Here’s How a Professor Landed the Cover Art for Drake and Future’s What a Time to Be Alive Project
After the release of Future and Drake's new single "Life Is Good" at midnight last night (Jan. 10), the hype for their eagerly anticipated What a Time to Be Alive sequel is at a fever pitch. Naturally, the new song is also causing people to look back at the previous project, the album cover of which has one of the more unlikely sources in recent history.
Back in 2015, the two superstars used a Shutterstock image (which can be seen here) that was originally photographed by Christina Tisi-Kramer, a photographer who's also a Photography Assistant Professor at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology—she's been teaching photography at FIT for 14 years. While fans were surprised at the accessibility of the artwork four years ago, the image, which is a glittering display of uncut diamonds, definitely echoes the flossy lifestyle the two rappers spit about on WATTBA.
Tisi-Kramer told Complex in 2015 that she originally created the shot for Julius Klein Group, a company that evaluates the clarity of diamonds, and saved some images so she can sell them through photo stock agencies like Shutterstock.
At the time her photo was used for WATTBA, Tisi-Kramer said she wasn't familiar with Drake and Future’s music (that’s probably changed since then), but was flattered that they used her image for their cover.
While the What a Time to Be Alive project cover became an unexpected claim to fame, she hasn't deviated from the world of teaching. Christina Tisi-Kramer is still a professor and doing pretty well at her job. According to her students, she's extremely knowledgeable and thorough when it comes to photography. "Best class [I've] taken at FIT," wrote one student via ratemyprofessors.com. "Very clear and logically organized course. She brings out the best in students. Inspirational. At the end of the course, every single student had grown creatively. Amazing to see and be a part of her class."
See 60 of the Best Hip-Hop Mixtapes Since 2000