When Drake first revealed the cheeky, emoji-laden cover concept for his new album Certified Lover Boy, many fans weren’t sure if he was joking. Despite reportedly being designed by renowned modern artist Damien Hirst, the cover — which featured a symmetrical pattern of pregnant woman emojis in different skin tones and shirt colors — was derided by fans as being lazy and ridiculous. It also spawned a jaw-dropping, eye-rolling run of similarly themed memes, including one from Lil Nas X changing the emojis’ genders to fit his Montero announcement, but none of that stopped the album from going No. 1 on Billboard‘s album chart, so I guess Drake gets the last laugh.
Except that Drake always seems to be in on the joke, which means he probably knew the troll-ish cover was likely to annoy his fans — if anything, that may have been its intent, considering how closely tied Drake’s rollout was to Kanye’s, which culminated a week earlier in the release of Donda. Today, Drake has been sharing some alternate cover designs on his Instagram, including their designers’ information. In addition to providing a peek at what some more straightforward takes on the album’s theme would have looked like, the trove also gives those fans who were miffed or turned off by the emoji cover to replace it with some less goofy options in their personal music libraries.
Included in the designs are works from veteran comics illustrator Milo Manara, photographer Luis Mora, and a gussied-up second pass of Hirst’s original. Check out Drake’s alternate Certified Lover Boy covers below.