Definition of a “Classic”

Five Mics, XXL, 1 Scale, 10 Scale … what is a classic?

A ton of Hip Hop sites, publications, critics, and fans all have their idea of what “classic” is.

Some judge off of what they listened to when they grew up
Some listen for beats
Some listen for lyricism
Some look at the impact it has on the genre
Some look at the impact is has on society
Others are just biased based on their musical tastes and preferences

None of these are wrong!

Classic to one person will not always (closer to never) be the same to another, preferences, age, location, thought processes all factor into judging music
With all that being said, this site will be no difference EXCEPT I will quantify the “Classic” conversation and posts with certain parameters

  • One. This site only focuses on the Gold, Silver, and Bronze age albums and artists … albums that have been out for decades and have been scrutinized over and over
  • Two. While there’s preference involved, the albums and songs considered “classic” will adhere to certain rules and categories
  • Three. Debates in the comments are always welcome and can alter the status if the argument is strong enough

All of that two say, to start there are TWO very important distinctions that will be used going forward on this site

Timeless Classic and Modern Classic

Timeless Classics are … timeless.
No matter what era, they rock, the songs are iconic, the album has at a maximum of one less than stellar track (and that one is arguable), the song has no wack verses, and production is tight
Even the cover is iconic! 10 Hip Hop Fans in a room regardless of age, sex, location, or race 8 out of 10 agree it is a classic period.

Modern Classics
These are the albums that people call classics based upon when they heard them, their favorite artists, 3 or 4 really strong songs (even classic songs) are there, stellar or quotable verses, but have flaws…
They don’t hold up between generations, the production is a little iffy, there are 3 or 4 questionable tracks on the album or has filler, these songs and albums are very strong but not … timeless, think generational.

 

How will they be rated?

Classic Albums are rated based on 5 categories

Impact/Influence
Originality
Lyricism
Production
Cohesiveness

Classic Songs are rated based on 5 categories

Impact/Influence
Originality
Lyricism
Production
Longevity (It’s ability to hold up year after year)

Each of these categories will be rated (1-20) so an album’s or song’s highest total will be 100

  • A Timeless classic 90 -100
  • Modern Classic 75 – 90

Now these two distinctions of classics will certainly cause debate, but one thing must be clarified Modern is still dope, it’s just not the greatest ever … only a small few get that designation
It’s the hall of fame of Albums and songs

When discussing the Modern Classics an (*) will be placed next to the questionable tracks, the production gaffes will be noted, or the questionable bars will be highlighted for songs
If the Timeless classic has that one wack or questionable song maximum an (*) will indicate that on the post.

Readers feel free to nominate songs for either designation, a poll will be placed on the site, twitter discussions will be held, and even discussed on the podcast
Want to get a good consensus, but it’s also all for fun!

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  • Nat Turner II

    The most flawless album of all time is Illmatic…hands down, that is the only album that I have ever had that can be listened to without the urge to skip one track…intro included. No other album is close in my opinion.