Classic Material?

Now in today's climate is is very hard to determine what a hit is. It's not harder however to determine what a classic "album" is. By definition, there are more mixtapes and collections of songs than albums now, however, these all can be considered "albums" in a loose sense. There isn't very many people who can present to me the idea that there are as many classic albums now as there were in the previous two eras in hip-hop.

This comes up for me because I just read a little press release about Saigon in where he discussed his new venture with Amalgam Digital. In this little blurb, Saigon makes one mistake in my opinion, saying that he is going to follow up a classic disc "Warning Shots" with "Warning Shots 2". Opinions held by fans and hardcore mixtape fanatics who live near you don't make an album classic. Classic albums are hard to come by. In fact the last classic album I can remember is by the man everyone loves to hate, 50 Cent.

Let's talk about what makes an album a classic.

1. The album has to stay something in a creative an energetic manner. The artist has to convey some feeling and his persona in a believable manner.
2. The beat selection must compliment the songs and lyrics. The beats have to convey the same feeling and message that the album has. Thug Motivation had great beats but in my opinion was trite and repetitive when it came to lyrics and actual songs themselves.
3. An overall theme is always a good thing. The album works best when it tells a story or at least represents a certain portion of the artists life. For an example, see "Ready To Die" , you get an accurate portrayal of Biggie's early life.

4. Straight up lyrics and good music. An album where the artist isn't putting forth some type of lyrical content is a waste of beats. You have to use all of the different writing and poetic techniques available. If you're not using things like alliteration, metaphors, similes, and varied rhyme schemes.
5. You Have to be believable and original. There are a lot of artists out there who may be nice lyrically but I just don't believe their subject matter completely. Fabolous and Jadakiss immediately come to mind. These two consistently refer to selling dope in the same manner all of the time with little depth to it. You need to have some type of originality to your perspective. Just telling me how you sell weight constantly isn't giving me a unique take on the hood perspective.

Basically these are the five things that need to be included into a classic album. The artist has to take these elements and take his game to the next level in order to have a classic album. The songs need to be closely related yet there needs to be some sort of variety which is what makes it hard as hell to make a classic.


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