I think that my problem with a lot of this is, at the risk of sounding pretentious, the relative ignorance towards the genre as a whole for newer listeners who might have just gotten into it. And I have to tread lightly here, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with just getting into the genre. It's amazing that the dynamic on this site has changed, as slightly as it has, over the past few years in regards to hip hop. More and more people are voicing their opinions and that's great. It needs all the help it can get on this site because of the negative stigma that a good amount of people (some super prominent) put on it.
With that being said, because of this newfound interest of the genre I can't really buy some of the "future classic" and "future legend" claims being made on here as well as how much hype and praise this album has gotten. Call me jaded. I see potential like everyone else, I just don't see why people are suddenly infatuated with every hip hop album being a classic and every rapper being the GOAT.
We discussed this in the hip-hop thread with the fascination with having some sort of "savior" that we both didn't buy and we got the same looks then. It seems like a call to arms: an album comes out, is hailed by every reviewer as some sort of pivotal step forward for the genre, all the fans get worked up over it, and at best it'll remain engraved in the public consciousness as some sort of standard that all hip-hop albums must meet. It's absolutely degrading to the genre. It's an unhealthy way to consume art, fuck understanding it. It breeds essentialism, elitism, messianism and anything else that prevents outsiders from potentially coming in and dissecting it and discussing it intelligently. That's absolutely dangerous; people being predicated on the idea that something like Kanye's last album is some benchmark that is only meant to be eclipsed by something even more monolithic is a dangerous way to approach art when most music in any genre that can be considered good works within established parameters defined by technique, location, lyrical style, cadence, whatever. This isn't me saying that albums of monolithic proportion and importance shouldn't be made and treated as such, but they shouldn't be treated as impregnable because it breeds the kind of discussion that goes on here almost every time an album like this drops.
Haha I also said that as well. Basically, hip-hop is the new "indie" on AP. I, for one, look forward to hip-hop music being the "cool" thing to listen to.
Y'all can have those elitists!
Pfft, indie music has a predisposed stigma of some sort of impenetrable "cool" and relative obscurity regardless of how much that accounts into the specific artists being discussed. Would rather have hip-hop elitism than disembodied, detached, blog-fueled, fake elitism.