Published Dec 23, 20135. Waka Flocka Flame
If the mixtape's clunky, OKC Thunder-indebted portmanteau wasn't enough of a headache for you to deal with, then just feast your eyes on the freelease's hokey artwork. It's a total hack job, with Waka's mug and chains grafted onto Kevin Durant's dunk pose on the cover of the NBA2K13 video game, though we're pretty sure that neither the rapper or the b-baller sport cybernetic arms. Fittingly enough for the now former BSM member, Waka totally threw up a brick on this one.
4. Tyler, the Creator
It's clear that smart-ass Odd Future ringleader Tyler, the Creator's school picture-styled portrait for his third solo LP WOLF is meant to look a little corny, but an intentionally terrible piece of art is terrible nevertheless. A salute to the good people at Jostens, it finds foreground Tyler staring off into space while a soft-focus, Jheri-curled alter ego is blended into the pastel rainbow gradient, grinning like an idiot. Hopefully the record label got a good deal on some wallet-sized pics in addition to the thousands of LP jacket eyesores pressed up for release day.
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Truly one of the weirdest entries this year, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Mosquito album cover delivers exactly what it promises: a giant neon bloodsucker ready to feast on a chubby, magenta-cheeked baby. There's a definite Garbage Pail Kids vibe to the creepy CGI piece, leading us to believe that had it been delivered for the trading card series circa '85, the screecher in the foreground would've been dubbed "Malaria Mickey," and then "Diphtheria Donny" when recycled for series two.
2. Action Bronson
We tend to cut Bronsolino some slack when he's riffing about demolishing the "finest vaginas" instead of running foodie-approved bars, but the highly misogynistic cover to his Saaab Stories EP with producer Harry Fraud is just too much to stomach. For one, the woman on all fours with her jeans pulled to knee level, her face inches away from a toilet rim, seems pretty uncomfortable with her current situation, especially since a leering, glassy-eyed Action Bronson is giving her a haughty peep from behind. And we don't even want to know why the other lingerie-laced lady is bringing yards of TP into that shower with her. A picture tells a thousand words, but Bam Bam should've just kept this particular story to himself.
1. Black Flag
Really, was there any doubt? Truly one of the most spectacularly head-scratching album covers of all time, and almost as misguided as the clusterfuck that was the Black Flag reunion itself, What The... razzes us via a somewhat South Park-styled character rendered in sub-MS Paint-quality scrawls. Drift your eyes to the top right corner and you'll see those familiar four bars, but the understated logo just can't compete with the tongue-wagging floating noggin staring at us with asymmetrical eyes and giving us a hearty metal salute. If the undercooked music had us missing the Black Flag of old, then this mind-boggler likewise had us desperate to dig out some fantastically frightening old Raymond Pettibon-drawn LP jackets.