I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, digging through my CD collection and playing albums I haven’t heard in-full since high school. One of those albums is Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek’s Train of Thought, released in 2000 on Rawkus Records, back when being on the label really meant something. This was one of the albums I listened to non-stop until I could recite the lyrics. That’s rare for me these days, but I’m hoping their reunion album coming out this summer, Revolutions Per Minute, can bring back some of that feeling.
The cover’s always stuck in my mind. I can’t imagine many hip-hop artists these days commissioning an oil painting for their album. The typography is a bit outdated, but the illustration by Jerome Lagarrigue remains strong. Lagarrigue is a French-born, RISD-graduate painter known for his portraiture, urban landscapes and fighting paintings. He’s done a few other covers along with several children’s books. I’m sure these small images don’t do his large paintings justice.
Nine years later, here’s Reflection Eternal’s new video for “Back Again”, directed by Dan “The Man” Melamid.