What’s Your Definition of a Classic Hip-Hop Record?


This is the first of many discussions we’ll be having here at nappyafro on topical issues in the world of Hip-Hop.

We’re trying out a new service called Branch that allows us to have exclusive discussions among the staff members. Let us know what you think and participate in the discussion in the comments section. We may invite you to the next one.

What exactly is a classic Hip-Hop album? Everyone likes to label their favorite artists’ records as classics but shouldn’t we have some sort of consensus?

The rap game is going through a bit of a transition phase right now, as all media is. It’s a change instigated by the Internet. The reason I bring this up is because such a major change in the approach to production is bound the change the quality of the product. New age rappers work with a wider range of producers but not as closely as their predecessors did. Whether this affects the quality of Hip-Hop in the long term remains to be seen.

It has become more difficult to really define a classic record since the new generation of rappers don’t sound the same as the older guys. Lines are blurring between albums and mixtapes. Record sales aren’t as important as they once were as YouTube views and Sound Cloud downloads become more relevant metrics.

Lets talk about how these changes have affected the game and the quality of our music.