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Old 11-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default What In your opinon constitutes a great rap album?

something i was pondering looking at some of these threads

what in your opinion constitutes a good rap album?

*Song Concepts?
*Lyrics?
*delivery?
*Production?




-discuss-
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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good idea for a thread.

taking the elusive x-factor out of the equasion, i'd say this:

- something with replay value eg detailed production, complex lyrics, or timeless themes.
- a theme or sound that stays consistent eg not throwing producers or guests in the middle of an album that don't fit.
- something where the lyrics and beats are connected. i hate hearing a verse knowing that the emcee could have spit it on any beat.
- one or two anthems
- song and album concepts have to work like gangbusters, its fine to be ambitious but if you fail, you fail even harder. also it has to fit the album.
- most important, invention. every great hip hop album you can name has something unique that other albums don't.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sosa View Post
good idea for a thread.

taking the elusive x-factor out of the equasion, i'd say this:

- something with replay value eg detailed production, complex lyrics, or timeless themes.
- a theme or sound that stays consistent eg not throwing producers or guests in the middle of an album that don't fit.
- something where the lyrics and beats are connected. i hate hearing a verse knowing that the emcee could have spit it on any beat.
- one or two anthems
- song and album concepts have to work like gangbusters, its fine to be ambitious but if you fail, you fail even harder. also it has to fit the album.
- most important, invention. every great hip hop album you can name has something unique that other albums don't.
Funny because there are easy counterexamples to every point you made.

Criminal Minded surely didn't have detailed production OR complex lyrics OR timeless themes (mostly it was just gun rap and braggadoccio with second to none lyrical acrobatics), and yet it's undeniably great rap album.

Black Star album has no anthems (I dare you to say Respiration or K.O.S. are anthems), and it's still great.

Straight Outta Compton is as sonically disjointed as it gets (from Public Enemy aping to West Coast hardcore to electro) and a lot of people would say, not without reason, that it's the greatest hip-hop album ever.

Or the ultimate hip-hop album, Illmatic, which had absolutely no inventions.

Or Dr. Octagonecologyst, which apparently had a concept but I had a hell of a trouble connecting any song to the album concept. Plus the MC is Kool Keith, who never really listened to any of his beats. Again, great album.


So it boils down to the x-factor. Either it hits you hard and grows better with repeated listens or it doesn't. And if it has the same effect on lots of people plus a lot on influence on other rappers/producers, you got yourself a classic.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Slim T View Post
Funny because there are easy counterexamples to every point you made.

Criminal Minded surely didn't have detailed production OR complex lyrics OR timeless themes (mostly it was just gun rap and braggadoccio with second to none lyrical acrobatics), and yet it's undeniably great rap album.

Black Star album has no anthems (I dare you to say Respiration or K.O.S. are anthems), and it's still great.

Straight Outta Compton is as sonically disjointed as it gets (from Public Enemy aping to West Coast hardcore to electro) and a lot of people would say, not without reason, that it's the greatest hip-hop album ever.

Or the ultimate hip-hop album, Illmatic, which had absolutely no inventions.

Or Dr. Octagonecologyst, which apparently had a concept but I had a hell of a trouble connecting any song to the album concept. Plus the MC is Kool Keith, who never really listened to any of his beats. Again, great album.


So it boils down to the x-factor. Either it hits you hard and grows better with repeated listens or it doesn't. And if it has the same effect on lots of people plus a lot on influence on other rappers/producers, you got yourself a classic.
those are anomolies. you have a point though, basically at the essence of music theres a vibe to certain records where every sound and thought expressed just works and its difficult to break it down more than that.

but i think most hip hop classic have the elements i said, inventiveness is tough though, i meant it more along the lines of originality, uniqueness. obviously not every classic is a game changer: reasonable doubt, enter the stage, hell on earth, gory days, mm food off the top of my head are all great albums with those elements but aren't as inventive as other classics.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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Gotta be dope production, and should have some good skits imo

MCing is also of vital importance but there are dudes who aren't incredible MCs that I could listen to for awhile
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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consistency.

good beats.

artist has a good voice.

a couple good guest spots (but not needed, and not to be over done).

above average lyrics.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quality music.

There's no set standard.

It could be a compilation - Lost Tapes
Or a concept album - Prince Among Thieves

As long as it does what it's trying to really well.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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its good thread but as should be clear by now the standards arent exactly standards. especially in hip hop, cause there never really was any rules to it. not much of a technical genre outside of the emceeing aspect imo

as far as im concerned a classic LP has a consistentcy and focus, as well asoulful drivw from the artists involved with it. most albums out nowadays, even outside of hip hop, lack focus and soul.

also a good engineer helps, someone who knows what they are doing with sounds can make even an average album sound better imo
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim T View Post
Funny because there are easy counterexamples to every point you made.

Criminal Minded surely didn't have detailed production OR complex lyrics OR timeless themes (mostly it was just gun rap and braggadoccio with second to none lyrical acrobatics), and yet it's undeniably great rap album.

Black Star album has no anthems (I dare you to say Respiration or K.O.S. are anthems), and it's still great.

Straight Outta Compton is as sonically disjointed as it gets (from Public Enemy aping to West Coast hardcore to electro) and a lot of people would say, not without reason, that it's the greatest hip-hop album ever.

Or the ultimate hip-hop album, Illmatic, which had absolutely no inventions.

Or Dr. Octagonecologyst, which apparently had a concept but I had a hell of a trouble connecting any song to the album concept. Plus the MC is Kool Keith, who never really listened to any of his beats. Again, great album.


So it boils down to the x-factor. Either it hits you hard and grows better with repeated listens or it doesn't. And if it has the same effect on lots of people plus a lot on influence on other rappers/producers, you got yourself a classic.

If Criminal Minded was released in this day would it still be considered a classic?
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:17 AM   #11
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just for fun im making a case against what slim t said, although theres some truth to his post:

criminal minded: turned a lot of producers on to minimalist production, krs delivering every line like it was the hook. there are timeless themes: the dangers of the street, krs kicking ass at rapping lol.

black star: i like the album, and i get why some people would call it classic. for me its just a good album. but anyway thieves in the night is an anthem.

straight outta compton: sonically disjointed? perhaps it would be but dr dre kind of ties it together, the tracks are mixed similarly. this before there even was a west coast sound. anyway i said a theme or a sound, as long as somethings consistent. there are plenty of great albums that blend genres and still sound unified.

illmatic: for the sake of argument nas invented a rhyme style and raised the level of literary skill that rappers weren't doing at the time. something like 'one love' is pretty inventive, or premos production on 'represent' etc

dr octagoncolygyst: kool keith doesn't count.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey View Post
consistency.

good beats.

artist has a good voice.

a couple good guest spots (but not needed, and not to be over done).

above average lyrics.
some albums i listen to although the lyrics were ill imo the beats were sub par (think canibus 1st album)
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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btw someone mention criminal minded actually that album was somewhat a factor in making this thread
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sosa View Post
just for fun im making a case against what slim t said, although theres some truth to his post:

criminal minded: turned a lot of producers on to minimalist production, krs delivering every line like it was the hook. there are timeless themes: the dangers of the street, krs kicking ass at rapping lol.

black star: i like the album, and i get why some people would call it classic. for me its just a good album. but anyway thieves in the night is an anthem.

straight outta compton: sonically disjointed? perhaps it would be but dr dre kind of ties it together, the tracks are mixed similarly. this before there even was a west coast sound. anyway i said a theme or a sound, as long as somethings consistent. there are plenty of great albums that blend genres and still sound unified.

illmatic: for the sake of argument nas invented a rhyme style and raised the level of literary skill that rappers weren't doing at the time. something like 'one love' is pretty inventive, or premos production on 'represent' etc

dr octagoncolygyst: kool keith doesn't count.
LOL, will do. What I was trying to say is that a certified great calbum can and often does lack one or more of the elements you mentioned. Certainly not all of them, in that case it would be the other opposite... certified wack.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspektah Meth-Tical View Post
If Criminal Minded was released in this day would it still be considered a classic?
If Criminal Minded wasn't released in 1987 there would be no hip-hop as we know it.

(Since that was your post, I would ask you if Cassidy could be the greatest rapper of this generation, but since you would actually answer that question I won't ask it.)
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