16. The Notorious B.I.G., Ready to Die (1994)

Art Direction: The Drawing Board
Photographer: Butch Bel Air
Label: Bad Boy

Though the similarities to Illmatic earned the artwork some detractors—Nas' homies Rae and Ghost called out Big in a Cuban Linx skit for his shark-toothed biting—time has proven the Ready To Die artwork to be an incredibly strong image in its own right. It turns out that the kid on the cover was neither Biggie himself, nor any relative. It was just a random baby.