Riccardo Tisci: Introducing Kanye West, Jay-Z’s ‘H.A.M.’ Cover Art Designer

By Alvin Blanco

On Thursday (January 6) via Twitter, Kanye West debuted the artwork for “H.A.M.,” the lead single from his upcoming collaborative project with Jay-Z called Watch The Throne.

We won’t be hearing the single until January 11, so we’ll have to make due with admiring its cover art, created by Riccardo Tisci. The Italian born designer also happens to be the creative director of French couture fashion house Givenchy. Tisci joined Givenchy in 2005 when he was only 30 years-old, and is credited with resuscitating the over 50 year-old brand.

Known for dark, minimalist touches and motifs in his clothing design, the piece he created for “H.A.M.” features symmetrically artwork embedded with barking Rottweilers and crowns, obviously. This is only the latest manifestation of Tisci’s hip-hop ties. Last year, Tisci styled one of his muses, R&B songstress Ciara, for French Vogue.

Apparently West and Tisci are close friends, with the dapper rapper having rocked some of his Givenchy pieces, included a gold studded tartan plaid shirt, in the past. And both Jay-Z and ‘Ye have sported a Givenchy “Jesus Is Lord” t-shirt too.

West is good for finding ways to incorporate art into his music’s marketing and visuals. Contemporary artist George Condo created cover art for West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the MC hired Yale student Cassius Clay as a style consultant.

It’s rumored that “H.A.M.” is produced by 19-year-old producer Lex Luger, who told MTV News recently that he was collaborating with the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy rapper.

“In 2011, I don’t want to speak too much on it but Jay-Z and Kanye West working on an album and he’s really messing with me, so I got Kanye West,” said Lex, when asked what he’s serving up this year.

What do you think of Riccardo Tisci’s design on the “H.A.M.” album cover? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!