If you are a fan of hip-hop you know that the genre has a long-lasting love affair with comic books. Hip-hop artists for years have been leaving secret little love notes to comics in their verses with references to their favorite books and characters (check out Jamila Rowser’s blog Straight Outta Gotham for an eye opening list of geeky references in hip-hop). Comic book terms became integrated in hip-hop vernacular (remember when everyone was saying your shit was John Blaze?). Even entire groups like The Wu-Tang Clan had aliases taken from comic book characters. Marvel has returned the love by having hip-hop figures like Birdman and Rae Sremmurd appear on covers. Earlier this year, Marvel released a variant cover of Howard the Duck #2 and Deadpool #45 with a take on the Run the Jewels logo.

And now the superhero giant is writing its own love letter to hip-hop. Starting in October, Marvel will release a series of variant covers inspired by iconic hip-hop album covers across the Marvel Universe.

The first wave of covers (there are plans for more than 50) will feature tributes to albums by Wu-Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Lauryn Hill, 50 Cent and many more. The series is the brainchild of Marvel Editor-in-chief and hip-hop head, Axel Alonso.

“For years, Marvel Comics and Hip-Hop culture have been engaged in an ongoing dialog,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.  “Beginning this October, we will shine a spotlight on the seamless relationship between those two unique forces in when we unveil the first of more than fifty variant covers, each of which pays tribute to an iconic album cover from the past 30 years that shaped pop-culture over the past three decades.”

Check out some images of the first wave below.




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