As much as a cliche as it might be, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Visuals have always played a prominent role in hip hop culture. In the early days, it was graffiti (as decreed by DJ Afrika Bambaataa); Since then, the music video and the album cover have replaced tagging. It’s no surprise then that a lot of the most consequential records in hip hop also happen to come with pretty memorable cover art that says as much about the album and as the songs in it. With that framing in mind, here are seven of the realest and most ballin’ album covers in rap history.