One of my favorite rappers is preparing to release his 4th studio album next month, so he shared the artwork for the album earlier this week. I’m stoked, I can’t wait, August should do and come. But before then, let’s take some time to reminisce on Reminisce’s previous album covers through the years.

Book of Rap Stories – March, 2012

Reminisce broke into the industry in 2008 when he was featured on ‘Bachelor’ off of 9ice’s Gongo Aso album. The street MC would however have to wait for 4 years for the chance to release his own project. When he eventually did, as with most rapper’s debuts, artistic direction was not a priority. Reminisce was still sporting jet black hair, he wore a simple black tee and a silver chain but the attention was probably on the face – giving a face to the guy behind the run away hit “Kako bi chicken”. In retrospect, the enormous retro sunglasses that covered half of his face probably did little to help that cause.

Alaga Ibile – November, 2013

Reminisce had discovered Eminem’s peroxide supplier at this point and theirs is a love affair that has endured even till today. The album cover seemed to be chosen out of the need to depict the “Alaga Ibile” title the MC had given himself. A stiff-faced Reminisce was juxtaposed against a backdrop of rusted roofs and a rough neighborhood located close to the water, a community that he was now the chairman of. There were also subtle but important changes to Reminisce’s appearance. The plain black tee was replaced with a sophisticated-looking black jacket, while the chunky frames had given way to trendier aviators with messages inscribed on them.

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Baba Hafusa – April, 2015

Baba Hafusa was the coming of age for an MC that was now comfortable with his own growth. About a week to the release of the project, the rapper went public with a picture of his wife of 13 years for the first time. So not only was he inviting the world into his life as a father, he also gave us a glimpse into Reminisce as a husband. On the cover, Reminisce was again dressed in black, must be his favorite color, but this time he was on his grown man P wearing a flowing agbada. The wonderfully contrasting image of an elegantly-dressed street rapper clutching a life-size, bright red teddy bear in one hand and holding an empty baby car seat in the other is truly iconic. The cover was photographed by August Udoh, who also shot Olamide’s equally iconic gun man pose.

El-Hadj – August, 2016

The closest close-up of all his albums – on the cover of El-Hadj, Reminisce’s face is literally in your face. The rapper bites his lower lip, to the left side, making the subtle tribal marks on that cheek more pronounced. The rapper’s eyes are shut but not too tightly, while four incisors poke out of the tiny slit between his lips. One of the incisors is gold, which, along with the album’s title, is the only hint of color on the album’s cover art. We’re ready for this album,

But why El-Hadj? According to the rapper, he wants to keep his fans abreast of some of his moves outside the music – he has plans to perform the Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage). Hajj will begin in mid-September, a month after the album’s release. Reminisce has also described this album as “very different” and “mature music”. We can’t wait to here how it sounds.

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