Get Well Soon... (2003)
Art Direction: Kanye West
Photographer: Tyrone Brown-Osbourne
At the time, Kanye was only known for being a producer, so the Get Well Soon... mixtape was his introduction to the world as a rapper on Roc-A-Fella Records and the precursor to his debut album, The College Dropout. Kanye's strong ties to his home city of Chicago are present on this cover—a simplified, silhouetted, and air-brushed mural of the Chi-town skyline with the Roc-A-Fella logo cover the wall. The photograph, shot by Tyrone Brown-Osbourne, is originally from the September 2002 Mass Appeal story titled "Soul by the Pound," written by Complex's Editor-in-Chief, Noah Callahan-Bever.
Rocking a solid black tee, oversized jeans, and holding his Roc chain, Kanye foreshadows his escape from stereotypical rap fashion by not sporting a team jersey or du-rag like many rappers in 2003. As many know from the 106 and Park drop telling Kanye to "get well soon" after the car accident that inspired "Through the Wire," that is where the mixtape gets its name.