23 years later, and one of Hip Hop’s most grand breaking controversial albums of all time, still remains unmatched. Tupac’s Makaveli The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory made its mark in Hip Hop forever. Along with all twelve songs, plus the most iconic album cover in music history period. Artwork put together by an up and coming painter at the time, Riskie.
In the late stages of Tupac’s career, the music icon would find inspiration from the Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. The ideas and philosophies of Machiavelli influenced Tupac that much he changed his name to Makaveli.
As once stated by XXL Magazine the Makaveli album is an album that even those who were dissed, can’t stop listening to. And till this day, since its release on November 5th 1996, the album still is as impactful as when it was released.
Death Row Records released ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’. This was the only official release under his new alias Makaveli. Unfortunately, ‘Pac’s untimely death meant he wouldn’t get to see the impact the album has had. From the deep philosophical views all the way through to the artwork, the album has everything.
Riskie the man behind the cover, took to Instagram celebrating the album, and kept the caption short. “23 years ago today the Makaveli album Dropped and everyone thought this was the new Da Vinci Code for hip hop! No long speech just 23 years of straight historic heat. 🔥 Forever grateful to be a part of this album by painting the cover!
Just like the ‘Pac days in 1996 on Death Row records, Riskie had to rush quickly and create a mock up for the cover. Speaking to the O4L Online Network Riskie recalls, “I was in my office and got a call from Norris Anderson who was president of Death Row then. He had just got a call from Suge. He was explaining to me the idea Suge and Tupac had come up with for his next album. I was gonna be the one to paint it. I had less than 2 hours to create a mock-up of what the painting was gonna look like for a meeting in Malibu, California later that night. Tupac didn’t show up for the meeting. I think he was on set for the movie Gang Related or Gridlock’d. I’m not sure. Suge liked my idea and told me to get started.”
Tupac’s reaction to the Makaveli cover
Tupac would eventually get to see the cover, and when he did he went crazy! As told by Outlawz member Young Noble via his Instagram, “Shoutout to @riskieforever he made the historic cover art. I remember when he brung us the original painting an Pac went crazzzzzzy he loved that shit!”
“That would also be the night that Suge explained to me he wanted me to work with Joe Cool on Snoops ‘Dogg Father’ album artwork. The next day I got the painting for the 7 Day Theory started. I met up with Tupac at Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, California to show him. He liked the painting so I finished it and the rest was history.”
The Makaveli record is considered Tupac’s deepest album. Songs that will stop you in your tracks and make you rewind over and over again. Although at the time of recording the album, people didn’t yet know how significant the album would become. Riskie says, “I never got to fully understand the meaning behind any of it until I got the manufactured copy of the cd and listened to it. When I saw my artwork on the cover it was then that I realized the part it played in Pac’s interpretation. The sad part is he wouldn’t be here to witness it drop!”
Read the full interview with the O4L Online Network Riskie The Man Behind Tupac’s Makaveli Album Art Cover.