Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 14)

Year: 1993

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Doggystyle

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The Problem: Doggystyle was Snoop Doggy Dogg’s major solo debut album and an instant success. The album title alludes to the “doggy style” sexual position and was a reference to the rapper’s name. Unfortunately, the cover didn’t impress civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and her campaign against “gangsta rap.” In 1994, the album’s inner sleeve artwork was introduced as evidence at a hearing on Commerce, Competitiveness, and Consumer Protection in Washington D.C. Moreover, critics believed it adhered to the narcissistic and sexual lyrical themes of “gangsta rap.” Technically, there was nothing explicit on the cover of Snoop’s debut album. It was just highly suggestive.

My Take: Should we really be surprised by this? This is from the man who brought two dates on collars and leashes. This is just how he rolls. Ms. Tucker needed to chill. The cover is actually kind of funny.

Impaled Nazarene: Ugra-Karma

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The Problem: Outspoken Finnish black metal act Impaled Nazarene got their record label, Osmose, in some legal trouble with the release of Ugra-Karma in 1993. As it turns out, the band used artwork without permission from a book given to frontman Mika Luttinen by a Hare-Krishna. A metalhead who later became a Hare-Krishna informed one of his peers about the ordeal, eventually leading to an out of court settlement. The image depicts the Hindu deity Shiva seated on a tiger.

My Take: It looks very pretty, I’ll give them that. Maybe they should’ve asked for permission in the first place. I would love to have this image as a poster on a wall. Just take the text off and it would be perfect. Well, maybe the album name, but leave the band’s name. Maybe, I don’t know. Maybe…

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