I have been thinking about what makes classic albums lately, because of all the music related reviews and writings I have done. There are probably billions of albums out there that just don’t have the songs arranged right because of the industry standard where skip around an album they play song 1, 2, 4, 8, and so on. In otherwords they skip half of the songs, looking for the hits. If you burn a bunch of songs off CDs that are the hits and best songs, they are usually certain track numbers if you haven’t noticed. Little things like that go into making an album, let alone something people might see as a classic. Artists arent always the best judges of arrangement. Sometimes they need a Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, or George Martin to figure out how to put all the pieces into a big beautiful picture. And these super producers help make an album better than the average release. Questions arise like what makes a classic, how many thousands or million should a classic sell, who recognizes these albums?
To me a great album or a classic has replay value, it’s timeless, or reminds you of a good time in you past. The music world is going back to a time of EP’s and singles. Which to most people is not a problem, and to me it’s not exactly a problem either. There are some artists that I really don’t want to hear a whole album of, but an occsional single is fine. Many artists are fine with getting millions of sales just on single too. Thats how the industry worked for the most par a few decades ago. They used to mainly put out 45s and EPs and Single LPs that at most has 8 or so tracks on them (as opposed to Double LPs that are equivlient to about one CD).
In the rap world an artist going pop is a mixed bag, usually to their fans it’s a bad thing. When people who have been sucessful over periods of time do their albums they think about how to make good music. When you look at a pop artist like Pink, The Beatles, and Elvis, usually there first album is what the label wants it to be. The gradually over time the change into a better artist. That also had an effect on what artists like Eminem put out as their singles. If the label isn’t behind it, you get shelved. Tech has told us about how prior to Strange he had some pain in the ass industry situations too but now he can do pretty much whatever he wants musically, such as getting Lil Wayne on a beat with him.
Paid In Full are just few few in the many hip hop records we consider classic. And while they may be underground or unknown to some people, to the rest of us who listen to a lot of rap, those are our pop albums. To someone who has listened to rap for a good part of their live, I think it is safe to say that they have at least head of if not own those right?
And what about our favorite rappers who make classic albums in our eye at least? 2Pac, Eminem, Snoop Dogg. Are they not pop? I love Doggystyle, it’s a classic album to me. It was Snoops big start. Is that a pop album? Or is just his new albums, most of which I also like pop? Eminem and 2Pac are easily the most recognized rap artists in the world and they have made their share of classic music. Are they pop? They all changed and did different stuff throughout there careers and people didnt always like what they did but it has made them the successful current artists or past legends they are and were. When they get popular, they get new doors to open. They get to work with their hero’s or just express themselves they way they feel is best. They start clothing labels, or record labels, do movies, and pretty much whatever else they can think of. Didn’t Tech already do some of that?
Some artists are lucky. Their first album out is classic. Some people get two or three albums deep before they hit that home run. There are some artists that just make really consistantly good music like Sade and Tech N9ne. Where no matter what they do we already think they are the best and they keep proving us right.
Since Tech’s ideas for All 6’s and 7’svv have been made public, there are some questions to whether an artist is too pop for Tech who is our underground hero, or this beat doesn’t sound right for Tech. But why can’t we let Tech do Tech? When can we let him be a music legend? Hasn’t he made it there yet? If he makes a classic album, past, present, or future, would we rather it be an underground classic? Or would we rather it became a classic pop album that showed the world what we already see?
I know that was a lot to read but I hope it starts some dialogue and makes people think about their heroes and what they expect them to be. Has Tech made a classic album or albums already?