Composition of a classic: Eradication of the “C” word
It never fails. A new album is released and the masses instantly call it a classic after one listen.
Well I’m here to kill the word classic. Also, to tell you the criteria for a classic album and why we’ll probably see another one again.
It’s a simple as this–a classic is an album that can be played for it’s entire duration. That statement alone just eliminated half of the proclaimed “classics”.
The most important part of making an album flow is having a theme. A general concept isn’t needed but a broad theme helps. For Example: Reasonable Doubt. All songs of this album followed a mafioso trend to make the album flow smoothly. Today, most albums follow the trend of club song, love song, street song, filler, repeat.
“Flow” of an album comes from none other than the producers. In the early 90s, technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today. There was no way to email your verse to your producer and he just put your vocals in. If you wanted a song you had to have a studio session. This is where ideas can be bounced around and chemistry can be developed.
Also, another trend of the 90s was to have one producer do the bulk, if not whole, album. Dj-MC combos are rarely used today.
Ok, so now I’ll take some classic albums and break down why I think they’re classic.
As previously stated, the majority of this album is produced by Ski Beats. This album is loosely themed and every song is used to paint a bigger picture.
Now, to examine albums that were deemed classic but not quite there.
Clipse-Hell Hath no Fury (My rating 4/5)
This album came out in 06, the year most of you were still snap dancing to D4L. Then comes this project full of cocaine rap over dark beats and instantly people called it a classic. While this is my favorite Clipse album to date and a VERY strong album it’s not a classic. Sometimes, something “new” gets called new simply because it’s different.
Kanye West-Dark Fantasy (My rating 4.5/5)
You can read my thoughts on this album here. While it’s not a classic, it is one of the strongest albums of the past decade definitely. The killer was modern technology. GOOD Fridays really hurt this album because a lot of the songs were reused. This goes back to what I said about “flow’ on an album.
I only think a few albums in the past decade were classic. Here they are:
Blu & Exile-Below the Heavens
Shad-The Old Prince
Big K.R.I.T.-KRIT Wuz Here
(don’t argue with this pick, just accept it.)
With new artists on the horizon a classic album looks very promising. But until then, i’m officially eradicating “the c word”.