I recently made a playlist on my iPhone, titled Three Kings…you may be asking what’s it about, religion, music, photos? The playlist is titled Three Kings, based off my thoughts of who are the up and coming KINGS of the rap game; the playlist features and will only features track from Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar. But in the making of the playlist and around the time that I did it there was a Twitter discussion; I discovered something about the Three Kings. Drake’s best album to date is Nothing Was The Same and J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar each have classics where Drake doesn’t. If you believe my opinion of this is wrong once you have read this please point it out, I would love to hear the argument that he does.
I personally believe a Classic; whether it be a studio album or mixtape, tells a story and/or paints a very vivid picture of a story. It puts you in the shoes of that artist for the length of the entire work. You can almost feel as if you are that person living their life, going through the things that they are going through at that moment during that track. If you look at what’s been previously classified as classic you can see each painted a picture and/or told a story. Great examples; Reasonable Doubt, Illmatic, Straight Outta Compton, Ready to Die, & The Chronic, theses works all painted a picture through the lyrics and structure of the tracks on the album. Listening to them even know takes you back to a time, a date, and a place; that that you can imagine yourself in it whether good or bad. These are the characteristics of a classic Rap album or mixtapes.
Let’s go back to the Three Kings; J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar; both arguably have a classic that paint the picture were looking for; Friday Night Lights and Good Kid M.A.A.D. City respectively. Friday Night Lights; tell you about this young man from Fayetteville, North Carolina and his journey navigating those streets, onto to college, how he got there, and where he’s trying to go now. We can relate to the college kid no scholarship, starting ya semester, unpacking ya suitcase filling up ya dresser. There’s a melodic flow to the mixtape; from the situations to the lyrics spit on each track. Good Kid M.A.A.D. City; takes you to Compton even if you’ve never been; borrowing moms car having her blow up the beeper wanting you to return it and how classic is if you I told you a flower that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it? From start to finish each of these works take you to this place that they want you to be and you stay there until its completely over. And even after the mixtape or album is done, you’re still there, in your mind you haven’t left. You understand whatever their struggle was, it’s even likely that their struggle in some way, shape, or form was and is your struggle.
While Drake does have number 1 albums and a series of number singles; he doesn’t have that mixtape or album that from start to finish is a CLASSIC. Drake has mixtapes that have a series of tracks that you listen to and you like, there’s a hardcore rap track, there’s a love song, and there’s even a club song in the mix. That’s not to take away from any of Drake’s musical talents, but the mixtapes and albums don’t paint a picture, they don’t take you to a lifestyle, but instead a bunch of different moments. Listening to any of Drake’s albums or mixtapes; I’m like yeah this is cool, I like this track, oh I like that one too, but I’m not like yeah I feel this, this is me.