good kid, m.A.A.d. City is amazing, no doubt. And especially as someone who is not a fan of Section.80 or any of Kendrick’s other earlier work, it really says a lot that I loved the album. Now, his voice is still kinda annoying to me, and I still think he’s being way overhyped, but I have no problem recognizing good music when I hear it, and this is straight up good music, start to finish. The album flows brilliantly, all the skits fit and even the length of some of the songs didn’t bore me or have me pressing next. Basically the record is solid. And if it wasn’t for the many other albums that I’d rather listen to I would probably be bumping this regularly, but the fact is even though I actually really liked this effort from the young Compton rapper, his music is just not for me. It is good that I can finally understand why people love this kid’s music so much, but you won’t catch me at any traffic light with this album blaring from my speakers.
Point is, the record is great, but all over Twitter and the forums (both of which I’ll be the first to admit are full of people looking for attention, but also plenty of honest opinions), people are calling this shit a classic. One of the definitions of the word “classic” is that it has “lasting interest or significance”. How in the fuck does that apply to an album that’s a week old? The fact is, in a year this shit could be forgotten. Now I’m not saying it will be cause it probably won’t, but we’ve all had that album that we played nonstop for a month thinking it was the best shit ever, only to return to it a couple years later and find ourselves skipping like half the songs we once thought were so amazing (good example is basically every Nas album since It Was Written). At the time, I thought Hip Hop Is Dead was damn near flawless, but I only bump like 4 tracks from it now, same with Untitled. I ain’t trying to shit on Nas here, he’s just an easy example. At the same time, I thought Teflon Don was great when I first heard it, but still thought Deeper Than Rap was better. Two years later and I consider Teflon Don to not only be a classic but to be the best Rick Ross album (cue people telling me my whole article is irrelevant now because I’m a Rick Ross fan).
What you love today you might only like tomorrow, and what is average today might be a classic 10 years from now. My point being, let that shit marinate before you call it a “classic”, because otherwise you’re just taking away the impact of the word and as a result you’re making truly classic albums less valuable in the overall discussion. Part of it may be the desperation to find the next “classic” in what many people think is a hip hop market that’s been lacking in great music over the past few years. But rather than labeling every halfway decent album a classic just to argue that there’s still good hip hop out there, how about actually taking the time to really reflect on an album and if it’s still got replay value in a year or so, then label it a classic. Otherwise you’re just overhyping a bunch of mediocre projects, giving those “real hip hop” fans even more of a reason to say hip hop is dead.