I’m old enough to fondly remember the days when a new album release was an event to look forward to, not only for the music, but for the works of art that used to be album covers. My sister used to place her favorite album covers on the trim ledge above her bedroom windows, with the exception of Prince’s For You, which she used as a surface to roll up certain dried plants into little pieces of white paper. That album was slid underneath her stereo, hidden, or so she thought (what a stoner move, huh?). Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, Stevie Wonder, all those album covers are etched into my memory. I loved to stare at them, not realizing them as art at the time, but drawn to them all the same. The scale, the fold out design, the liner notes, all made for an experience. I’m really happy to see vinyl experience a resurgence, CD covers or a virtual album cover just don’t have the same tactile impact.
Props to Kendrick for bringing artistry back in more ways than one. If you haven’t heard Kendrick’s 2010 EP, Overly Dedicated, I strongly recommend you check it out. Although I do like some of the songs on Kendrick’s major label releases, Overly Dedicated will end up being considered classic material. I was pretty disappointed with Kendrick’s first major label release because of what I heard on OD. You know what’s up, you sign a major label deal and your content has to have more popular appeal. The last thing major labels and radio stations want is young folks thinking about things that matter.