Tuesday, July 28, 2009

good albums>classic albums

**In Conjunction With Federal Ranga: http://www.youtube.com/federalranga: On Yo Ass!!! Episode 3-"All I Need To Get By"**
Who doesn't love a classic album? A timeless, quality piece of work that appears flawless & effortless intro to outro.

NaS-Illmatic, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx-Raekwon f/ Ghostface Killah, The Chronic-Dr. Dre, Doggystyle-Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Infamous-Mobb Deep, The Slim Shady LP-Eminem, Reasonable Doubt-Jay-Z, Enter The 36 Chambers-Wu Tang Clan, Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory-Tupac, Death Certificate/Amerikkka's Most Wanted-Ice Cube, Ready To Die-Notorious B.I.G., The Diary-Scarface, Muddy Waters-Redman....

The list goes on, but it's not endless. On the contrary, this era of Hip Hop, labeled "the golden years" (1990-2001), was basically the zenith of classic rap albums, with the exception of a couple of later entries, like Get Rich Or Die Trying-50 Cent & Tha Carter II-Lil Wayne. Since then, many have tried, but few, if any, have ascertained said greatness. One important aspect of the aforementioned records, is that they weren't recorded with the intention of becoming "classics". They just turned out as such.

What defines a classic LP should be: lyrics, production, concept, structure & emoted output. Simple requirements for a not-so-simple achievement. Granted, one listener's taste is surely skewed by various factors, including environment, age, sex, etc., but the same basic rules apply nonetheless. For instance, plenty Cali cats didn't feel, or have ever heard of "The Infamous", so on average generalization, it wouldn't be considered classic material. Personally, very few albums can achieve the level of legendary as Mobb Deep's second offering. Though, those same dudes still bump "Doggystyle" like it was released yesterday. Maybe I suffer from an acute case of open-minded bias, but both albums catch heavy spins in my universe.

Nowadays, we're faced with a faltering talent pool, & a lack of zeal & zest for the music. Hence, classic albums don't exist anymore. Sans all the reasoning why, it just doesn't happen. The problem is born out of the artists intentions on creating a masterpiece, as opposed to it happening naturally. Like, girls only get pregnant when they're not expecting to. Very rarely can a person predict a pregnancy; ovulation isn't guaranteed impregnation.

Ironically, most rap dudes that go in wanting to make that next perfect production fall short. No Dice. Stop trying to make the next classic. Don't tell me it's going to be a sunny day, because when it drizzles, I'm going to be pissed. Instead, focus on a solid effort. In today's fluctuating market, good=great. That same grade curve applies to record sells (fuck a soundscan, though).

Word to Federal Ranga, just give me something to get by. Perfect example; Blackout!2 by Method Man & Redman. Not a classic album, but a very good effort. Between that & Relapse, I can ride out the mediocrity, Auto-tune, & nigganometry I'm bombarded with until drops.

If anybody is in the position to release the next big Hip Hop classic, I'll say it's between 50, Jay-Z & Kanye West. Not to discount Slaughterhouse, Wayne or , but these guy's have the momentum that could very well make or break them when their next albums drop. With that kind of shoulder weight, the end result could be breath-taking.

Other than that, just give me something I can listen to, & I'm good. If it so happens that it winds up added to the list of timeless music, then consider that a bonus. For you, the artist & us, the fans.


Anonymous said...

Word! These dudes kill me on the 'net shouting "classic" after ANY song or 16 their fave rapper does. And even they forget about it in 90 days.

Hard to type floating in the water! Just heard 111 degrees in Portland!



SCWEBB said...

Good topic Gands. I aint been on here in a minute so had to check you out. I thought Jay-Z next album was going to be a classic until I heard his unimpressive second single. Far as 50 check out the mixtape he got out right now...aggression! Love it. Could be hope there if he keep the album raw. Kanye...I'll reserve judgment. Whatever he do I respect his artistry tho. You mentioned Wayne. That nigga so far on some other shit with a lot of the rock shit I've heard off his album. He still made hot joints but I don't know about classic. If anything the nigga Drake he put on stealing a lot of his buzz. I think the nigga tight I been bumpin his mixtapes for a min. You mentioned slaughterhouseI just don't think that's going to work.The songs I heard are cool just seems like they got a stigma of these niggas couldn't make it on there own so we had to do THIS. Harsh...I know...aint we still tryin to make it? it is what it is. Hollar at ya boy...100

Anonymous said...

I'm in South Africa and I love hiphop. The first time I heard illmatic I wanted to be a NY dude from Queens. I actually started using that NY 5% slang, drove my friends crazy man.

I'm 24yrs old now and my modern day classic is Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein. I get chills on my back everytime I listen to that shit. El-P's production, Vast Aire's and Vordul's Harlem raps...that record just drives me crazy man. Makes me wish I were born in NY again. I wana visit NY one day, to live or maybe as a tourist, because of these two albums.

B-Boy Cult said...

strait up! and i co-sign that entirely, except i'll say that the golden era was '86-'90 and then the last Golden Age was '94- '96. in both eras, artist put out material that was ill past those times. but during those times is when there was the greatest concentration of classic material.

good work my dude!

Curtis75Black said...

A classic album is anything you can bump from the beginning to end with no problem, not what the magazines(The Source or XXL) have to say. Classics are a state of mind. We have alot more classics or great albums than we give Hip Hop credit for. One reason why it's not acknowledged is because we have a mind of wanting what we want (one style and one style only). With classics there is no balance, there is no gray area, it's either one or the other. My peers (born in the 70's to '80) are stuck in the mindset when we were teenagers, not allowing our favorites to grow, even though we have.

somebody said...