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What Makes a Hip Hop Album A Classic

  1. King

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    Since the start of the Hip Hop music 100's probably 1000's of albums have come out. But only a few can be categorized under classic's Reasonable Doubt, Illimatic, The Chronic, Ready to Die, etc, etc .Even though there have been alot of exceptional MC's most rarely have an album labled a classic. I want to organize a list of traits both lryically and production wise that is need to create a classic album.

    I would Aprreciate your Input.

    THANXZ
     
  2. Haze47

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    GOOD FUCKING QUESTION MY FRIEND. i like the concept, i think one the beat front, they have to be simple and bassy, AND SIMPLE AGAIN, a la, the fugees, illmatic, anything by primo and pete rock. I think the voice has to be fairly unique, eg KRS, Cypress, Wycliffe, Meth, ODB, quite short, or as some might like to say, not too long, but more than Illmatic, say 12-15 tracks....<-----these i would say for old school, new wave like madlib, it is all about being cool, very very origional sample choice, and now more often than not, busy drums and an AMAZING STAGE PRESENCE<----like J Rocc

    im sure i could think of more if i had more time....
     
  3. sYgMa

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    What makes a classic? Whoa... very good question.

    I guess, the 1st thing is that it as to be accepted as a classic by a majority... (cuz some people might say that "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik" (outkast 1st album) is a classic, but I think more poeple say that "Aquemini" is, not their 1st one...

    Then, simplicity is also important, but not of major importance. Most albums I consider classics are from around 93, 94, 95... so they were almost all on that sampling thing.

    I guess a classic album is an album that the majority of the hiphop heads, and the ones who listen to hiphop from time to time will recognize if they hear it and will love the album.
    (those people I'm taking about are the ones who, at least, know enough hiphop to know who is Dr. Dre, Nas, Mob Deep, Big Boi and all those rappers who are known but on the verge of being commercial)
     
  4. Rhythmikal

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    sick beats (that never get boring), ill rhymes and flow, creativity and it must bring somethin new to the table IMO.
     
  5. sYgMa

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    sideline question, but in the subject: Would y'all consider Wyclef and Lauryn 1st LP classics?
     
  6. Haze47

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    wyclef only good in the fugees.....the score is a classic.....
     
  7. Svenghali

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    Timing, influence and impact. Example - Tribes' Low End Theory is a classic, the beats were blazin,' the lyrical content was okay, but the album was pure and it's impact on Hip Hop was undeniable.
     
  8. djswivel

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    I disagree with the simplicity factor. I think it just has to be dope. Dre's Chronic 2001 is definately a dope album, and argueably a classic album. And beat wise, it's probably still one of the most advanced production-wise ever created. Every beat on that record was crazy. Just somethin about Dre's drums. I don't what it is but they're sick.

    So anyways, I don't thing there are limits or a formula to make a classic album. Shit, if we claim to know that formula here, then wtf does that say about the artists coming out with albums now? They can't figure out the formula? I think personally, it really has to do with timing and, maybe the stars need to align just perfeectly. EVERYONE hopes to create a classic hip hop album when they get in the studio, very few do. I don't think Nas expected Illmatic to be what it was going into the studio. Otherwise if he did, why were the rest of his albums not on that level? I think often times, it's purely accidental, and really, everything just has to line up in your favor.

    Having said that, some artists are just destined to fail. eg. Ying Yang Twins (anytime I can get a shot in against the ying yang twinz, I take it).

    Also, you must take this into factor. Everybody has their own idea of a classic album. Some southern dudes I'm sure live and die by the Lil Jon's of this world, and who knows, I'm sure there are a few people out there, that think a Ying Yang Twinz album is a classic. Shit, there's gotta be at least 2 people that think it is!! That being the Twinz themselves lol (I told you, anytime possible). But for real, there's no right or wrong, or yes or no way to make a classic. It just happens.
     
  9. Opera Populare

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    cosign. It jus has to hit at the right time. It happens where for some unknown reason everybody who listens to that type of music jus sits back takes a deep breath and nods there heads and say "that's it, this is the one "Albums that juss give you that feeling as a whole not just one track.
     
  10. StressWon

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    I agree wit Swiv,,,its all about tastes and the times. As Sven said,,,"Low End Theory" is a classic, and yet I think in my own opinion is the single greatest album in Hip Hop history. Again, timing and opinions. Some will disagree, some may not. Just as "Illmatic" basically re-wrote Hip Hop music. Others may disagree, then on the other hand,,,Thos two albums prolly wouldn't be caught on any top ten countdown or radio station today,,,whereas, the single "Scenario" was in the top 10 on Casey Casem's top 40 countdown for several weeks back in 92. But that is just the selling of records too. Can we really judge the album by record sales. I mean, lets take it back to Tribe. "Midnight Marauders" was a fuckin ILL album, but didn't get any shine that it desreved, but it is definitly a classic.


    I say this, from "OUR" standpoint(hip hop heads) I think we have all opinions on classics, but the one denomination I think we all can agree on is this....If you can listen to the track the whole way thru without skippin a track. CLASSIC. If ya know every lyric. CLASSIC. If every beat makes ya head bob. CLASSIC.


    1
     
  11. sYgMa

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    That's exactly it! For real! Specially that 1st one.... let's put that one again...

     
  12. DJ Xsinna

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    What makes a hip-hop album a classic?

    An album without a bunch of guest appearances!!! LOL
     
  13. L. Soul

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    It has to be Refreshing first and foremost. Anybody who enjoys Hip-Hop has to be able to buy 10 CD's this Classic among them. Listen to them 1-9 then the Classic. After Hearing the Classic it has to make them fall in love with Hip-Hop.

    Producing Standpoint: Like above it has to be simple. None of these million change up beats but it has to be something worthy. Good use of the samples (I'm not saying good samples because somebody could say a samples wack but you get a producer to use it well - ill) The drums have to be hard hitting and melt with the track. I want to be able to hear just the drums and get a rough sense of the track, or hear just the sample and get a sense of the drums. Every beat on it should melt with itself and the MC.

    MC Standpoint: Simple but effective. When I say simple I don't mean retarded. D4L's rhymes are simple but they are retarded. Simple is you get the point across, you come real on every track. I don't mean real like "I"M A THUG YA"LL AINT!" I mean I could listen to a kid from the richest neighborhood in America if he nice with it. I mean real as in its heartfelt, what he says is what he is, he's lyrical but not a dictionary. If he tells stories he's not trying to front like he's relieving he's just authoring it. I want an MC who is a poet and an author. They can say what they are, they can tell stories like no others. I don't care about his background, if he was really hood, if he lived in the suburbs. If he can tell a story about the hood and does it well good for him. That's my definition of an MC - a poetical author.

    Overall: I want to listen to every track. I want to be suprised and I want to expect it from them.

    The fivewords that ought to describe it: Simple, Innovative, Refreshing, Effective, Classic.
     
  14. StressWon

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    ,,,,,holla,,,,,,,,,
     
  15. Benny BuKu

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    I agree w/ pretty much everything I've read so far...and to add to it....if you can go back to that "Classic" 2,5,10 years after it came out...and you still find lines and verses that make you rewind (ie, Wu-Tang Forever), that's a Classic.
     
  16. Vince

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    CD's that you won't get tired of. That's a classic. CD's that you've had on repeat on your stereo.
     
  17. djswivel

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    Let me make an attempt to prove my point thats its all based on personal opinions and preference. Why don't see all complile a list of albums that we consider hip hop classics. Everyone has their own opinion here, then try to find the common ground between all. I can almost bet that there is no common ground between all, and and not everyone will totally agree.

    Let me start with the obvious (obvious to me at least). These are the classics from my top 5 favorite hip hop artists. One is myfavorite producer too hehe. And btw, these are in no particular order of favorite album or favorite artist. Tupac is my favorite artist, but All Eyez On Me isn't my favorite album.

    Dr. Dre - Chronic 2001

    Nas - Illmatic

    Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt

    Jay-Z - The Black Album (I don't think he could've closed that chapter of his life any better way than with this. Let's just hope if he come back to the mic, it's like Michael Jordan's first retirement return, not like the second on the Wizards)

    Tupac - All Eyez On Me

    Eminem - Marshall Mathers LP
     
  18. King

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    I agree wth the list above Except for The Black Album which was good but i felt was not as good as reasonable doubt and some of J other albums.

    Common - Be

    Noturious B.I.G- Ready To Die

    DMX- Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood

    Lauryn Hill - Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
    (U can argue about this but i think she the best female rapper and better than most males out today)
     
  19. sYgMa

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    I'll add Outkast - Altiens (before Classic does)

    plus

    Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle
    Dr. Dre - The Chronic
    The Roots - Illadelph Halflife
    A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders
    Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
    Goodie Mobb - Soul Food
    Slick Rick - The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
     
  20. Benny BuKu

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    Here's my list:
    Wu-Tang 36 Chambers
    Wu-Tang Forever
    Nas- Illmatic
    KRS-ONE-Return of the Boom Bap
    Eric B and Rakim- Follow the Leader
    Public Enemy- Fear of a Black Planet
    Notorious B.I.G.- Ready to Die/ Life After Death
    Jay-Z-Reasonable Doubt....
    might be some more...can't think right now....