8. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders (1993)

Art Direction: ZombArt
Photographer: TAR
Label: Jive/BMG

Featuring 71 different subjects across three cover variants, the Midnight Marauders cover is hip-hop's Sgt. Pepper's, evoking a catch-'em-all mentality and touching all branches of the hip-hop family tree, from Too $hort to a young Puffy Combs. It's a simple concept but a powerful message, one of the last grand displays of cultural unity as the Coastal fallout loomed imminent. Since its release, the layout has been completely assimilated into hip-hop's DNA, inspiring hundreds of conceptually half-baked mixtape covers and flyers for throwback parties.