It remains unclear why disgraced rap mogul Russell Simmons stood by New York City mayor Eric Adams’ side on August 3 as the latter announced a $5 million investment fund in the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, which is scheduled to open in the South Bronx in 2024. Since sexual-assault allegations against Simmons, fueled by several media investigations as well as a widely seen 2020 documentary, On the Record, briefly forced him to leave the US, he has tried to reintegrate himself into hip-hop circles, including a controversial appearance during Method Man & Redman’s VERZUZ showcase. None of the coverage of Adams’ press conference explained why Simmons was there, and the on-site reporters apparently didn’t ask about the allegations. Instead, he simply told the New York Post that he wanted to see the genre’s pioneers “celebrated and compensated.”
Every year brings a fresh crop of album art clearly influenced from various sources. This season brought covers from Metro Boomin, Joey Bada$$, Boldy James and Nicholas Craven, and more.