In the late 90s, a design firm in Houston, TX called Pen & Pixel defined the aesthetic of Dirty South hip-hop as the genre catapulted its way into the mainstream. The early versions of Photoshop allowed P&P to grab all sorts of images that wouldn't normally--or possibly--be able to fit into the same shot. Pen & Pixel also allowed rappers to resize themselves into the mis-en-scène, allowing them to become the larger-than-life personalities they rapped about in their music. 

Cash Money was the first label to put Pen & Pixel on the map. Then, Master P came to Houston and made P&P the house design team for No Limit. Soon, Pen & Pixel's signature diamond-encrusted block letters were inseparable from the South. Pen & Pixel went on to commission artwork for Three 6 Mafia's Hypnotize Minds, Rap-A-Lot, Suave House Records, and more. In today's digital age, it's hard to appreciate album art, but back in the day, rappers would constantly try and one-up each other's artwork, leading to more explosions, more honeys, and, last but not least, more "bling bling." Oftentimes, the best Dirty South records came equipped with iconic P&P design.

Here are the greatest examples of Pen & Pixel ostentation from the firm's storied run in the late 90s. 

Anyone think the "bling" aesthetic can make a comeback?