28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 11: Kay-Gees' Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan (1974)

Illustration for article titled 28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 11: Kay-Gees' Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan (1974)
Image: Kay Gee’s ‘Keep On Bumpin’ & Masterplan’ (Polydor)

I cannot stress to you how much I love this album cover for the Kay Gee’s 1974 album, Keep On Bumpin’ & Masterplan (alternately released with the title Hustle With Every Muscle). Shot by Howard Winters and designed by Frank Daniel, this album cover for the Kay-Gees debut album is a masterclass in Black cool and chill. I guess it only makes sense that the group would be an offshoot of Kool & The Gang. The Kay-Gees were a group groomed by Kool & The Gang and featured the younger brother of Kool and Ronald Bell (two of the founders of Kool & The Gang). They had a similar style of funk and groove, which means the album jams as much as the album cover.

But let’s examine the cover. You have seven gentleman in various states of fly with that sort of fishbowl view that you can get when trying to take a panorama shot with your phone. Rappers galore would use this angle and view on album covers far and wide in the ’90s. Project rooftops and liquor stores alike would be featured in this same visage. Then look at that ’70s AF color palette. You cannot tell me these cats aren’t killin’ the browns and neutral tone game. For my money, I’m the dude in the blue T-shirt living my best life who either didn’t get the memo about dressing in the fly fits for the shoot or just didn’t care and was like, “I’m feeling a blue too-small T-shirt with a butterfly today.” It all works, no matter what.

They look like a crew of cats who would have fun in the ’70s making jams and hanging with Kool & The Gang. And that’s what this album cover says to me.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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