Young Thug's Carter 6 album cover hasn't even been out for a full 24 hours yet and people have been talking about it on Twitter all day. Just when it seemed like most of the controversy would stem from the title—since tensions between Lil Wayne and Thug's mentor Birdman are ~500 degreez at the moment—Thug dropped the cover out of nowhere, along with the release date. He appears to be nude and the Carter 6 title is in a very... suggestive area. Needless to say, we had a few questions. So, we hopped on the phone with the mastermind behind the artwork: photographer Sandy Kim. For those unfamiliar, her work and style bear a similarly racy NSFW aesthetic, but this is her first ever rap album cover.
Tell me how you and Thug came to work together. Was the concept for the cover his, or yours?
Young Thug had an idea for the concept and he also wanted someone young and new to shoot his cover. His team reached out to me and I said of course. I'm a huge fan of his music and he's definitely pushing boundaries in rap musically and aesthetically. I wouldn't have done it if our visions didn't line up and he wasn't down for the type of asthetic I normally bring to my work. When I got to the set he and his team had ideas, I brought some of my own ideas to the table. I asked him if he would be down to get naked and he was like "Fuck no, I'm not getting naked, you get naked!" Artists should totally be down to commit to the vision they're asking for, so I got naked and then we shot it. The experience was great, his team was shooting dice on set.
So to confirm: he is nude on the cover?
What about people reading phallic imagery into the way the Carter 6 lettering is stylized?
[I] wasn't involved that much on the graphics side but they did send everything to me to sign off on. I think you are meant to [infer] phallic imagery, definitely. A lot of the concept was from Thug. If he didn't have something like this in mind I don't think they would've reached out to me. There are more images to come, but you'll just have to wait until it drops.