The '90s is a decade that becomes more legendary with time. The magical aura that surrounds Led Zeppelin IV or Ziggy Stardust begins to surround albums like Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt. In the case of '90s hip hop, cover art was a vital piece of any album's identity, and many artists created images that would be as recognizable as their beats and lyrics, if not more so.

How many Illmatic rip-off shirts have you seen? What about Ready to Die? These album covers - the subjects, typography, effects, and overall vibe - have become ingrained in our culture the same way as posters for films like Godfather or Forest Gump. 

Today we take a look at the most iconic hip hop album covers of the '90s. Click through the gallery to take a trip down memory lane...