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Meet the Artist Behind J. Cole’s Trip-Inspired Album Artwork

by:  J’na Jefferson

The album artwork for J. Cole’s surprise album KOD was released to eager fans on Wednesday (Apr. 18). The design is appropriately drug-inspired, as the North Carolina rapper’s fifth opus is slated to drop on Friday (Apr. 20).

On the front cover, a glassy-eyed Cole is featured wearing a crown. Children smoking, drinking lean, snorting coke and dropping acid are seen beneath his elegant robe, and two eerie skulls are pictured above them. On the back cover, more drug-addled kiddos are floating among the clouds, as colorful images of drug paraphernalia (and of course, the 12-song track listing) catch your eye. Despite the obvious references, a disclaimer on the front cover says “This album is in no way intended to glorify addiction.”

The eye-popping artwork was created by artist sixmau, who is a cult favorite among many. The Detroit-based artist’s mind is “constantly stimulated by [his] surroundings,” which is likely why his work fits best for this era of the MC’s career. Per his website, his art displays and explores “social paradigms, vices, and vulnerability,” and he has goals to become a “creative powerhouse” through the avenues of illustration, photography, and music. Much like Cole’s fans, sixmau is very excited about what’s to come from the Dreamville musician.

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