Virgil Abloh lent his creativity to a variety of Hip-Hop covers
Virgil Abloh, mostly known as the visionary creator of the Off-White brand and the head of Louis Vuitton men’s wear, tragically passed away in November 2021 at the age of 41 from a two-year fight with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Virgil’s influence on the world of music and hip-hop culture cannot be overlooked. Over the past decade, Virgil managed to design album covers for several high-profile hip-hop projects, including iconic album covers for Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, A$AP Rocky, Pop Smoke, Kid Cudi, and more.
Kanye West ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ 2010
Virgil was the art director for West’s album, MBDTF’s artwork would become a key aspect of what is considered one of the greatest albums of the 21st century.
The creative relationship of Kanye West and Virgil Abloh has always been one of Popularity. Both being Chicago natives, Virgil started working with West at the age of 22 in 2002 as a creative consultant. Since then Virgil’s work with Kanye ranged from designing merch to album art to set designs. In fact, Virgil has worked in Kanye’s creative output since before The College Dropout. Kanye has described Virgil as “one of the smartest, fastest, most innovative people I’ve created with.”
In this in depth article by nicekicks.com, it highlights Virgil’s Life and Legacy in Fashion, Music, and Footwear, along with highlighting his professional creative relationship with Kanye West
Kanye West ‘808s & Heartbreak’ 2008
Virigl is credited as co-designer the famous, 808s & Heartbreak. Eventually getting KAWS in the fold for 808‘s deluxe edition artwork. They created a cover that is not only memorable for its music, but just as well, the art direction.
Kanye West ‘Yeezus’ 2013
Abloh would be credited and involved in album artwork for Kanye West’s following three projects with creatives from the art and fashion world collaborating on covers.
Kanye West & Jay-Z ‘Watch The Throne’ 2011
Virgil’s detailed golden art direction for Jay and Kanye’s collab project established the mystique of the two artists as the kings of hip hop at the turn of the decade.
Lil Uzi Vert ‘Luv is Rage 2’ 2017
Virgil was the creative director for Uzi’s debut studio album. The original cover art did not feature the ‘Off-White’ TAPE X’d over. However, Uzi has always been famous for rocking fashionable, trendy, and expensive brands, including Virgil’s Louis Vuitton. So it would make sense that he would give Virgil the benefit of the doubt of being the creative director.
A$AP Rocky ‘LONG. LIVE. A$AP’ 2013
Virgil was also the creative director for Rocky’s debut studio album. Virgil’s talent clearly rubbed off onto Rocky, who has since become a fashion icon in his own right.
Westside Gunn ‘Pray for Paris’ 2020
Gunn’s album was titled ‘Pray for Paris’ shortly after Gunn attended Virgil Abloh’s Off-White Paris fashion show in January 2020. The cover was created by Virgil using Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath while adding Gunn’s personal frequently worn chains, making it one of the most striking picturesque covers of the year.
Rest in Peace Virgil Abloh, a leading driver for the 21st-century connections between fashion, music, and art. May we forever remember this work and dedication.
Kid Cudi ‘WZRD’ 2012
2 Chainz ‘T.R.U. Story’ 2012
“I told them Black and gold, that’s been a theme,” 2 Chainz told VIBE. “I had the album cover done by Kanye’s new creative team, Donda.” In 2011, West hired Abloh to become the creative director of his creative agency, DONDA.
Big Sean ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ 2015