MadArk. Musically the 12 is a chunk of progressive big beat/electronica that has a real 90s feel to it. The title track was used for the film $hopping.

The Sabres are at http://www.myspace.com/thesabresofparadise. Later releases were on the ever excellent Warp label who can be found at http://www.warp.net.

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Dedicated came out in 1999 on the now defunct Cali based Good Vibe Recordings. The cover design layout was by June22 and Cliffered, with graf by Drez and photos by Vesuvio.

The Anonymous subsequently set up their own label Manifest Media to further their output. The crews members are Abel Body, DJ Prez, Vesuvio & Zinn, while their releases have featured Eminem and Jurassic 5s Cut Chemist. In the past they have supported the Black Eyed Peas, KRS-One, Rock Steady Crew, Biz Markie and others. Further Anonymous info can be found at the following site http://www.zinndeadly.com/anonymous.

Theory of a Throwup

This triple vinyl LP was the last LP to come out on Oaklands Heratik Productions before the label shut up shop. Bas One (aka Hannibal Lecture & Reginald Curry) continued a while longer but this was his artistic opus.

The artwork is a stylish graf snapshot with contributing artists listed as Nac One, Gigs One, Neon One, Apex, Crayone, King 157, Del Phresh and Mars.

Selected artist links are as follows:

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Toy Story

Who's the toy? Not Bas One me thinks. Toy Story was the accompanying twelve to the Theory of a Throw Up LP, with rhymes by Bas One and beats by Fanatik. The tasty cover piece was by Nac One & Gigster, with photos by Fanatik and Nac One.

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Overcast EP

The eight track Overcast EP from Atmosphere came out originally in 1997 on Rhymesayers Entertainment, with a subsequent 2006 re-issue. Atmosphere are at http://www.atmospheresucks.com and http://www.rhymesayers.com/atmosphere. The fiercely independent Rhymesayers continues to this day.

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Messed up art on Chocolate Industries with illustration by Evan Hecox, layout by Struggle Inc and photos by Marvin Bedard.

Diverse (aka Kenny Jenkins) has put out several releases on Chocolate Industries over the last decade, the most recent being a 2008 single Escape Earth (The Moon). Diverse has previously collaborated with Mos Def and Rjd2. His releases usually have equally excellent album art. Chocolate Industries are a prolific Milwaukee based label and can be found at the following site http://www.chocolateindustries.com/blog.

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I Filled In

Skuff is a member of the on-going Delegates of Culture. The Delegates put out occasional releases and can be seen on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/delegatesofculture. Design for the 12 is credited to Skue for SupremeBeing, with photo credits to Ben Beechey, wall by Siege and painting by DNA Newman.

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Skills came out in 2002, was a major label release on Virgin and was co-produced by Guru for Gang Starr Productions. Gang Starr haven't put anything out for a while but the hip hop stalwarts can be found at http://www.myspace.com/gangstarr. Cover art direction comes courtesy of Staple Design who can be found at the following site http://www.stapledesign.com.

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The Product

Record through the post arrives with record through the post cover art, who could ask for more? The Product was released on Smoking Mics Records in 2003, with artwork & design by Lee Cramer. Smoking Mics was a short lived label set up to release DJ Pagers own productions. The 12 includes scratches by Danny Breaks. Surely this has to be the finest cultural artefact to ever come out of a Croydon PO box!

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Can You See What I see?

Can You See What I See came out on Draft/Counterflow in 2004, neither of which are are around any longer. The title track was a collaboration between Ras Kass, Pharoahe Monch and Hi-Tek with production by Hi-Tek. The B-side (I blogged the b-side image by mistake) has contributions from Dave Ghetto and Basic Vocab. Artwork credits go to La Mano Fria, Quake & Atomick TSC Crew.

Related hip-hop can be seen at

Selected artist links are as follows:

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Urban Renewal Program

Urban Renewal Program was a hip hop comp that came out in 2002 courtesy of the afore-mentioned Chocolate Industries. The album design was by the Graphic Havoc a visual Agency who are at http://www.ghava.com/news. Many of the artists included went on to success with other labels including Prefuse 73 with Warp http://www.warp.net RJD2, EL-P & Aesop Rock with Definitive Jux http://www.definitivejux.net and DJ Food with Ninja Tune http://www.ninjatune.net/home.

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Duck Down

A late 12 from the masterful Boogie Down Productions, with KRS One doing his best to keep in with thug living. Duck Down was released on Zomba, with photography by Gary Spector and in-house cover design. "Overseen by Scott LaRock despite what others might think". There's a stylish BDP biog at the following web spot http://www.hiphop.sh/bdp.

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Walk Like a Duck

Well respected first 12 from Kurious (aka Jorge Alvarez). This is the 2002 Sony release with no design credits. Kurious made a bit of a late noughties comeback, with a limited EP on Crate Escape Records http://crateescaperecords.com and an album out on Amalgam Digital http://www.amalgamdigital.com. He can be found looking a bit older and as cool as ever at the following site http://www.myspace.com/kjorge10.

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Strictly Breaks 6

Stylish breaks comp on the Strictly Breaks label. The sic cover by Allen is clearly a throwback to the heyday of the NYC burners, with an extra nod to the classic breaks and beats series.

Check it out: "unauthorized duplications of this joint will end you up with cement shoes at a river near you!!!". Retro-threats, they're the only way to make waves with style. Though my sources tell me these compilations and their sister Dusty Fingers comps are unofficial and unlicensed. Wheels within wheels. We tried to take it to Cyrus for a final word on the case but that was a big mistake. Best just enjoy the tunes boppers and breakers, & keep it safe on the way home.

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Ultimate Breaks & Beats

One of the best covers from the classic ultimate breaks & beats series. The series was released by the Bronx based Street Beat Records and the graf tinged designs have to be the last word in graf themed album art. For the definitive breaks and beats buffet check out the DJ Superix mix that includes every track and every break from the ultimate series. It's a great seamless retro nugget.

The link below is to a 15 min sampler download

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Ultimate Breaks & Beats 2

#14 in the classic series, released in 1987 and featuring some phat 70s funk breaks.

As far as the cover art/graffiti goes, the best in the series are by Kev Harris for TM7 Productions, this one included.

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Cooky Puss

Fit inducing psychedelic cover from Brooklyns finest.

This is an early EP from when they were taking their youthful journey from hardcore to rap. Cookie Puss entertains in a phone-jacker stylee & the rest of the 12 holds its own. Released on New Yorks long-gone Rat Cage records it's worth shelling out a few sheckles for a copy. The tracks are also on the excellent Grand Royale comp Some Old Bullshit. Artwork/photography credits go to Shady Rock, Cey, Josh Chevse & Robin Moore.

More Beasties info at the following sites:

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Saturday Night

Classic inspirational and incredibly inventive old skool rap LP from Schoolly D. He did the artwork himself you know. Schoolly is at http://www.myspace.com/officialschoollyd.

In the modern era the excellent Edan was inspired by the Schooly D rap ethic. His Sprain Your Tapedeck LP is a classy nod to the master. Edan info can be found under a pseudonym at http://www.humblemagnificent.com.

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Memory Lane

More old skool rap this time courtesy of The Microphone Prince. Memory Lane was released on New Yorks Still Rising label in 1987 with artwork & design courtesy of Luis "Zimad" Lamboy Jr. & James "sexer" Rodriguez Jr. You can listen to the sample-hungry track here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kNWBf40eZI.

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Wild Stylus

New-school update to the classic Wild Style cover. Artwork credits go to M.C. Spook and Word to House Industries. Wild Stylus came out on the afore-mentioned Heratik Productions in 1997. The tasty cut-up hip hop slice was dished out by Fanatik with compatriot DJs Babu and Rhettmatic

Fanatiks subsequent career focussed more on production, with Fanatik and related Dr. Octagon info at http://www.fanatikj.com.

DJ Babu is still going strong and forms part of the Dilated Peoples and Beat Junkies crews http://www.myspace.com/djbabu.

Rhettmatic also forms part of the Beat Junkies. He had a good run on Up Above http://www.upabove.com/home.aspx and is on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/rhettmatic.

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Smashy Trashy

Check it out, sexy lady on album cover, someone should do a book about that!

S.A. Smash (Metro and Tero Smith) had this release on Definitive Jux in 2003, then went their separate ways. Both put out subsequent solo releases, with Tero Smith also involved in various collaborations until he sadly died in 2008. The album art design comes courtesy of Mecca, illustration Ascend and photography Ann Lichtenstein. While our beautiful model is Melissa @ Major New York.

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Peanut Butter Breaks

Clean floor, well kept toilet, excellent, that's what makes hip hop great.

Front cover photo credit goes to JJ Stratford.

Peanut Butter Breaks originally came out on Heyday Records in 1994, with a two track shorter Stones Throw re-issue in 2001. Peanut Butter Wolf made his name in the 90s with his partner Charizma, who sadly died in 1993. He subsequently set up the successful and influential Stones Throw Records which, like PB Wolf, continues to release intelligent and tightly produced tunes to this day. Stones Throw also has a strong album art ethic, led by art director Jeff Bank, which has given extra impetus to the careers of Stones Throw stalwarts Madlib, Quasimoto, Dam-Funk & others.

Artist and label links are as follows:

"Chickens are everywhere!", its a scary world.

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The Bedford Files

Fantastic bit of design this if you ask me, with graffiti by Inkdrips.

The Bedford Files is a comp that came out in 2002 on the Brooklyn based Embedded Music http://www.embeddedmusic.net. The 12 features tracks from Vast Aire and Hangar 18, along with a collab between Vast Aire, Breez Evahflowin, LoDeck and Tes.

Selected artist links are as follows:

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