Has The Word “Classic” Lost Its Meaning In Hip Hop Terms?

In terms of a hip hop albums, what warrants the label “Classic”? What is the formula? Is there a set criteria to work from? I’ve been a hip hop fan for almost thirty years and grew up in a time when dope albums were dropping on the regular, but I don’t remember people calling them classics at the time of release as I do today. I mean, is their such a thing as an “Instant Classic”?

Classic hip hop albums

The Classic Question

Being able to call a song or album that’s less than a week old “a classic” in my opinion devalues the word classic. Is this really fraudulant hype? A marketing strategy? A lie to help decieve people into buying an album? Do people confuse classic with an album that has instant appeal? Have peoples standards just drastically dropped when passing judgement on a peice of work? Has the overall quality of hip hop music produced today deteriorated? Are the younger generation desperate to label something classic now because they feel it is their era of hip hop music and they want something to call classic? Do people find it difficult to define classic? Why can’t people settle for saying “This album shows all the marks of a classic” or “This album could be considered a classic in the future” Surely that would be more feasible? Let me finish on a couple of albums that I consider worthy of the word classic. Wu-tang Clan’s “36 chambers” and Dr Dre’s “The Chronic” I can play those albums today in 2016 from start to finish. They deserve the title because they have stood the test of time. They still sound as good now as they did in 1993 and 1992. There are also one or two albums from more recent times that are entering that “classic” phase but interestingly they are becoming rarer as the years roll by.

So now it’s over to you. Do you think “classic” has become a throwaway term?

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