This week, J. Cole fans were treated to a huge surprise when the North Carolina rapper dropped the cover art for his fifth album, KOD.
KOD 4/20 Cover and back pic.twitter.com/2iUaKrI42F— J. Cole (@JColeNC) April 18, 2018
Everyone went wild over the unique, trippy and colorful album artwork, and folks wanted to know who was behind it.
The cover's creator was revealed to be Sixmau, a Detroit-based artist who describes himself as someone who is “constantly stimulated by [his] surroundings,” striving to become a “creative powerhouse” through illustration, music and photography.
Sixmau, whose real name is Kamau Haroon, talked with Vibe about his inspirations, how he got connected with J. Cole and what we can expect from J. Cole's newest project.
"I’ve always made art for as long as I can remember with whatever I could get my hands on," said Sixmau who mentioned he went to art school but later dropped out.
As an overall creative, Sixmau incorporates his other skills into his visual work, creating a fusion of styles.
"I use a mixture of things," the artist noted. "I’m a photographer too, so sometimes I cut up photos and collage them, and then use that collage as a background to paint over. Then scan that painting into a computer and edit it in Photoshop. It’s just a constantly evolving process, mixed media."
So, how did the fateful meeting with J. Cole come about?
"Cole discovered my work through Childish Major, who is another rapper I was doing art for," Sixmau said.
As for what we can expect from the album's music, Sixmau is keeping his lips zipped.
"I can’t talk much about [J. Cole's] vision," said Sixmau. "You’re going to have to listen to the album. It all ties in together. It was definitely a collaboration, a marriage of art and music. He told me what direction he was going in and then he gave me the freedom to portray it how I wanted."
Me n cole was watching the all star game together in the studio when I drew that stuff.— kamau (@sixmau) April 18, 2018
In Cali— kamau (@sixmau) April 18, 2018
"From what I’ve heard on the album it’s really raw. It’s gonna touch on a lot of topics from new perspectives that people aren’t willing to speak on typically," Sixmau continued.
We'll all get to find out just what Sixmau is alluding to here very soon, as KOD is scheduled to drop on Friday, April 20.