Juxtapoz Sound and Vision is a weekly segment on our platform dedicated to exploring one piece of substantial album artwork every Sunday. Album artwork is one of the primary ways that musicians and visual artists are able to collaborate, and many iconic album covers are simultaneously iconic pieces of pop art. It’s also an excuse for us to share some of our favorite albums and the visual component behind what makes an album groundbreaking and fun.

October 21st, 2018: Madvillain’s “Madvillainy”
Cover photo by Eric Coleman // Edited by Jeff Jank

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MF DOOM’s universe has always been peppered with incredible collaborations. From Jason Jågel to DJ Dangermouse, the notorious British-born, US-based rapper and producer brought in a diverse cast of characters to create an intricate persona and legend that made huge waves in hip-hop. Perhaps his best-known collaboration is Madvillain, which featured him and the iconic producer Madlib. Their 2004 record Madvillainy was the project’s only official release, which was met with near-universal acclaim for how the record masterfully captures the best elements of MF DOOM’s unique lyricism and Madlib’s signature sampling techniques.

The cover art is simple, it’s an edited black-and-white photo of MF DOOM taken by photographer Eric Coleman and edited by Stones Throw Records art director Jeff Jank. The goal was to capture MF DOOM’s mysterious appearance and inspire inquiry about the (then) relatively unknown rapper who never appeared without a mask. Sometimes less is more, and although DOOM had innumerable visual elements in his work, the most quintessential is the man in the mask.