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06:28 PM on 11/20/12
Craig Manning
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ChaseTx is right that the first two Kanye albums were more influential, but it seems to me that general consensus places MBDTF as the better album. And if critical acclaim and fan-approval place an album as better than the classics that came before it, then I'm pretty sure that album becomes a classic by default.
06:31 PM on 11/20/12
abusedcat
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There are so many factors that go into what makes an album a classic album.
Chances are, if you're striving to create an album and not just a collection of songs, you're way more likely to achieve this. Most records that achieve 'classic' praise are usually done by artists who look at the big picture and the grander scale of things.
I will say though, I view each record the Smashing Pumpkins did prior to their initial break up as 'classic' albums.
06:41 PM on 11/20/12
ChaseTx
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ChaseTx is right that the first two Kanye albums were more influential, but it seems to me that general consensus places MBDTF as the better album. And if critical acclaim and fan-approval place an album as better than the classics that came before it, then I'm pretty sure that album becomes a classic by default.
I'm no so sure it is a consensus though. It might be the consensus on this site, but we're definitely not representative of his fanbase. I can't be sure because I haven't really been active on hiphop forums for a while or really talking to people about it, but I have a feeling a that people who only or mostly listen to hip hop might go for one of the first two.
07:05 PM on 11/20/12
Craig Manning
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I'm no so sure it is a consensus though. It might be the consensus on this site, but we're definitely not representative of his fanbase. I can't be sure because I haven't really been active on hiphop forums for a while or really talking to people about it, but I have a feeling a that people who only or mostly listen to hip hop might go for one of the first two.

I can't claim to be tapped into the overall hip hop community at all, but I think that it was the critical consensus and I believe that, in the wider musical community, that is the consensus as well. You could also argue that the latter point is the album's strongest claim to classic status: I've said before that MBDTF is a hip hop album that appeals to people who have never particularly loved hip hop. The way that appreciation for that album has been able to cross genre lines is pretty impressive, and even without big hits or a game changing impact on rap music, that's still notable.
07:18 PM on 11/20/12
Searos
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August and Everything After by Counting Crows is such a timeless album for me that it means something new to me each time I listen to it. Its impact in my life is what makes it classic.
07:28 PM on 11/20/12
Drew Beringer
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late rejoining the thread, but my point of view on it is a few posts up
I agree with everything you wrote about the first two albums, great write-up. I'd say this about MBDTF (and it's probably hyperbole): I don't think it has had similar reverberations within the genre or even pop music because I don't think there's a mainstream artist that can replicate that grandiose scope and idea of an album. I think certain artists have tried to make that "epic" album now but they've failed.
07:41 PM on 11/20/12
ChaseTx
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I can't claim to be tapped into the overall hip hop community at all, but I think that it was the critical consensus and I believe that, in the wider musical community, that is the consensus as well. You could also argue that the latter point is the album's strongest claim to classic status: I've said before that MBDTF is a hip hop album that appeals to people who have never particularly loved hip hop. The way that appreciation for that album has been able to cross genre lines is pretty impressive, and even without big hits or a game changing impact on rap music, that's still notable.
You could also argue that the other albums would have the same appeal if they were released now. They were all very well reviewed, and they were all very accessible. In fact, I'd say MBDTF is the least accessibility because it's a lot darker than the others.Plus Kanye presents himself as less a common person than a celebrity on that album, making him a bit less relatable.

Having said that, MBDTF is sort of in tune with the dark, electronic thing that's been prevalent in pop music for the last few years, so that does add to its mainstream appeal. And as for his celebrity persona, that's very much part of the product now. It's possible that larger-than-life Kanye is just more interesting to the general public than big-headed everyman Kanye.
07:47 PM on 11/20/12
ChaseTx
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I agree with everything you wrote about the first two albums, great write-up. I'd say this about MBDTF (and it's probably hyperbole): I don't think it has had similar reverberations within the genre or even pop music because I don't think there's a mainstream artist that can replicate that grandiose scope and idea of an album. I think certain artists have tried to make that "epic" album now but they've failed.
Thanks for reading it. I think it's not really that important whether or not it can be replicated well, it would just be more telling to clearly see people trying to follow along the same lines. Maybe they have, I don't know I'm sort of lost among a lot of the newer hip hop artists. I've heard Drake's last album was had some similarities with it, but I just don't like Drake. Then there's fun., who were apparently influenced by MBDTF to make their album a more theatrical production. If there were more obvious examples, I'd be more sold on the influence MBDTF has had.
08:00 PM on 11/20/12
Star Slight
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Mbdtf isnt very accessible especially compared to his first two. Which is why i dont get how it got people into hip hop aside from acclaim on this site
08:15 PM on 11/20/12
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Because at the very least, it passes the hurdle of a decent length of time without being forgotten by the masses.
define the masses? some albums can be classics within their genre, but not mainstream. plus 5 years is an arbitrary number.

a lot of people are talking about influence in here as well and where it stands in the great spectrum of culture and movement and progression within music. albums that are challenging not only to a specific genre, but music as a whole. 5 years, 2 years, three months means nothing.
08:17 PM on 11/20/12
Star Slight
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It comes down to classics being relative. TAYF is only a classic to a slim margin. Same with Illmatc. Etc.
08:18 PM on 11/20/12
Dubui_209
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I understand that it's wasn't the best album, not even their best work, but something about it was just right. Maybe it was the energy? Idk, but something about that album just think that that album personifies what I want to hear from artists and why I personally view it as a classic.
08:27 PM on 11/20/12
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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I guess you really also have to consider the fact that our generation is far more saturated with music than the generations before us, which makes it harder to push through everything we personally enjoy and find the albums that are considered gems by society as a whole.

this is a great point.
08:33 PM on 11/20/12
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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It's easy to see how an artist's growth could get stunted in pursuit of what they have been told is masterful.

think about this all the time. it's why I really don't like scores on reviews.
08:50 PM on 11/20/12
theredline
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For me I can always go back and listen to Midtown. And Beastie Boys have some definite classics. I think a true classic (beyond personal) transcends genre, time, everything. Like Nevermind or Rage Against The Machine. Something that EVERYONE listens to, no matter the walk of life
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