Universal Music Enterprises has partnered with Marvel Comics to bring the worlds of comics and hip hop together through a series of album covers featuring iconic Marvel heroes.
The partnership is with UME’s urban catalogue platform, Urban Legends and will see the launch of an exclusive album series that will feature variant covers for collector’s editions of some of the record label’s most legendary hip hop releases.
The first releases in this joint series are Iron Man standing behind cracked glass for 50 Cent’s incendiary 2003 debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, the Punisher replicating LL Cool J’s stance on the cover of his 1990 album Mama Said knock You Out and Iron Man dueling Maestro, mirroring the cover of GZA’s second studio album, Liquid Swords.
Marvel Comics originally debuted these album art-inspired images as comic book variants for many of their top comic titles in 2015. It will now be combined with UME’s vast catalogue that includes some of the most revered albums in hip hop history.
Bruce Resnikoff, president and CEO of UME, said: “Marvel comic have always occupied a special place in the hearts of hip hop fans - both media continue to serve as source of expression, escapism and inspiration for generations of super fans around the world.”
Andre Torres, vice president, Urban Catalog and Head of Urban Legends, added: “There is an undeniable heroism that consistently runs through the veins of both art forms and I am excited to help weave these iconic narratives together in a way that celebrates their art and introduces new fans to their genius.”
Each album release will boast a pair of collectable options, the first one being a double colour vinyl Variant Cover Collector’s Edition that replaces the album’s original image. The second is a deluxe Variant Cover Collector’s Edition that will sport the featured album itself in a gatefold LP.
Daniel Fink, executive director, business development at Marvel, said: “Marvel’s hip hop variant covers celebrated the music industry in a whole new way, combining the creativity of original album art and the Marvel Universe to create one of a kind pieces of art.
‘We’re excited to collaborate with UME to bring these variants back for fans of these iconic albums.”