Death Row Records had some of the most iconic album covers in the history of hip-hop. It was the cover that grabbed my attention when I first found a copy of Tupac’s first posthumous album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory from 1996 at first, after all. Cover art always plays into the first impression of an album, and the covers for Death Row classics the likes of the Christmas On Death Row compilation, and the photo covers of Snoop Dogg’s Tha Doggfather and Pac’s All Eyez On Me were among some of the label’s most iconic. And they all came from one guy: Ronald “Riskie” Brent.
A painter and photographer who rose through the streets of Compton himself, Brent’s work helped bring many of California’s best rap albums to life, and he’s ready to tell that story right. His story, his photos, and his paintings are all being collected in a book called Riskie Forever, From the Streets To The Industry: My Life And Art At Death Row Records. Part photo album and part autobiography, Brent’s career is chock full of crazy stories and unseen material. Just some proof that Lil Yachty isn’t the only person who still cares about cover art. Check the book out here.