What Makes An Album a Classic?

The term classic seems to be thrown around way to lightly these days and I think it’s unfair to call every other album that drops a classic, especially after only a day or two of its release. This morning, BBC 1xtra’s twitter page tweeted this 

I rate Kendrick just as much as the next guy, I mean, he’s definitely one of, if not the best rapper out right now. But to call his album a classic after only 2 or 3 days is a bit much.

The dictionary definition of a classic is

classic, klasɪk/

adjective

  1. judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.

“a classic novel”

The keys words to point out here are clearly “over a period of time“. Sometimes good music gets released, charts well, has everybody singing/rapping along but 6 months down the line it’s forgotten.

For me, for an album to be tagged as a classic it should be at least 3 years old and still holds up. Lyrics should still hold relevance, beats should be timeless and not one track on the album should be skipable. What makes up these points of an album will clearly come down to personal taste but for me, from a strictly rap/Grime point of view. Classic albums are works such as; 2pac – All Eyez On Me, Eminem – The Marshal Mathers LP, Kanye West – The College Dropout, The Fugees – The Score, Wu Tang – 36 Chambers, Nas – Illmatic, Skinnyman – Council Estate Of Mind, Klashekoff – The Sagas Of. I could go on and on but that’s a small list to get the point across.

I’m not saying the new Kendrick Album isn’t going to be a classic, because on first listen it is a very good album. But only time can make it a classic. It’s almost like social media just over hypes everything these days. A few good tracks and people are calling rappers the GOAT. Greatness, like the term classic needs to be earned.

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