May 25, 2021 – Tyler, the Creator fans may have noticed that the cover art for two of his albums have changed. His 2013 album Wolf and 2015 release Cherry Bomb’s album covers have been changed and the burning question that arises is: Why?
Tyler has always been one for bizarre antics and following one’s own uniqueness, but to me this seems strange for even someone as eclectic as Tyler. These two albums have been polarized by the hip-hop world in terms of critical reception and many listeners outside of Tyler’s core fanbase are familiar with these releases. Why would an artist change the cover art so abruptly and randomly when so many have seen and become familiar with the original art?
It is certainly possible that perhaps there was a licensing issue with the artwork and the artist and maybe a certain contract expired. However, given Odd Future’s reach and popularity and Tyler’s undoubted access to in-house talent and artists, this doesn’t seem likely. Both images were released as alternate covers, as many (if not all?) of Tyler’s albums have done in the past. Though it is interesting that there was an official change of artwork on streaming platforms. The image below is titled “Piss Pants,” according to genius.com.
It is no secret that at the time of release, Cherry Bomb was not as well accepted as Tyler had hoped. While greatly revered by his core fanbase, it failed to reach mainstream success although full of amazing music. I truly believe that Tyler wanted to put this album in front of listeners again in a world after he dropped Igor.
Arguably his best album and most widely appreciated albums, Igor even won a Grammy for Best Rap Album of 2020. After the world heard this release, I feel that Tyler’s music hit new ears for the first time that it normally would not have. What’s an incredibly subtle, yet effective way to put his 2015 effort Cherry Bomb back in front of his new listeners? Randomly change the album cover to get people talking about it again.
I strongly encourage everyone, whether or not you have heard the Cherry Bomb project before, to listen to it again now and I guarantee you can find something that you appreciate about the record. What Tyler perfected on his 2020 album Igor, he was honing with his Cherry Bomb release. It is truly amazing to see what Tyler was attempting in 2015 that was fully realized half a decade later.