This list ranks the fifteen best Drake album covers and explains how the artwork reflects the content encapsulated on the record.
Including albums, EPs, and mixtape compilations, we’ve scoured the entirety of Drake’s phenomenal career, selecting the best of the best the rapper has to offer. Here are the best Drake album covers.
15. Views (2016)
Drake’s album Views takes inspiration from West Indian and West African music, discussing issues such as romance and betrayal and celebrating friendship loyalties. The album didn’t blow critics away with many suggesting that Drake was not challenging himself as an artist.
The album’s cover features an image of the CN Tower in Toronto, with Drake perched on top – thanks, Photoshop. The image feels more like a brag about how high up – metaphorically – Drake can get, without necessarily reflecting the content of the album.
14. What a Time to Be Alive (2015)
Alongside rapper Future, Drake released What a Time to Be Alive, a mixtape that received generally positive reviews, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and was certified platinum in 2016.
The cover features a stock image of a cluster of diamonds engulfing the entire cover space. Using diamonds reflects the boasting nature of the album with one song, ‘Diamonds Dancing,’ almost exclusively using the word “diamond” in the chorus.
In this case, it seems both artists place flaunting their luxurious lifestyles ahead of creating a meaningful piece of art.
13. Thank Me Later (2010)
Thank Me Later is Drake’s debut studio album. Released in 2010, it features from huge artists such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and Alicia Keys, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 1.8 million copies.
The album cover features a portrait of a young Drake turning his head to the sky, distorted in black and red. The expression on the artist’s face captures the idea of loneliness, a theme heavily present throughout the album.
12. Comeback Season (2007)
Comeback Season is Drake’s second mixtape. Most notably, the mixtape spawned ‘Replacement Girl,’ a single featuring Trey Songz, accompanied by a music video featured on BET, the first unsigned Canadian rapper to do so.
The cover features an image of a young Drake walking through an autumnal park, eyes and face turned directly to the camera. This cover follows Drake’s classic album style of a portrait shot being the main focus of the art.
11. Certified Lover Boy (2021)
Released in 2021, Certified Lover Boy was handled by several collaborators as well as multiple rappers who appeared as guest artists. Despite a lukewarm critic reception, the album was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.
This instantly recognisable Drake album cover features a repeating image of the pregnant woman Apple emoji, featuring women of various races and ethnicities. This image, combined with the title of the album, implies the provocations of the rapper, insinuating his ability to seduce women from all across the globe. Is it possible to have too much confidence?
The artwork for Certified Lover Boy was designed by the provocative British artist Damien Hirst.
10. Care Package (2019)
Drake’s first compilation album Care Package received mostly positive reviews. The release features appearances from artists such as J.Cole, with Beyoncé even providing some additional vocals.
The cover features a simple, minimalist design, with the album title written in bold letters on a black background, hovering above a preview of the star’s old car, a 2004 Acura TSX. Care Package contains a much moodier vibe throughout the record which is reflected in the darkness of the cover. The gloomy throwback to his former car could suggest the fading of who Drake used to be.
9. Room for Improvement (2006)
Room for Improvement is the debut mixtape from the Canadia rapper, self-released in 2006. Featuring 22 tracks in total – 17 original songs and 5 remixes – the tape was worked on with DJ Smallz, a DJ who has worked with numerous well-established hip-hop artists.
The cover features the rapper sitting in a dark basement with the album title written in block letters on a black background, the room lit dramatically from above. The stark, uncompromising design perfectly captures the raw, unpolished nature of Drake’s early work.
8. So Far Gone (2019)
Drake’s third mixtape So Far Gone aided in turning Drake into a huge star. The compilation was well received around the globe, capturing the attention of both die-hard hip-hop fans and critics alike.
The cover for So Far Gone features the silhouette of a child gazing towards the sky where a shower of money, and a singular love heart rains down. Drake explained that the cover was inspired by a conversation he had with a friend that turned disrespectful towards women.
After the conversation, both men realised their words were not OK. The child represents the chase for both love and money and how one can complicate and potentially ruin the other.
7. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was released as a commercial mixtape without any teasers or promotions. It debuted at No. 1 and broke Spotify’s first-week streaming record with 17.3 million streams in the first 3 days.
The cover simply features the title scrawled in graffiti-style letters accompanied by a small symbol of hands in prayer. There are theories that the hands are inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s ‘Praying Hands,’ a drawing made to show off the artist’s “God-given” talent. The dark, gritty vibe of the cover perfectly sets the tone for the moody, introspective tracks on the album.
6. Her Loss (2022)
Her Loss is a collaboration between Drake and rapper 21 Savage. The album didn’t manage to charm critics but went down well with fans with many of the songs trending on TikTok and debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Her Loss’ album cover features Suki Baby, a nail stylist and professional adult dancer. The three-year-old image features Suki with decorative eyelashes and teeth jewellery. Photographer Paris Eden said Drake saw the shot, loved it, and requested to use it for the album. Simple as that! The colour and general aesthetics of the shot show that Drake is tuned in to what Gen Z are fans of.
5. Dark Lane Demo Tapes (2020)
Dark Lane Demo Tapes presents a compilation of songs that were released on SoundCloud or were leaked, as well as new, original tracks. The mixtape is a step into experimentation for the artist who decided to take more chances in his songwriting.
The cover features a distorted image of Drake’s face, only his eyes visible, emerging from a claustrophobic sea of black creating the border. The rough, unfinished quality of the cover captures the raw, unpolished nature of the demo tracks. It is also one of the few covers where Drake isn’t instantly recognisable, inferring how this is something different for the artist.
4. Scorpion (2018)
Drake’s fifth studio album Scorpion featured elements of hip-hop, R&B and pop. It features a posthumous appearance from Michael Jackson as well as Jay-Z and Ty Dolla Sign.
Shot by Toronto photographer Norman Wong, Scorpion’s cover features a portrait of Drake, slightly turned away from the camera, gazing into the distance. The album cover perfectly encapsulates the album’s themes of duality and balance, with the title symbolising Drake’s tough exterior and vulnerable interior.
3. Take Care (2011)
Take Care is one of Drake’s most popular albums, immediately debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 100, and featuring an impressive array of guests such as Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Lil Wayne.
The cover features Drake staring pensively downwards, with a golden frame surrounding him. The simplicity of the design, combined with the emotional intensity of Drake’s expression, perfectly captures the mood of the album. There’s also a sense of decadence as the artist is surrounded by golden items, perhaps expressing that despite his riches, true happiness still eludes him.
2. More Life (2017)
Drake’s 2017 release More Life has been described as both a playlist and a mixtape and features a wide range of genres from dancehall to trap to grime. The mixtape debuted at No. 1 and donned the smash hit ‘Passionfruit.’
The release’s cover features an image of the rapper’s father, Dennis Graham, taken in the 1970s. More Life contains elements of artists that have inspired Drake throughout his career. The use of his father’s image on the album cover alludes to the idea that he is also an inspiration to the global superstar.
1. Nothing Was the Same (2013)
Released in 2013, Nothing Was the Same is Drake’s third studio album which features an impressive collection of features and was a commercial success, generally accepted as one of the best albums of the year. It is also arguably Drake’s best album cover.
The cover art features two different portraits of Drake, one of himself as a child and the other as an adult. The cover art was painted by Kadir Nelson, the artist behind Michael Jackson’s Michael. The contrasting imagery of Nothing Was the Same portrays the duality of Drake’s persona and his internal conflicts, representing his clarity of thoughts – themes he explores throughout the album.
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