BLOG: Classic Album = Perfect Album?

The term “classic” is possibly the most overused rating in hip-hop, yet its definition is still wide open for interpretation. I was chatting with M.B. and Rob the Music Ed earlier this week about Nas’s Stillmatic, and while the three of us noted that the album has its blunders (Rob calls “Braveheart Party” the worst rap song ever recorded, ha!) I still hold my ground regarding its classic status. Stillmatic, like Jay-Z’s Blueprint, was a time marker LP. It resurrected Nas’s career, brought creative concepts, made bold statements, and still bumps in my earbuds like it’s 2001.

Just because you might have to skip a song or two shouldn’t disqualify classic status. It’s more about the impact on the time period, contemporaries and hip-hop history. It’s about the overall quality of music, the novelty, how it ages and maintains relevance over time. That’s my “classic” criteria.

Stillmatic isn’t the only one that holds up to this perspective, either. It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, DMX’s first album, is an all-time favorite. Dope rhymes. Dope beats. Proven shelf life. Changed the tone of hip-hop at the time. Established Swizz Beatz as a go-to producer. The album is probably a two-or three-song trim away from perfection, yet it holds classic status in my book. Moving on. Kanye West’s College Dropout is diluted by funny-the-first-time skits, and an extended tracklist that drags toward the middle-end. But is it a classic? Undoubtedly. Get Rich Or Die Tryin’—perfect? Almost. Classic? Yeah!

What do y’all think? Any more imperfect classics? Does a classic album really have to be perfect, or are you just too lazy to tap the “next track” button on the ’Pod? -JFK

  • thaFace

    Classic= Perfection…if u skip a track then the album isn’t “classic status”…it’s that simple IMO…

    • Enlightened

      Really? How many albums can you name like that?

      • http://www.myspace.com/pharris27610 P. Harris

        Enlightened… I agree you can’t name too many albums that you don’t skip a track?

        1. Illmatic
        2. Enter the Wu-Tang
        3. ????

        • dronkmunk

          Masta Ace – Long Hot Summer

        • thaFace

          Illmatic…Ready to Die…The Blueprint…
          Black on Both Sides…808′s & Heartbreak…Reasonable Doubt…The Black Album…Eminem Show…Marshall Mathers…
          Be…Black Star…Graduation…

          Just my opinion

          Almost Classic are those 4 1/2 mic albums…the ones where u skip one, maybe 2 songs

        • Detroit P

          I skip tracks on every album..even my favorite album of all time: Reasonable Doubt…”Aint no nigga” isn’t a bad song, i just rarely ever feel like listening to it…I skip many songs on illmatic..and I just plain don’t like “halftime”….I’ve listened to “Deeper than Rap” maybe 50 times and still havent gotten tired of it, but i still skip about 3 or 4 songs on there…classic is more of an overall feel than a definition of perfection

        • LEO

          I dont skip a track on that new Slaughterhouse…wat does dat mean? can I say it?….Im gonna say it…Slaughterhouse is perfect!!!

        • Around and Around

          Agree with Thaface… That’s how I determine a classic.

          Black Star

    • nomadviking

      classic albums? and nobody mentions PAID IN FULL or CRIMINAL MINDED. these are my classics and might i add damn near perfect!

    • The fiend

      My classics are:

      The Blueprint…The Carter…The Carter II…The Carter III….College Dropout….Late Registration…Graduation….The Blueprint II…The Drought 3…its a mixtape but both parts are CLASSICS, they made everyone step their game up. and Dedication 2, oh yea and Lil’Weezyana too.

      And I’m going to go ahead and predict the Blueprint 3 as perfect and a classic. And if you disagree you can just wait and see.

      Oh and so sorry i CANT forget Lupe’s The Cool, and Food & Liquor was close, the Cool was better, his next album is to look for too. And Common too. though I haven’t listened to Be all the way through, finding forever was tight work though.

    • irontogs

      i am surprised Life After Death hasnt been mentioned. Classic Biggie!! Probably the only 2-Disc album released that wasnt 50% garbage

      • Myself

        what about Bone thugs’ Art of War? that double cd is fire all the way!

  • abdulnasir

    pierzy… first

    vol 2. hard knock life… classic
    flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood… classic
    the eminem show… classic
    the marshall mathers lp… classic
    stillmatic… classic

  • Silly Willy

    Even on a classic album, there are song that you like less, so yeah skipping is not a criteria.

    An imperfect classic ?

    Be,maybe…. An excellent album, but just lack a little bite.

    And I’ll take Late Registration over College Dropout.

    • Silly Willy

      I’ll take Finding Forever over Be, too.

      It’s a perfect album, IMO, but not a classic, since there was no particular impact on the culture when that dropped. But it was the Be formula that was upgraded, i.e. the same feel with more bite

  • abdulnasir

    shit, some muthafucka always has to beat me to being first!

  • Enlightened

    To me – probably the most underrated/underheard classic album ever was Dead Prez’ “Let’s Get Free”.

    I myself didn’t get up on it until later because like most people I didn’t know it existed.

    I still skip one or two songs on there but the shit is ridiculous.

    Definite classic

    • http://www.myspace.com/pharris27610 P. Harris

      co-sign on Let’s Get Free

      • http://bones_42@hotmail.com Doobie42

        Lets Get Free was the shit. RBG was better.

        • Nat Turner II

          No way in hell RBG is better than Let’s Get Free…LGF still bumps to this day…RBG is nowhere close to it…dare I say a let down coming after LGF…Pulse of the People is Waaaaaaay better than RBG…and it still pales in comparison to LGF…

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    I don’t think they’re the same. There are only a few ‘perfect’ albums in hip-hop history…but there are many more classics, because of the time period, its impact, etc…

    Stillmatic is a classic but it shouldn’t have been 15 tracks. 11 or 12 and it could’ve been perfect.

    PE’s Fear Of A Black Planet is a classic but certainly not perfect.

    Supreme Clientele is a certified classic but I’m sure there are one or two songs that some people may not like.

    All Eyez On Me is far from perfect but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a classic…

    They aren’t the same.

    • irepuk

      yeah all eyez on me has quite a few songs i dont like but there aint too many people who would argue that it isnt classic

    • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

      What’s up Pierzy?

      I don’t think the perfect album can be made. It’s one of those “in the eye of the beholder”-type things that are based on opinion. I co-sign that classic records are out there. Run-DMC’s “Raising Hell” gets zero complaints from me. Sure enough, that album has a track called “Perfection.”

      But someone else out there (under some rock) will find a flaw with Raising Hell, 3 Feet, Illmatic/Stillmatic, etc.

      I used to bump “Whut, Thee Album” until the tape popped! AMG’s “Bitch Betta Have My Money” gets no complaint from me either, although he’s an acquired taste, LOL!

      Too many classics!

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        What’s up Mal?

        I agree that it’s all subjective and open to opinion but there are some pieces that the (almost) entire population agree on. Often, this is easier with a classic. We all agree that 36 Chambers is a classic but we may differ on whether it’s a ‘perfect’ album.

        Off top, I can only think of a few albums that I would call perfect. Illmatic is there; so is 36 Chambers.

        I’m tempted to say It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back but not every song has held up over time…if you heard “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” for the first time today, it would still bang but some songs may not.

        I don’t know…

        • Brahsef

          “I agree that it’s all subjective and open to opinion but there are some pieces that the (almost) entire population agree on.”

          You give the majority of the population wayyyy too much credit. Casual hip-hop fans and diehard hip-hop heads have completely different perspectives on what’s a classic. The Wu’s my fav of all time, but a ton of people do not dig on the Clan.

      • Sincere

        I agree definitely no “perfect” album out there, music itself is subjective so you’ll never have that “perfect” album someone is going to think it’s wack. But classic in my oppinion is attainable it marks a time, a feeling that sticks with you.

        DMX- It’s Dark Hell is Hot/ Flesh of my Flesh
        Jay- reasonable doubt/ blueprint
        Nas- It was written

    • Enlightened

      All Eyez On Me is the perfect example!

      I loved Pac shit but I won’t sit here and argue that All Eyez on Me is perfect

      but I’ll argue with a muthafucka for 6 weeks straight if they try to say it’s not classic.

      • Fon-Z The illesT

        for the most part I agree with Enlightened…

        All Eyez On Me IS CLASSIC!!!!!
        IT WENT 9x PLATINUM!!!

        To me this album is perfect. All Eyez On Me alone shits on MOST albums out there… “Book 2″ is fuckin sick!

        The album is widely regarded by most people as 2Pac’s magnum opus and one of the most influential albums in the music industry. It is frequently recognized as one of the crowning achievements of 1990s rap music. It has been called “despite some undeniable filler easily the best production 2Pac’s ever had on record.” According to the RIAA, the album is one of the highest-selling rap albums of all time, with over 5 million copies of the album sold in the United States alone by April 1996. It was certified 9x platinum in June 1998 by the RIAA.

        In 2008 The National Association Of Recording Merchandisers in conjunction with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has recognized this album, as well as “Me Against The World”, as extremely influential to the music industry and has added this album to their Definitive 200 list.

        NUFF SAID……….

      • http://XXLMAG.COM INTERNET BULLY

        PERFECT EXAMPLE… COME ON PAC TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE… CLASSIC BUT COME ON WHO DIDNT SKIP WHATS YA PHONE NUMBER WHEN THEY AS IN HUSTLE MODE…

  • irepuk

    Wu Tang Forever …theres definitely some tracks that couldve been cut off but still. its a certified CLASSIC

  • Chris S

    i think classic = can be argued as one of the greatest albums of all time.

    i see top 5 albums ever = being perfect. College Dropout is perfect

    • Nat Turner II

      I really don’t see why everyone considers College Dropout a classic…I only liked 5 songs on that album…Perfect CD’s and nobody has mentioned the Purple Tape or Low End Theory…and Xzibit’s At The Speed of Life was damn near perfect. Slaughterhouse is a CLASSIC album if you take off the skits…Ras Kass Soul on Ice…The Infamous, Ready to Die, Muddy Waters, Illadelph Halflife, Supreme Clientele, EPMD Unfinished Business, Fat Joe Jealous Ones Envy…just to name a few…Notice damn near all of these albums came out in the 90′s

  • General

    I agree that an album doesn’t need to be perfect to be classic…

    One of my favorite CD’s that is a classic is The Chronic from Dr. Dre, but it is by no means a perfect album…

    To be honest, I have yet to find a perfect album in my opinion, all the albums I think are classics have one or two things on them that should have been changed if it were to be considered perfect…

    But of course everything is based on opinion, its not like there is some true way to keep score and no record sales don’t count…

    • 313Dawg

      Wow..Where is the Chronic weak?

  • Y.O.

    co-sign wit pierzy…

    what makes a perfect album doesnt make it have to be skip-proof..
    to skip a song doesnt necessarily mean anything
    i think a classic album is something that you can listen to for hours on end or from beginning to end easily and not get tierd/annoyed by it.

    a good example of this is Makaveli..probably pac’s best album in my opinion. yeah ill skip a track or two but i know i can listen to that shit all day
    lates

  • LEO

    DMX’s 1st joint classic witout a doubt, and its perfect cause ain’t no track on there that doesn’t fit with the vibe of the whole album, every track feeds into the next one cause of Dame’s and PK’s production, they all got the dark, shady-tone even How its going down and The Anthem

    P.S.
    …Swizz only produced one track on Its Dark And Hell Is Hot…So if any album made him the go to producer it was Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood…

    • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

      Thank you. P.K. and Dame Grease were the real producers from that album.

      I remember back in 1999 when people were telling me that Swizz was better than Premier. I almost ripped my hair out.

      • Sleepy Wonder

        Co-Sign On That “All Eyez On Me” P. While I Do Consider It A Classic, I Always Have Trouble Playing The 2nd Disc All The Way Through. To Me An Example Of A Perfect Album Will Always Be “Illmatic”. I’ve Played It Back To Back Several Times Without Skipping A Track. That Album Will Never Get Old.

    • latino heat

      @ Leo
      How’s It Goin Down was WACK. and didn’t fit in with the album at all. it did mark a time in history though. it made it so even the hardest rapper in the game HAD to do a song for the ladies to get there album out.

      • LEO

        Wack? really? r u saying that cause it’s a girl track? or cause of lyricks? or beat or why? what are u basing the level of wackness on? concept?

        cause if you look at any of those…its on point…beats just as dark and melow as I Can Feel It…and his flow on that track is right…I aint think it was a wack track…just saying…

        • latino heat

          @ Leo
          yeah i think it was wack because it’s for the ladies. the rest of the album was straight hood. some of the hardest shit i ever heard to this day. and most people didn’t know who he was till that WACK ass song came out. i couldn’t understand why he did that song but then the whole rap game changed after that. and not for the better. that song really seemed like the beginning of commercial rap to me. as far as you HAD to have a song for the ladies, you HAD to have a r&b singer on your song to get spins. and the game has gone down hill ever since. i’m not blaming that one song, just saying that was the time period that started all this b.s. we have now. except now it’s the dance music phase and not the cupcake phase.

  • P. Harris

    Outkast – ATLiens

    almost perfect, but definitely a classic

    Little Brother – The Minstrel Show

    not perfect, but a classic album, still not feeling the percy miracles thing…

    Wu Tang – 36 Chambers

    1-12 this is the only perfect/classic album I can think of… no complaints about that album period. They took the whole game by sword when they dropped it… the dopest album ever… name one track you didn’t like… I’d say the weakest track was “bring da ruckus” but that shit was fire too…

    • http://www.myspace.com/pharris27610 P. Harris

      I don’t know how I forgot this… but

      Illadelphhalflife

      so close to perfect/classic but I do skip some tracks…

      also skipping tracks is a judging factor to me on a perfect album but not a classic… you can skip a track on a classic album but for the album to be perfect, it has to be able to be played front to back… just my opinion…

      Like OBFCL another perfect/classic front to back, skits, and all… dope

    • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

      Co-Sign I think The Minstrel Show is a straight up classic….before that album I was only listening to hip hop on and off since 5th grade but that album really got me on the train…beats and lyrics were on point…can you say “Hiding Place”?

      IMO, other albums that come to mind are The Rennaisance, Hard To Earn, Ready To Die, The Platform, Supreme Clientele, Its Dark And Hell Is Hot, OBFCL, Illmatic (and I know I’ma get shunned for this), The Massacre. I still don’t really see how GRODT is a classic…that ish just didn’t bump my nerves like 50 Cent’s 2nd album.

      • DetroitDraper

        The massacre was a great album. So underrated.

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        “Gunz Come Out” is crazy

  • Silly Willy

    And 7th Chamber didn’t need a part 2, but Enter The WuTang is still the definition of a classica

  • gift

    Dirty’s album “the pimp and the gangsta” was a
    classic for the south. very slept on album. Also Mjg’s first album “no more glory” went hard as hell too.

  • BeerGangsta

    Ya’ll see who this is. This is a Classic! If you new Fuckers don’t know how to Rap or make good music listen to this. New School is Shitty! They the reason Hip Hop is Dead!

  • Info by John Doe

    makaveli the 7 day theory

  • Curtis75Black

    A Classic cd is more so a state of mind of the person at the time of release. Of course many have already deemed Nas Illmatic “classic” status but I know a hardcore Nas fan that hates that cd !! It’s about what you are looking for more than Hard Beats and Crazy Rhymes. If you’re looking for concepts, a change in direction, or smoother sound. A complete overhaul that comes out tight could be deemed classic to you but a bust to others. I feel we has Hip Hop fans sell our music short when it comes to rating because we always go back to the standard beginings. Just a Thought.

    • Silly Willy

      co-sign !!!

  • geico lizard

    “The term “classic” is possibly the most overused rating in hip-hop”

    ^
    This was a “classic” quote oops…I mean a good one.

    Commission!!!

  • render

    my standard for a classic is simple. It needs to be timeless and it needs to have influenced its era of artists…you gotta be banging it 5 years later and it has to have started a trend or at least some swaggerjacking…doesn’t matter if every sing track is ‘perfect’ by itself

    I don’t believe in “instant classics” neither…niggas said that about hell hath no fury and I bet half or yall haven’t listened to “keys open doors” any time lately

  • http://www.enomaedevbaro.blogspot.com Enoma

    Hip Hop is always classic. We as hip hop lovers have different tastes, so if Nas’ Illmatic is “classic” to me, it might not be that to you. Because when you fall in love with Hip Hop, your love never dies. And I guess even claiming some hiphop classic and some not isn’t justified, because ‘true’ hiphop is always classic to a Hip Hop lover.
    So, when did you fall in love with Hip Hop ?
    -Enoma

  • G2

    How come no one named The Carter 3?! Just fuckin’ around, lol!

    A classic that I still bump today is the BlackStar album. Not that the skip-test means much, but I don’t skip anything on that album. Mos and Kweli brought raw lyricism and the beats were tight. One of my favorite songs of all time is K.O.S. Determination (hard lyrics with a message).

    • P. Harris

      co-sign K.O.S. is/was dope…. my favorite track off that album was Thieves in the Night…

      • G2

        That song is dope too, Mos kills that track.

  • RL

    1995 Raekwon-Cuban Linx: CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!
    1996 Jay-Z-Reasonable Doubt: Perfect, but not classic. Why?

    BECAUSE CUBAN LINX PRECEDED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://www.myspace.com/atlatino404 El Tico Loco

      Drug talk, gun talk, a song w/MJB, a Nas sample and a Nas feature, shit they’re the same album the difference is the perspective 5% vs 85%.

      • RL

        The difference for me is originality which is essential for a classic album, in my opinion. Reasonable Doubt lacks that originality. It’s an excellent album, flawless even, but it lacks originality.

  • Silly Willy

    Classic = Well-crafted, major impact on the era (trend), spitting image of the landscape it comes from, and an album that you show to people outside the culture when they wanna learn what it’s all about

    Perfect = in the eye of the beholder (what you wanted to hear, the vibe, the message, whatever…)

    The two are not incompatible. But they don’t have to collide all the time

  • Avenger XL

    What defines a classic album breaks down into several factors:

    1. It’s effect on the culture and or audience: (i.e. how well your record connects to people. Pac was great at connecting because he spoke from the angle of a hood dude. He described life through the lense of many young cats who considered themselves thugs at the time and it carried beyound that because he created songs covering real issues that the average person could relate to. While Nas illmatic is classic but speaks the same real issues to an audience of primary hip-hop fans etc…..

    2. Innovation or at least adding on or building on an existing topic: Notice how the legendary emcees are the ones who bring in or characterize something fresh and new. They innovate or at the very least place a new spin on established material.

    3. Timelessness: This is something that can’t be measured until waaaaaay after the fact. But notice you can place illmatic,The Chronic,All Eyez on me, ready to die,southernplayaistic etc….. in your ipod from now until infinity and still vibe or even Rakim’s Paid in full for that matter. Try that with a more generic formula driven album.

    4. The pressence of a producer: Todays records sound like mixtapes because of the superbeatmaker era. Cat’s go get a bunch of hot beats and just blaze them, many time without any sense of how it would play as a record. That is because we are in a single driven industry. So artists are not expected to make cohesive bodies of work. Just a bunch of hit singles. Throw in the fact a beat maker doesn’t have the same attachment to a project as a producer and there goes the classic album ratio.

    Now some people get caught up in how many songs are skippable. That is too subjective like trying to pick a GOAT. But notice that certain albums like certain emcees left an indelible effect on the game and they are how you define them as classic. I don’t listen to every song everytime on a classic album and there are some songs that just ain’t me. But I can still respect how the artist approached the track. Now here is a challenge what are the new classics?

  • AvengerXL

    P.S. Searching for the perfect record is like searching for the perfect beat. It is a personal preference thing and how the lyrics and beat effects you.

  • s.worth

    im no 50 fan, but Get Ruch or Die Tryin is pretty much a perfect album IMO. All of the songs are good and there are no skits.

  • Trenton Watts

    Classics 5 mics Timeless

    Gangstar Enter the Arena
    Tribe Midnight M
    Mos Def Black on Both Side’s
    Outkast Aqumeni
    Nas Stillmatic
    50 Get rich or Die trying
    Jeru The Warth of the math
    The Board St Bully Public enemy number 1 (dont sleep)

  • maCaso

    The Eminem show is a perfect album for the time period of troubles!
    (Perfect)
    Same goes for T.I.’s Paper Trail
    (Perfect)

    on the other hand
    50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Trying
    Jay-Z – The Blueprint
    Dr. Dre – 2001
    The Game – The Documentary
    Nas – Illmatic
    Raekwon – O.B.F.C.L.
    Kanye West – Late Registration
    (All Classic)

    My Way of looking at it!

  • capcobra

    AZ pieces of a blackman is a classic for me…i put that on and cruise…i might skip “trial of the century” but that’s like the last song or two…if anybody still got that cd put it on today..and if you don’t know about it then pull it up today.

  • OG Bobby J

    I completely agree with this. Everyone is going to have a different definition of “classic”. for instance, I would put the following 5 albums in my Clasic category, due to how they changed my perception of the game, how they impacted my life during the time they were popular and how they effected the game overall…:

    It was written – NAS
    In my opinion, better than Illmatic. Just pure fire from start to finish. Affirmative action one of the best posse cuts of all time, word to slaughterhouse.

    Doggystyle – Snoop
    For me, put the west on the map. Snoop had swag before the word was used. Made a NY dude wanna be from the westside…
    Capital Punishment – Big Pun
    Pun is one of my favorite of all time. In my personal top 3…but this album is bananas.

    Legal Drug Money – Lost Boyz
    Since I hail from Queens, these dudes were reppin hard for the area…album was dope too.

    Get Rich or Die Tryin -50
    When i was in college, this changed the landscape of the game. Album is awesome….bottomline, like 50 or not….

    • capcobra

      on some queens shit..does bacdafucup by onyx qualify?

      • og bobby j

        not saying it doesnt, but it doesnt for me…..

        On some queens shit, CNN the reunion might make it tho…..

        • brand-new

          cnn’s war report was way better my dude

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        I think Shut Em Down is Onyx’s most complete album…

  • Collan

    Illmatic
    Only Built For Cuban Lynx
    Reasonable Doubt
    Black On Both Sides
    Black Star
    Stillmatic
    The Black Album
    Below The Heavens

  • 718

    My list of new classics:

    Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
    Black Milk: Tronic
    Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury
    Common: Be
    Ghostface Killah: Fishscale
    Jay-Z: Blueprint, The Black Album, American Gangster
    Kanye West: All four albums
    Lil Wayne: Carter 2, Carter 3 (in time)
    Lupe: All two albums
    Nas: Stillmatic, Untitled
    Q-Tip: The Renaissance
    The Roots: Rising Down
    Scarface: The Fix
    SLAUGHTERHOUSE
    T.I.: Trap Muzik, King, Paper Trail
    50 Cent: Get Rich or Die Tryin’
    Young Jeezy: Thug Motivation 101 (Took a while to appreciate)
    Eminem: Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem Show, Relapse
    Rick Ross: Deeper Than Rap (don’t front)
    Elzhi: The Preface

    Apologies if the list seems exhaustive, but just thought I’d put that out there. One.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Dra$t-iQ Alkoholik

    list of classics
    1. eminem show
    2. marshall matherrs lp
    3.makaveli 7 day theory
    4. life after death
    5. illmatic
    6. get rich or die tryin
    7. all eyez on me
    8. me against the world
    9. doggystyle
    10. cronic
    11. cronic 2001
    12. reasonable doubt
    13. it was written
    14. slim shady lp
    15. it’s dark and hell is hot

    • Jericho

      I can’t agree with any Eminem album being considered classic….controversial, yeah but not classic.

      • http://xxlmag.com TJ

        you need to get off this site

        • Nat Turner II

          I agree with Jericho…the only album by Em that can even be up for consideration is his first album…

  • fu all day

    classic albums
    1-B.I.G.- ready to die
    2- DMX- Its dark and hell is hot
    3- mos def- black on both sides
    4- AZ- Doe or Die
    5- B.I.G- Life after death
    6- 50 cent- grodt
    7- Nas- It was written
    8- Mobb deep- hell on earth
    9- Jay-Z- reasonable doubt
    10= Gangstarr- Hard to earn
    11- Gangstarr- the ownerz
    12- xZIBIT- 40 DAYS 40 NIGHTZ and mad other shit i cant remember those albums are dope

    • Nat Turner II

      Get Rich or Dye Tryin…was NOT…I repeat was NOT a classic…his underground album “Guess Who’s Back” is a classic though…he took like 5 songs off of it and fucked them up by putting them to different beats and put them on GRODT

  • Brahsef

    A recent imperfect CD that I would say should be defined as a classic is The Cool. Lupe put way too many fuckin tracks on it, but there were just too many epic tracks to let the other few bring it down.

    And I know this won’t be popular, the Carter 2 needs to be realized as a classic. It had a huge effect on the hip-hop culture, people still bump it from time to time, along with his mixtapes it catapulted Wayne to ridiculous heights, and it had a pretty unified sound. Sadly, the C3 was a shit album and I don’t think any of his new albums will be any better.

    • render

      no hate, carter 2 was a tight album imo but its nowhere close to classic…like i said, 2nd criteria…does it influence other artists? I didn’t see too many rappers jumping on blues sounding production or anyone coppin an astmathic flow…his mixtapes is where he started developing his punchline heavy, one liner style that got him his fanbase

      Kanye for example changed the game with college dropout…not only are those tracks timeless but without it, there’d be no lane for suburban Drake type niggas right now

      and this is comin from someone who doesn’t really fuck with kanye

  • jburg

    Bubba Sparxxx- Deliverance! Don’t give a fuck what any of you niggas say. Go listen to that album!! Hands down the most slept on classic album of all time!!

    • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

      jburg, we finally agree!

      Deliverance is amazing.

      • BIGNAT

        man so slept on it’s crazy the worst thing he felt he went to far left. it’s not always the case of you going to far left it’s just you go over some peoples heads.

  • http://www.get2knowpro.com leontheprofessional

    classix… so many. I was happy someone listed that MastaAce! check:

    1. Blu – Below The Heavens
    2. Masta Ace – Disposable Arts
    3. De La Soul – AOI: Bionix
    4. Gangstarr – Moment of Truth
    5. Talib/Hitek – Reflection Eternal
    6. Das EFX – Hold It Down
    7. Slum Village – Fantastic Vol.2
    8. OutKast – Aquemini
    9. Fugees – The Score
    10. TribeCalledQuest – Beats, Rhymes x Life.

    …my opinion.

  • Jericho

    Does a classic album really have to be perfect

    ^^^

    No. A classic album changes the way a genre or music in general is made or has such a lasting influence because of its content, imagination and style. It can’t be perfect otherwise there would be nothing to improve upon…

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a perfect album but I’ve heard lots of classics.

  • Dan

    The only perfect album in hip hop I’ve ever heard is Illmatic. After that there are many classics but none are perfect. There can be arguments for each one whether a extended beat, track of a DJ cutting, or an unnecessary remix.

    BTW the second pressing of Stillmatic doesn’t have “Braveheart Party” and the album is without a doubt a classic.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 2

  • Jesus Martinez

    I think Life After Death is a classic, but “Mo Money, Mo Problems” has the gayest fucking production of all time (also a shitty verse from Diddy) and I always skip it.

    Puff Daddy pretty much kept both of BIG’s albums from becoming perfect.

  • L.a Vet

    I agree deliverence was great… but it wasn’t a classic it was a slept on masterpiece….

    Devin the dude catalogs come to mind… i mean hands down the five most consistent slept on masterpieces with out a doubt…

    A masterpiece is a great album…

    a Classic changes the game….

    Chronic
    Doggystyle
    NWA first album
    Niggaz4life
    Life is too short
    Can’t stay away
    Coming out hard
    six six sixty one
    Both biggies cd
    Pac last three
    Gheety green
    400 degrees
    etc

    shit they use to come out all the time…
    too many too name… although i ain’t heard one in a while but to the cat that 808 and heartbreaks… that ain’t hip-hop… R&B classic might be next…

    • latino heat

      co-sign L.A. Vet. whoever still dosen’t listen to Devin The Dude needs a cup of Folgers ASAP. on the low he is by far the most consistent artist in the game.

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    There is no such thing as a perfect album. There’s always one wack verse, or aite beat, or wtf kinda line. But classic is a real thing and yes you can have a classic even with a wack song in there (although that wack song cannot be in the beginning or middle of the album, most times it needs to be tucked away at the end).

    And BTW, Stillmatic is not a classic. It’s the most overrated album ever. ha!

  • BigMack99

    Ok there are alot of classics to many to realy go through but here is a list of every artist that has at least had one or more classic albums.

    Nas-at least 3, It was written is a better album that Stilmatic
    Wu-Tang Clan
    L.L. Cool J
    Mobb Deep- first 2
    EPMD
    Redman- atleast has 3 imperfect classics
    Jay-Z- never had a perfect classic though
    Tribe Called Quest- first 3
    Raekwon
    Dr. Dre
    Outkast
    Notorious B.I.G.
    Snoop Dogg
    2 Pac
    Xzibit- his second album is one of those imperfect classics
    Westside Connection

    Thats all I can realy think of I left out the 80′s cause im just really a 90′s type of guy, sep for EPMD AND LL Cool J but as far as 2000 go 50 cent has never had a classic your smoking crack if u think so um Masta Ace has been puttin in work lately in the 2000′s though

  • A

    STILLMATIC IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST RAP RECORDS EVER MADE. IT’S ABSOLUTELTY AN EXAMPLE OF CLASSIC. CLASSIC DOES NOT = PERFECT. I AGREE WITH YOU JFK 100% CLASSIC IS A TIME MARKER LP BUT IT’S ALSO TIMELESS.

  • Koncept

    DJ Khaled-We the Best=Classic!!!!!!!!
    lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    fuck that.

  • alex

    I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind– Killer Mike
    Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album — Jay-Z
    Both Dr. Dre Albums
    … forget it, there’s alot i just don’t feel like mentioning them all

  • alderman j

    A classic doesnt have to be perfect, it just cant have any WACK songs, just because you or i skip it doesnt mean it isnt a quality song.

    classics:
    low end theory
    chronic
    illmatic
    enter 36 chambers
    only built for cuban linx (the purple tape, cds wasnt out yet for you 80s babies)
    blueprint
    come home with me
    the sun rises in the east
    king
    ready to die
    get rich or die tryin
    southernplaylisticadilacfunkymusic
    coming out hard
    makavelli the don killumnati 7 day theory
    the infamous
    murda muzik
    the score
    reasonable doubt
    thug motivation
    life and times of shawn carter vol 3
    lord willin
    late registration
    these are all classics you could put in each cd and never have to leave your couch, every song is dope!!!!!!!

  • alderman j

    LA VET, I LIKE THAT SYSTEM, IM GOING TO START GOING BY THAT SYSTEM. BUT I THINK MY LIST STILL HAS ALL CLASSICS!!!

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    Funny… I could’ve swore that I spoke about that shit on my vlog in week 3… whatever…

    A classic album doesn’t have to be perfect… that’s not even a serious question… Even an album that you play just to get you through to the next can grow on you to the point where you won’t go day without playing it or it becomes YOUR album, like that album you just GOTTA hear at least before you go to sleep, y’know, if only just a few tracks off of it.

    youtube.com/federalranga Episode 5 up. Commission!!!

  • HollyHood

    its damn near impossible to classify an album as a classic. whats a classic in the south(thug motivation) may be bull shit up north. what may be perfect to me(blueprint) may have skippers to u. it really depends on what u, where u find and what did u grow up on and what u classify as a “classic”…. rappers do use that turn entirely 2 much!!!!

  • latino heat

    co-sign Incilin to the fullest. actually Stillmatic and GRODT tie for most overrated albums ever.

    oh and the worst rap song ever isn’t Braveheart Party, but it is a Braveheart song. Ooochie Wally is far and away THE WORST FUCKIN SONG IN HIP HOP HISTORY. Nas played himself to the fullest by allowing that bullshit to come out. so yeah Nas, “is it Oochie Wally, or is it One Mic? is it Black Girl Lost or does shorty owe you for ice?” – Jay-Z

  • Lloyd sedio

    Can sum1 please tell me which track(s) wil u skip from chronic 2001, the documentary and the massacre, if u dont believe that there r classic n perfect albums

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    classic and perfect are not interchangeable. perfection is subjective. modern classics though? we got some:

    - “below the heavens”, blu and exile
    - “the listening”, little brother
    - “the renaissance”, q-tip
    - “born like this”, DOOM
    - “dennehy”, serengeti
    - “caltroit”, bishop lamont and black milk (should not even be considered a mixtape)
    - “late registration”, ye tudda

    there are many, many more. hip hop is nowhere near dead and never will be.

  • Apollo Moses

    East Point Greatest Hits by Cool Breeze is perfect.

  • 313Dawg

    Death Certificate/Amerikkkas Most
    Illadelph
    Soul Food
    The Chronic
    Midnight Marauders
    OBFCL
    ATLiens
    Minstrel Show..All examples of flawless joints in my opinion!!!

  • NESTO

    Although I do agree that a CD doesn’t have to be perfect to be classic, there are 2 (& ONLY 2) in the history of hip hop that did reach perfection. RUN DMC-Raising Hell & NOTORIOUS B.I.G.-Life After Death. And I believe YOUNG JEEZY-Thug Motovation 101 is a classic that should have got as much (if not more) praise as Get Rich or Die Tryin.

  • Slient-J

    theres certain classics albums that i like and some that come out remind me of the ones in the past to compare my top 10 classic albums mobb deep: the infamous, 50 cent get rich and die trying, jay-z the blueprint, nas stillmatic, the game- the documentry, wu-tang- 36 chambers, nas illmatic,beanie sigel the reason,eminem- relapse, and kanye west- college dropout game’s documentry remind me of snopp’s doggystyle thats my favorive album kanye’s dropout is a midwest version of dre’s the chronic album 50 cents first album remind of lyrically illmatic/stillmatic and have the reasonable doubt feel theres alot of classics and i meanched them

  • Sway-z

    It’s all opinion really, and in my opinion, the only album that doesn’t have 1 song I skip is Reasonable Doubt. The weakest song is “Ain’t no nigga” and it’s only weak because you heard it 5 million times. From start to finish, Reasonable Doubt knocks

  • http://classic.net/ classic

    I believe this album will become a true classic of NAS

  • beaver

    ok stillmatic isn’t a classic..i skipped many tracks on dat album..
    i liked sum tracks not many..
    DAts not even on da top 5 albums nas made.
    i think
    Illmatic,-NAS
    I Am…Autobiography.,-NAs
    Hip Hop IS dead-NAs
    Slim Shady Lp-Eminem
    Get Rich Or Die Tryin-50 CEnt
    Encore-Eminem
    The Score-The Fugees(1 of my fav album classic)
    It was written-NAs
    MArshall MAthers lp-Eminem
    CArter 3-Wayne
    The Black Album-JAy-z
    1st Infantry-Alchemist
    Chemical Warfare-Alchemist(lov dat album)
    BISD-50(i think dat will be a very good album so its a future classic)
    an therez alot more..
    oh an i’m 16 an fugees is my shit.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    A classic album is one that stands the test of time.

    In the flawed ways of man there is no such thing as perfect. You strive for perfection.

    Even on Cuban Linx 1, I skip “Ice Cream” because I heard it a zillion times.

    Same with “Off The Wall” and “Billie Jean”. I listen to “Get on The Floor” more, yet that would be the next man’s skip material.

    It depends on the individual.

  • david

    besides east coast classics…….
    tha carter-lil wayne
    400 degreez-juvenile
    8ball and mjg-coming out hard
    ugk-ridin dirty
    mystikal-mind of mystikal
    c-murder-life or death
    ludacris- word of mouf
    outkast-aquemeni
    just to name a few

  • http://www.sounclick.com/trapbaby soundclickdotcomslashtrapbaby

    Kanye West – Late Registration (Only listened to once, but i remember that the shit was good)
    Big Pun- Capital Punishment (Flawless)
    The Roots- Tipping Point
    Eminem- Slim Shady LP
    Most of any Dead Prez
    Scarface- The Fix
    Outkast-Aquemini
    DMX- Its Dark and Hell Is Hot
    Black Milk and Bishop Lamont- caltroit mixtape
    Hip Hop IS dead-NAs
    Elzhi- The Preface

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-7057-DC-Bars-Examiner The Truth

    Not at all. For example, take College Dropout. It’s a landmark album that changed hip-hop significantly and opened the door for a lot of today’s new talent i.e. SOME of XXL’s latest Freshman class. However, that album still has its share of flaws:
    1. Kanye simultaneously diplayed flashes of brilliance and flashes of why nobody wanted to fuck with him.
    2. Too many skits.

    Overall, it was brilliant work because there wasn’t anything like it at the time in the mainstream, yet it immature and unfocused. Still, the latter doesn’t take away from it’s classic status.
    -JK

  • Karlito

    NaS – illmatic (even though I am not too fond of “one time for your mind” I still like it but not as much as everything else)

    This album is perfect. Beats, Rhymes, tone, timelessness, how it captures New York hip hop at that time. Only one feature AZ which was blistering, The best producers at the time. I mean it’s too iLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders. I know people rate “Low End Theory” higher but this album is a classic from beginning to end! Timeless!!!!

    There are more but these are just 2

    Deuces!

  • http:/twitter.com/mylesrwalker Myles R. Walker

    I was just listening to Nas’s CLASSIC Stillmatic album like 45 minutes ago when i was online while I was increasing public Tourette Syndrome awareness, networking and promoting MY NEW MOVIE AMATEURS THE MOVIE IN THEATERS EVRYWHERE SPRING 2010. yOU CAN ASK GOD HIMSELF I AINT LYING, I HAD THE VOLUME LOUD THROUGH THE HEADPHONES NODDING MY HEAD FEELING MOTIVATED AND INSPIRATED SMILING BUMBIN THAT STILLMATIC INTRO “BLOOD OF A SLAVE HEART OF A KING” AND I JUMP ON XXL TO SEE YALL TALKING BOUT NAS CLASSIC ALBUM WOW HOW IRONIC OR SHOULD I SAY GOD IS GOOD. ME & MY TOURETTES MOTIVATED BY NAS IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE 1LUV TWITTER.COM/MYLESRWALKER
    LIKE KING NASIR SAY I WANT MY SWAG BACK BLOOD OF A SLAVE HEART OF A KING BRAVEHEART

  • the G.O.D

    Peace
    Elmvis has made classic albums(LOL)? in which category? rap? white man’s angst? Kneegr..Cracko please, and in no particular order: Wu-36 chambers; Nas-Illmatic; EPMD-Strickly Business, GFK-Supreme Clientele; Cube-Amerikkka’s Most Wanted; Eric B & Rakim-Paid in Full; Gansgstarr-Hard to Earn/D.O; Raekwon-OBCL; GZA-liquid Swords; G. Rap-Road to the Riches; Brand Nubian-One for All; Black Moon-Enter the Stage; Naughty by Nature-(self-titled), BDP-Criminal Minded, Das EFX-, Dre-Chronic, De la-Three feet high and Rising/De la is dead?, P.E.-It takes a nation, ATCQ-People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm; DMX-It’s Dark and Hell is Hot;BIG-Ready to Die/Life after Death, Jay-Z-Reason. Doubt; Biz Markie-Goin’ Off; Capone-n-Noreaga-War Report, Mobb-Infamous; Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth-Mecca and the Soul Brother; Scarface-Mr. Scarface is Back; Special Ed-Youngest in Charge; Menace to Society-Soundtrack; Main Source-Breaking Atoms; BDK-Long live the Kane
    ….One can go on and on
    [Almost Classics]-Smith N’ Wessun-Da shinin’, AZ-A.W.O.L(yep)/Aziatic; Jeru-The sun rises in the East; Mic Geronimo-The Natural; Lil’ kim-Hardcore (the cover is worth it);Masta Ace: Sittin’ on Chrome; M.O.P-To the death; Onyx-Bacdafucup; X-Clan-To the East Blackwards..
    Peace

    • capcobra

      that’s a tuff list right there.

  • the G.O.D

    Peace
    Das Efx-Dead Serious; Lyte-Lyte as a Rock etc…..

    Peace

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      PEACE ORIGINAL MAN

      Glad you dropped X-CLAN

      RIP LUMUMBA & SONNY CARSON & SUGA SHAFT & PARADISE

      PERSISENTLY
      EDUCATING
      ASSHOLES
      CONSTANLTY
      EVERYDAY

  • lee

    LIFE AFTER DEATH IS THE MOST COME TO PERFECT ALBUM EVER.BIGGIE LYRICS WHERE SO GENIUS THAT IF HE HAD A BAD BEAT HE MADE IT SOUND GOOD

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/?p=54644 LEE

    LIFE AFTER DEATH IS THE CLOSES THING YOU WILL HERE TO PERFECTION.ALL THOSE SONGS AND I CAN ONLY SKIP 1 PLAYER HATER.BIGGIE WAS SUCH A LYRICAL GENIUS HE COULD MAKE A BAD BEAT SOUND GOOD.

  • alderman j

    Oh yeah Capital Punishment and Ridin Dirty,
    and for anyone who puts an eminem album up there please!!!! his albums arent even close to being classic, i can honestly say ive bought 3 of ems albums the first 2 and the last one, and i can say this, i dont know where the first 2 are and i gave the last one away, thats real talk!!! Every other mixtape or album i ever bought i still own and if it got gone i got another one. Em is for shock value but his albums are garbage!!!

  • Teddy

    1.slim shady lp
    2.marshal mathers lp
    3.eminem show (but compared the later it is overshadowed)
    4.Jay-z – blue print
    5.jay-z – reasonable doubt
    6.snoop – doggy style
    7.nas – it was written
    8.nas – stillmatic
    9. 2pac – all eyez on me
    10. dre – chronic 2001

  • st.martin

    somthing about remy classic and very close to perfect but slept on hard

    • latino heat

      @ St. Martin
      i don’t know if i can fully co-sign s.a.r. as a classic, but i will say that it is EASILY the best album by a female emcee in the last 10 years. it is slept on way too hard.

  • eskay

    I think it’s funny how everyone is talking about older albums that have been getting the “classic” stamp. Don’t get me wrong, they are all good albums, but not every single one of them changed the game and nobody is really mentioning that. As far as game-changing albums go, here are some of my thoughts:

    1. The Blueprint: Made soul-sampling extremely popular and took rap music to the next level.

    2. Tha Carter 3: Weezy proved that with a strong work ethic you can be successful, no matter what the climate is like, and now everyone is doing weekly songs and dropping fuck-tons of new (and free) music.

    3. So Far Gone: I think this is a sign of where hip-hop is going and I have been saying this since Comeback Season-Drake is gonna take shit OVER.

    4. Souljaboytellem.com: DO NOT take this the wrong way…I think his music is garbage but I can at least respect his hustle. Think about what happened when Crank That came out. A 17 year-old kid single-handedly changed hip-hip. Everybody was making dance songs and what-not and he still managed to go plat in a fucked up climate with garbage ass verses and catchy hooks.

    • OG Bobby J

      ^^^this nigga serious^^^

      You should have all comments reviewed by someone with sense before posting…

  • Brooklyn

    a classic doesn’t have to be “perfect.” in the art world, there are many examples of imperfect classics, like the mona lisa, which was never finished and that greek statue where the bitch don’t have no arms. perfection doesn’t exist, nothing is unflawed. but, i’ve always considered big l’s “lifestyles ov the poor and dangerous” to be a classic, big pun’s “capital punishment”, capone-n-noreaga’s “war report”, jay-z’s “hard knock life, vol. 2″,t.i’s “i’m serious” and “trap muzik” the fugees “the score”, and nwa’s “straight outta compton.”

    • BIGNAT

      man you know alot of people slept on that trap muzik.i am glad to see you call it a classic because it is. when i first googled that album it was gold and the last time i had to google it to show somebody it was platinum.

      • Brooklyn

        yeah, “trap muzik” was the shit, it was my intro to t.i., after i heard that i went back and copped “i’m serious” and i liked that too. although i think he fell off with his last two albums, t.i. is one of the few contemporary southern artists that i can fuck with. i also thought that ludacris’ “back for the first time” was a classic of modern southern rap and outkast had too many classics for me to list. ob4cl was also a classic and “the return to the 36 chambers” was also a classic for me, odb was the man

  • ?

    The Eminem show= the epitome of a classic album

  • batman 1234

    nas untitled is a classic album

  • Dan

    It’s funny how Jay-Z fans still hate Nas after all these years. Give up already!

    To me The Blueprint is overrated because of the massive biting of lyrics, too much pop beats, and “Eminem murdered you on your own shit” with old rhymes but it’s still a classic.

  • ecoll918

    luda cant get no love for a classic album if classic = play-thru. Back for tha first time. tell me wat u had 2 skip? u even listened 2 tha skits

  • http://iverson0 Mikey F Baby

    E. 1999 Eternal – Bone…shit was hard straight through

  • Billy Diamonds

    There’s a big difference between classic and masterpiece. Masterpiece is the perfect album, a classic album stands the test of time but may not be perfects sans a couple of songs

    Masterpiece lps: Illmatic; Only Built For Cuban Linx…

    Classics: Reasonable Doubt, Doggystyle, The Chronic, Midnight Marauders, Enter the 36 Chambers, Great Adventures of Slick RIck, Paid in Full etc. too many to name

  • http://yahoo yellow man

    Classic Album Eightball & MJG Comin, Out Hard , On Top of the world In Our Life Time. UGK Ridin Dirty Dirty Money. Master P Ice cream man Ghetto Dope Tru Tru 2 da game. Twista Adrealine Twista Mobstability. Scarface made. C-BO One Life to live. Muder was the case soundtrack, Ice Cube Laugh now, cry later, Bone E. 1999 Eternal

  • BIGNAT

    i say classic is a overall feel of a album with not that many skips. there are some cd’s that are very good and you don’t skip any songs but you wouldn’t call it classic. artist like jeezy, obie trice, fat joe, em, ludacris and the list goes on and on. they all have albums that you barely skip songs on. or you don’t skip any at all but to me nothing you would call classic.

    • BIGNAT

      oh yeah what i think are classic albums in no order
      1. outkast- aquemini speakerbox/lovebelow
      2. biggie- his first 2 albums
      3. t.i.- trap muzik
      4. nas- illmatic
      5. jay-z- reasonable doubt and the black album
      6. ghostfacekillah- his first 2 albums
      7. snoop dogg- doggystyle
      8. the roots- things fall apart
      9. big pun- his first cd
      10. wu-tang clan- return to the 36 chambers wu-tang forever and the w
      11. rae-ob4cl
      12. GZA-liquid Swords
      13. scarface- the fix made emeritus fuck it last of a dying breed
      14. mf doom/doom- madvillany and born like this
      15. makavelli the don killumnati 7 day theory
      16. mobb deep- the infamous murda muzik
      17. redman- muddy waters
      18. de la soul- the grind date and many more can’t remember the titles right now
      19. bone thugs- creepin on ah come up
      20. little brother- the listening
      21. Bubba Sparxxx- Deliverance
      and there are many more
      22. cube- amerikkas most wanted death certificate and predator umm nah to predator
      23. common- be and resurrection
      and fuck it there are a lot more
      oh yeah 24. the d.o.c- none can do it better

  • ToMeK

    1. Onyx – Shut em down
    2. Snoop – Doggystyle
    3. 2 Pac – All eyez on me
    4. 2 Pac – Makavali
    5. Notorious B.I.G – Life after death
    6. Dr Dre – Chronic 2001
    7. Nas – It was written
    8. Nas – Stillmatic
    9. Cypress Hill – IV
    10. Eminem – Eminem show
    11. Eminem – Slim shady lp
    12. Eminem – Marshall mathers lp
    13. D12 – Devil’s night
    14. 50 Cent – Get rich or die tryin’
    15. Big Pun – Capital punishment
    16. Big L – Lifestylez ov da poor and dangerous
    17. Big L – The big picture

  • 504 easy

    Fellas, its not one album deemed classic or perfect that you don’t skip tracks on. If it is a classic or perfect in your opinion you have heard it a 1000 times and when you put it out of your rotation and back in down the line you go to the tracks that make you feel good. It is what it is. I think everyone named great albums but you guys so east coast yall left out some good south stuff, IMO.

  • ToMeK

    Forgot…

    18. Xzibit – Restless

  • Industry Exec

    Makaveli best album of all no skip

  • Beast McCoy

    There are so many classic albums but there are very few [if any] perfect albums [unless we just allow give or take a track or two of filler]. I am not going to name perfect albums but two albums can both be called classics but that doesn’t mean they both equal in quality to one another. ex. Busta Rhymes “E.L.E.” may be superior to let’s say DJ Quik’s “Rhythmalism” in some ppl’s opinion but it doesn’t mean it is any less a classic. It’s all opinion and I call good music “Classics” and Fantastic Albums [hint, hint Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys [1st]] masterpieces just not perfect just above all the rest.

  • oskamadison

    A classic album, to me, is pretty much what JFK said but there’s another factor, the personal factor. An album’s impact on the culture is one thing but what about its impact on YOU? A classic album should be a time capsule for a certain time in your life. A lot of universally classic albums fit this criteria for me (the usual suspects: Illmatic 36 Chambers, OB4CL, etc.) but there’s a lot of albums that I consider classic because they mean something to me. CNN’s The War Report is one. So is Redman’s Muddy Waters, Bubba Sparxxx’s Deliverance (tragically slept-on), Common’s Be (for that matter, Like Water For Chocolate, too), Da Lench Mob’s Guerillas in the Mist (had to go back on that one) and Red and Meth’s first Blackout joint.
    Does it have to be flawlwss? Nope. 2 of my top 5 favorite albums ever, Paid In Full and Critical Beatdown both have joints that I skip religiously. If an album has one, maybe two skippable joints, as long as the overall quality of the album is there, it’s all good.

  • nzhiphop

    I gotta agree with osakamadison, that a classic album should be about the quality of the music on the album and how it affected you. Scribe’s (a New Zealand rapper) debut album ‘The Crusader’ (rerleased in 2003) is a classic to me, as it was the album that made me fall in love with this culture.

    Then there are the classics like The Infamous, All Eyez On Me, The Chronic, The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP, 2001, Illmatic, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, The Documentary and Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 which I can listen through each song, on each album, and fully enjoy it and only skip a song on the occassional listen.

  • http://xxlmag.com LeroyLove

    I think a “classic album” is an album that consist of the perfect storm of beats, lyrics and creativity, from start to finish…my top three would be The Chronic, Ready To Die, and that album Stick Fingers put out, I forgot the name, The Life and Times of Kirk Jones, but that was a bomb ass album…

    • latino heat

      @ LeroyLove
      Sticky’s album was called Black Trash, The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones. and yes that shit was a tragically slept on banger.

  • jason the jerk

    i think the real reason we have not seen a classic album in awhile has to do with CD’s. most of us on here are in our late 20′s so we remember when we had that sony walkman that took those 2 double A batteries…..but anyway this was before the skipping of tracks and shit….but to answer the question i think the perfect album IMO is….
    CRU-The dirty 30
    if you have heard of it then you know what i am talking about

  • Monty B.

    Amerikkka’s Most Wanted = Perfect
    Death Certificate = Classic

    It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back = Perfect
    Fear Of A Black Planet = Perfect

    Paul’s Boutique = Perfect
    Licensed To Ill = Classic

    Raising Hell = Perfect
    Tougher Than Leather = Classic

  • pr

    E.1999 Eternal should be on every list. it influenced, changed, and advanced the whole rap game

  • 93

    My list is

    Classic:
    Illmatic
    Stillmatic
    Late Registration
    College Dropout
    Marshall Mathers Lp
    Blueprint
    Reasonable Doubt
    The Minstrel Show
    The Cool
    Ready to Die
    The Eminem Show
    36 Chambers
    Paper Trail
    Perfect:
    Untitle
    Graduation
    Food & Liquor
    Be
    Tha Carter 2
    King

  • D East

    Dr Dre 2001 is a classic

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Classic equals timeless.Sumttin that lives on 4eva’.
    MJ’s thriller is 1 of those albums that u can’t skip/fastforward a track b’cuz its hit afta hit,ya dig?

    If u aint making a double/triple album ur goal should b’ about 12 – 14 tracks.
    Otherwise it tends 2 wore off listeners with just 2 much skits & unnessary tracks which results in near misses/imperfect classics.

    PS:I know this supposed 2 b’ a hip-hop classic/perfect debate i’m just payin’ my respect 2 MJ.

  • http://xxlmag.com Wyzard of HIp Hop 297

    Whatsup peeps.

    its like this. Classic Album does NOT mean there are NO skipable tracks. Why you ask students? Simple, b/c there are 2 FEW albums in which that is the case. EXample; its like calling a girl a dime. Dont’ think VA (where I live) has sucky female population, dont’ sleep on it, but I can honestly say that Ive never seen a dime in my life by DEFinition of perfect which would mean that you look at a female (or male if youre a girl, NO homo of course, b/c I wouldn’t know) but when you look at this “dime” female you see no, and I mean NO flaws, NO room for improvement, no AREA of improvement. I mean, c’mon have anyof you seen a female like that?? And ‘classica’ as a term being over used, I don’t think so – and half of these ‘leaders of the new school’ aka Generation Y (or are they Z by now? lol) don’t even KNO the term Classic, the “soulja boy”, “chicken noodle soup” “Ringtone” generation. So how can it be overused when basically it belongs to a previous generation (Gen X that is ‘mid-nineties’ teens like myself, eighties babies) so overused? NO I don’t see that, really the only point of contetnion I have with the whole brief article in which I highly co-sign. However where as going bac to my previous analogy the ‘dime’ and ‘dime’ statues is EXtremely overused. If my boys were correct and accurate in they anaylisis then they see a ‘dime’ every week and have dated many (in the sense that they categorize some of they exes as dimes, NOT me – and its not the broads aren’t HOTT its jus dime?, no not quite) Im a hot guy (and Im being serious for point of example, not cocky, bsides why would I be trying to convince a (virtual/blog)-room of guys that Im a dime – thatd be mad homo! lol. But even tho Im a hot guy, I have not even dated a dime, maybe a ‘nine’ at most. Maybe my scale is jus more fine tuned and refined then most cats. But come one a dime?? How often do you see a perfect LOOKING female, and Im not even talking about they personality Im speakin purely from looks, skin deep, bc bsdies how could you really say that someones personality is dime or they are a dime as a person, only God/Jesus Himself could judge that, how could you say someone is a dime as a person, bsides thats kinda gay. ANYWAY I feel like the term ‘classic’ is comparable to that but NOT nearly overused and certainly not nearly elusive. BUT again I don’t think ‘classic’ SHOULD refer to a perfect album. How many albums can you honestly say is PERfect and comPLETELY unskipable!! Example – some of those same friends I mentioned, these niggas will make mix CDs of they fave/hottest songs – now if you make a mix CD of your top fave songs OBVIOUSLY its of your creation and in your opinion the most hottests songs out, recent, of all time or “hottest on the radio right now” or hottest of a single artist EX: Best of BIG or something. And these niggas will get in the car and skip songs!! Wait did you pick up on that? YOu know how annoying it is when you have a bangin album or mix and you throw it in and niggas change your track mid way through or while you bumpin it well jus think of how annoying and basically hypocritical it is when niggas make they OWN mix, based on one of they top list by watever criterea (single best of an artist, best RandB, best singles – jus watever) and these niggas will skip tracks! Skip tracks on they OWN mix!! The POINT being that if niggas skip tracks on mixes they made they selves, then how rare would it be for an ARTIST to make an album of THEY own creation and as choosy (choosy kids choose Jiff lol, jus being stupid right there) but as choosy and picky as cats are you really think they gonna find an album they can play the whole way through?? Besides who really does that anyway? The only example I have is where my boy reccomended an album (maybe Justins first joint or Chronic 2001, I 4get) but he reccomended and album to a girl and she played the joint THE whole way THROUGH while she cleaned her house! Obviously she was in an activity so she prolly would have never stopped jus to skip a track, by the way thats one of the BEST ways to discover and give ‘chances’ to an album is to listen to it while cleaning the crib or washing your car, try it. Ive discovered mad heat like that, for one thats how I discovered track 14 ‘don’t get it’ on the Carter III, a track I otherwise prolly would’ve never listend too. But bottomline a one – two tracks MAX are “forgivable” on a classic I think. Are there perfect albums? Yeah jus listen to Reasonable Doubt, Ready to Die or Life after Death (lol) or The Documentary of course the Chronic or even 50s ONE good album lol, his FIRST one. Basically any of the records Game mentions in that song he has on Documentary where he raps a short list of classics in the chorus that was hot. So classics can have skippable tracs – be realistic folks. And be ENLIGHTENED too, as usual E broke off some fire knowledge at the top of the page, phat shouts to you E we run this town like Jay-Z even if we don’t always agree.
    The Wyzard hath spoken…

  • http://xxlmag.com Wyzard of Hip Hop 297

    btw I also co-sign with my man Sincere and Teddy, now you know your Wizard must have a list too and here is a brief one.

    1.Life after Death/B.I
    2.Reasonable Doubt/Jay-Z
    3.Ready to die/B.I
    4.Hes the DJ IM the rapper/Jazzy Jeff/F.Prince
    5.Illmatic/Nas – the original classic (BUT IMO it sorta falls short b/c me and the f2b commitee notice that its too short (no pun) so it kinda unknowingly unintendedly “cheats” – obcviously that was not his intent, niggas was rushing him to get it out

    also more to the list more so than ‘honorable mentions’

    Outkasts (pick one lol but 4real) Aquemini and Skankonia maybe even ATLiens definately

    The Last kiss/Jada
    Money Power Respect/The Lox

    give these joints chances b4 your judge, btw: I’ll throw a question out there for the class, does LL Cool J have any classics? what say you?

    The Wyzard hath again spoken

    • Curtis75Black

      @Wyzard

      Of Course:
      Radio = 1 producer – Rick Rubin

      Bigger And Deffer – Bobcat (LA)

      Walking With A Panther – Himself, Classic joints

      Mama Said Knock you Out – Marley Marl

      14 Shots, IMO better than Mama Said, as far as diversity, sound and subject matter. Harder Hitting.

      MR. Smith – TrackMasters

      all classic joints, major slept on Catalog basically because of his stature and image of a ladies man gets hated on.

  • Irontogs

    Life After Death!! Straight Classic

  • jOE

    yall r kidding yourselfs. Their is no 1 definiton of a perfect album just like there is no 1 definition for a dime chick.

    If an album has 8 of the greatest songs ever made, 1 mishap, and the rest are great…it could be classic (Lost Tapes)

    Whereas an album can be great from 1-whatever, but not have the weight of another album, so it isnt classic (Finding Forever)

  • Slimm

    Dont forget about Bone Thugs N Harmony: Creepin on a Come up and Eternal E. 1999!!!! They were classics and innovative. The albums were bangers!!! D@mn near perfect albums. They changed the game. Everybody mimicked their flow, even Biggie changed it up!!! They are very underrated for their contribution to hip hop. And has anybody heard Scarface: The Diary…CLASSIC in the SOUTH…Down South’s original blue print to Biggie’s Life After Death…It was out before Biggie’s and i think those albums go tip for tap…and ALL EYES ON ME!!!!

  • minelevation

    Wow classics are not just great songs or album sales or the time that the album came out its about the cohesiveness of the production’s ability to gel the tracks together and the ability of the rapper to connect what the producers do to what he/she does with the lyrics.

    ok albums i think are classics
    Illmatic
    Black album
    Death is Certain(royce da 5’9) do research its a crazy album
    Soul food (goddie mob)
    all eyes on me
    (escape route) just dropped

  • http://xxlmag.com Wyzard of Hip-Hop 297

    CURTIS75Black,
    thanks for taking up the challenge. So do you bump them joints to this day? what side you rep(what coast or location?) IM midEast *east Coast, VA. I luvd all of LL’s singles and ‘radio’ – get it but I never got in2 his albums, Im an eighties baby and was literally eight when one of the were released ’88! So lunch money couldn’t cover it. So do you get down with Biggie?
    Heres a new list ppl, eighties/nineties and NOW

    80s
    1.Rakim
    2.Big Daddy Kane
    3.LL Cool J

    (jus three ppl make it happen!!)

    1990s
    1.The Notorious BIG
    2. Tupac (even tho Im not a huge fan I tip my
    fitted, gotta have respect this man
    gave us Brendas Gotta, Dear Mama AND
    Keep your head up!)
    3.Jay-Z (sorry Nas only 3 slots lol)

    oh and this will be somewhat hard lol

    NOW/the post 05 millenium

    1.Kanye West
    2.The Game (get in2 his albums and features
    and chec the lyrics b4 you hate)
    3.Jadakiss

    only three slots ppl lol

    The Wyzard hath spoken yet again, what say you XXL and fans?

    • Curtis75Black

      @Wyzard,

      Bronx Born and raised, Miami Living born in 75. To answer your question yes, I do with no problem. I always was into songs more than styles and LL has diversity with each category. As far as Biggie, even when he was Biggie Smalls repping on Heavy D’s “A Bunch of Niggas” posse Cut.

  • http://xxlmag.com Wyzard of Hip Hop 297

    CURRRRTTTISS, Curtis BLO! Schoolin you cats!

    phat shouts to: Sincere, $ychotic, Slimm (4 puttin BONE on, that Creep and I come up joint in nine-4 WOW! that disc shined and so did the content!) and of course Enlightened, that cat and I are about to start a blog super clic lol

    So what say you ppl on the lists? THREE MCs/albums from THREE eras the last three decades baby! LITERALLY the last thirty years pic 3MCs and three classica albums out each decade since the eighties.

    I got somethin new 4 you ppl too: the MOST slept on list IMO

    Jay-Z
    The GAME!!!!
    Lupe (some times)
    Jadakiss
    Juelz Santana/Camron
    the young guns – lyrically speaking
    B.I.G
    Diddy (NON writer I kno, let the hate begin)

  • Mark

    Let me make a quick chart of rappers and their classic albums:

    Public enemy-4
    Eric B. And Rakim-4
    Nas-4
    Common-4
    Outkast-4
    The Roots-4
    Jay-Z -3
    Beastie Boys-3
    ATCQ-3
    BDP-3
    Talib Kweli- 3 (including reflection eternal, not including black star)
    2pac-2
    Biggie-2
    Kool G Rap-2
    LL Cool J-2
    RUN DMC-2
    Big Daddy Kane-2
    Mos Def-2
    Lupe Fiasco-2
    Ice Cube-2
    Slick Rick-2
    Eminem-2
    De La Soul-2
    NWA-1 (that’s right, I only said one)
    Kanye West-1
    DMX-1
    There are probably alot of rappers I didn’t list because i didn’t think of them off the top of my head. This list is very opinionated and surely isn’t a definitive list.

  • Ali

    sorry there is no such thing as an album where u never skip a track….it depends on your mood….sometimes I skip some Illmatic tracks, sometimes I don’t……..There are always gonna be a few joints that dont appeal to me, which is fine cuz makin an album that every track appeals to everyone ALL THE TIME….thats just impossible….not the rapper’s fault, just too many different musical tastes

  • S. Diggs

    Well… Swizz Beatz only produced 1 track on that album (Ruff Ryders Anthem) the rest was done by Irv Gotti, PK and Dame Grease.

    And yes a classic album can have a misstep (Blueprint’s “Jigga that Nigga) and also it depends on the mood.

  • Lookin@choo

    Talib Kweli- Beautiful struggle; Under rated as fuck!
    The Game- Documentary
    Ice Cube- Death Certificate
    Busta Rhymes Turn it Up! (compilation but a classic)
    Juelz- From Me to U
    Xzibit- Man vs Machine- Not a classic by any means but i loved the whole album
    Gangstarr deserve a shout out
    Also, Redman and Outkast; Stankonia, obviously is that shit. Too many skits on there, though.
    Fuck a skit!

  • kedordu

    PERFECT ALBUM NO SUCH THIS . THE CLASSIC ALBUMS ALBUM WITH PERFECT TIMING ?? ALL EYES ON ME , BLUE PRINT , AMERICAS MOST WANTED , MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL , DOGGYSTYLE , CHRONIC DOES GET SKIPPED AT ALL WHEN I PLAY IT , LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE IS A 5 MIC ALBUM THAT WAS NEVER RATED AS SUCH,LIFE AFTER DEATH HAS MORE THAN 5 SKIPPABLE TRACKS TO ME . BUT ITS STILL A CLASSIC

  • Tane

    GKMC – Kendrick Lamar

    that’s a classic and near the perfection