The XO rapper-producer took to Instagram on Monday (September 5) to unveil the artwork, which shows a cartoon silhouette of NAV smoking a cigar filled with a psychedelic collage of colorful images.
The cover was designed by German-born, New York-based artist Erik Parker, who is known for his cartoonish compositions that riff on the traditional genres of portraiture and still-life.
“DEMONS PROTECTED BY ANGELS 9/9!” NAV captioned the post, referencing the album’s September 9 release.
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Fans were divided on the cover and couldn’t decide if the artwork was really good or simply an eyesore.
“I have no idea if this Nav album cover is incredible or absolutely trash,” one person tweeted, while another wrote: “Can’t tell if that nav cover is hard or stupid.”
Another fan couldn’t believe why NAV picked the cover, saying: “Nahh wtf is this nav album cover.”
I have no idea if this Nav album cover is incredible or absolutely trash pic.twitter.com/xow4cyD7FT
— Ahmed/The Ears ?? (@big_business_) September 5, 2022
Can’t tell if that nav cover is hard or stupid
— kristoefur (@fooliewitit) September 5, 2022
Nahh wtf is this nav album cover??? pic.twitter.com/wRgv6UwxZd
— Goated L (@goated_l1) September 5, 2022
Demons Protected By Angels will boast appearances from Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Durk, Bryson Tiller, Don Toliver, Babyface Ray and RealestK. The album has spawned two singles so far: “Never Sleep” featuring Travis Scott and Lil Baby and “Wrong Decisions.”
It serves as the follow-up to 2020’s Emergency Tsunami, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 with roughly 42,000 total album-equivalent units in its first week.
NAV recently spoke to Complex about the meaning behind Demons Protected by Angels and why it means so much to him.
“The album title was inspired by a sweater that my friend had made,” he explained. “And I’ve begged him to get the sweater. I was like, ‘Yo, I wanna wear your shit and support my friend’s stuff.’ So he brought it out and it had that on the back of the sweater.
“And it was very meaningful to me, because he came up with that himself when his mom passed away about a year ago. So I was like, ‘Wow, that’s even better.’ Like, it actually has a good meaning. So that’s why we came up with it.”
The Toronto native also spoke on the new album giving him time to focus on himself for the first time in his career.
“Since the first project we ever put out, we’ve been doing like two projects and a mixtape, album shit, every year,” he said. “Then Cash [his manager] saw that vision where he was like, ‘Yo, it’s time to take your time now and take like a year—we’ll drop it later.’
“When he said that, I really took my time to live life and make a couple of songs here and there when I felt like it … I didn’t feel ready for a whole year and a half. But now, once I look at the tracklist, now we’re ready.”