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What's your classic album?
At the wee hours the other morning in editor chat, the topic of what is considered a “classic album” came up and was met with fierce discussion. So instead of every second post reading Illmatic and people crying over why their favourite album will never be considered a classic by the wider community. The question is..
What’s your one classic album and why?
Do you base your decision on technical aspects? Such as lyrics and production
Do you base your decision on the influence the album had on hip hop?
Is it personal, did that album have the greatest impact on your life?
Is it a combination of these and other factors that go into your one classic album?
Note this isn’t necessarily your favourite album (it could be, mine isn’t) but it’s one that you hold in high personal stead.
This thread isn’t to pick apart albums, the definition of a classic or individual opinions, it’s a chance for users to share their own experiences in hip hop.
Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin' from 50 Cent
Reason: It was one of the first hip hop albums I listened to all the way through. I was a young 12 year old in suburban Australia back in 2003 who had just heard In Da Club at a mates place. Long story short, I got the album and I loved it. The story of a young drug dealer turned rapper from New York (My dream place to visit, big Yankees fan) struggling against the odds and becoming famous with his friends, money and girls was my first impression of hip hop — I thought it was awesome. The production was so different to the pop records I’d heard on the radio and the lyrics had feelings and stories behind them, they weren’t just catchy and meaningless. Needless to say I still love the album now, it’s a shame 50 got rich and stopped trying, but still, he’s part of the reason why I’m here so I’m happy he put the work in.
MY favourite album of all time and what I consider a ‘classic’ is Rhythmalism by DJ Quik
DJ Quik is a master of production on this album and really in his own league in terms of creating his own sound that no other can, I grew up listening to Prince and West Coast gangsta rap, and this album is like the perfect mix of funk, rap, RnB and sex all mixed together in perfect harmony, its perfection in my ears!
It shaped my musical tastes as a teenager and I still listen to it from start to finish at least once a month.
Album: Moment of Truth — Gang Starr
Shit I don’t know where to start. I was 14-15 years old, growing up in Oslo-Norway. Im from south america so growing up I always was with my big brother and cousins and they always liked to listen to Linking Park, 3 Doors Down and spanish music. I did know the hottest hiphop songs at the time because of the radio, but I never really got in to hiphop. And then late one night i heard Full Clip on the radio and I was like “OOH, shiiet homie!! that shit right there!”. So I went to a big as mall and went to check the record shop. And they only had the Moment of Truth album, and I was like should I buy it? So I bought it! Il tell you I played that album so much people around me was annoyed. I was showing it around to everybody.
I had never heard something like this. This album was unique too me, since the rap songs i was used to was Lil waynes-Fireman. aahh, The scratching, Gurus voice, and premiers beats where amazing.
This is basically why I love hip hop today.
Hm… probably ‘The Black Album’.
No need to explain why.
I’d explain but I would probably pull a klonofun and fill the thread up
The College Dropout
Single handedly killed the overly gangsta rhetoric hip-hop was displaying at the time (or at least started it if you think Graduation actually did that). Showed people that you didn’t need bally’s and bulletproof vests to rap, paving the way for artists like Lupe and also Common’s mainstream revival. Finally it revived soul sampling in hip-hop, the lyrics were unique and heartfelt plus it had the funniest skits ever.
college dropout = dopeness personified
The Minstrel Show by Little Brother
This album is one of the most severely underrated albums of all time, from one of the most severely underrated groups of all time. 9th Wonder’s sample-based production shines brightly here, each sample being rich in depth and a great aesthetic basis to each drum beat. The chemistry between Big Pooh and Phonte is some of the best chemistry between two rappers I’ve ever heard. In terms of chemistry with each other whilst rapping, I’d honestly put them up there with the likes of Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, or Big Boi and Andre 3000, there are THAT in sync with each other’s rhymes throughtout the album. And the subject matter is simply, crisp, genuine, and incredibly easy to relate to. Songs like “All For You”, “Hiding Place” featuring Elzhi, “Sincerely Yours”, and “Not Enough” really speak to me from a standpoint of subject matter, it’s amazing. And the concept of the album, (namely, it actually being a TV show) really lightens up the atmosphere and makes it even more enjoyable of a listen.
The First Album I ever bought with my own money or that wasnt a gift , I was in the 7th grade when this came out and I could not stop listening to it . While its not currently my faviorte LP it was and still is a definite classic
The Money Store
I can listen to that shit all day, everyday.
I understand how people don’t generally like their music, but come on…
“The Fever” is an instant classic and catchy as fuck
Hah, Get Rich Or Die Trying is a personal classic of mine also. First album I ever heard, I was like 9 or something. I remember my best friend actually bought the album and we used to just sit infront of the door and bump that. It was mad cool, even though I didn’t understand much of it at the time. When I got older I’d listen to it again, and I appreciated it more when I could understand what was being said.
The album has a special place in my heart.
Sucha classic. The production and content is what makes this album so classic. This album didnt personally affect my life, but you can damn sure say it affected everyones life when it came out. Total innovator for the gangsta movement. Also, theres something about the cover that just pulls me in…a couple classic hip hop albums do this but this album is a classic even if you dont like it.
To me, the number 1 qualifier is: Is the album timeless? The subject matter has to be relevant 10-15+ years later..production may point to a specific period in time, but it is musical (not outdated by a bunch of obscure era-specific movie/song samples) and multi-genre incorporating. 2nd biggest determinant to me is the effect it had on society (attention brought to social reform, commentary on certain sub-cultures, etc.) and 3rd being the effect it had on Hip Hop.
Based on all this, I think for my age group The College Dropout is the definitive “Classic” for all the reasons @Doughnuts said..but there’s always the personal meaning an album has to someone which could also define “Classic”