Beyonce, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Playboi Carti, and more earn 'Classic Album' status from Spotify

These hip-hop icons cement their place in music history with timeless

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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In the world of hip-hop and entertainment, age is nothing but a number and respect is earned on the basis of the impact that an album has. The title of a classic tends to be directed at the few bodies of work that prove to be so timeless that they speak to the audiences long after they are out. Today, we gather to applaud the triumphant moments of Beyonce, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Playboi Carti and more, they have now been honoured by Spotify the world's biggest music streaming platform, with the prestigious 'Classic Album' recognition.

On Thursday, February 15, the streaming platform utilized its social media platforms to compile a roster of 30 influential albums in the realms of Hip Hop and R&B during the streaming era, spanning from 2015 to the present.

Among the highlighted albums were Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" and "DAMN.", Future's "DS2" and Carti's "Die Lit," as well as JAY-Z's "4:44," Travis Scott's "Astroworld," Nipsey Hussle's "Victory Lap," Migos' "Culture," and Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's "Bandana."

Lil Uzi Vert's "Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World," XXXTENTACION's "17," Tyler, The Creator's "Flower Boy" and "Call Me If You Get Lost," Roddy Ricch's "Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial," and Saba's "Care For Me" were also recognized.

In the realm of R&B, albums such as Beyoncé's "Lemonade" and "Renaissance," Frank Ocean's "Blonde," Rihanna's "Anti," SZA's "Ctrl," Anderson .Paak's "Malibu," Solange's "A Seat at the Table," and Summer Walker's "Over It" were prominently featured.

What standards define a classic album?


The criteria for a classic album can vary based on individual viewpoints and perspectives. Nevertheless, there are several common elements often considered in determining the status of a classic album. Here are some key criteria that outline a classic album:

Timeless impact: A classic album leaves a lasting imprint on the music industry and resonates with audiences long beyond its initial release. It transcends fleeting trends, enduring across generations.

Influence and innovation: Classic albums frequently introduce fresh sounds, styles, or techniques that profoundly influence their genre or inspire future artists. They push creative boundaries and establish new standards for innovation.

Critical and Commercial Success: Classic albums typically receive acclaim from both critics and the general public. They achieve notable commercial success, dominating charts and selling substantial numbers of copies.

Cultural significance: A classic album mirrors the cultural and social context of its era, encapsulating the spirit and experiences of its time. It connects with listeners on a profound level, addressing important themes and societal issues.

Coherence and consistency: A classic album showcases a high degree of artistic coherence and consistency across its tracks. It presents a unified vision and maintains exceptional quality from beginning to end.

Classic albums possess a timeless allure that enables them to be cherished and appreciated by audiences across different generations. They continue to attract new admirers and remain relevant in popular culture.

Beyonce's 'Lemonade': A symbol of empowerment and resilience

Beyoncé
66th GRAMMY Awards - Show / Kevin Mazur/GettyImages

Beyonce, one of the most defining musicians of our time, is once again proving why she's a path-setter with her innovative album, 'Lemonade' that she released in 2016. The album is a phenomenal and intricate artwork of love, infidelity and black female empowerment. 'Lemonade', having hits like "Formation" and "Sorry", became an instant success garnering worldwide recognition and deservedly ending up among the classics.

Jay Z's 'The Blueprint': A Blueprint for success

Jay-Z
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Jay Z, the ultimate icon in the hip-hop world, left a lasting imprint on us with his album 'The Blueprint' which came out in 2001. That critically acclaimed masterpiece exhibits Jay Z's literary musicianship and storytelling power. The album became a hit lover with such tracks as "Take over" and "Song Cry", pushing Jay Z to new heights and changing the game in general. The album has since been established as a classic.

Kendrick Lamar's 'Good Kid, M.A.A.D City': A modern classic

Kendrick Lamar
Chanel : Outside Arrivals - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023/2024 / Arnold Jerocki/GettyImages

Kendrick Lamar, a rapper who is famous for his socially conscious music and a creative flow, put out an album titled “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” Released in 2012, this concept album takes listeners through Lamar’s childhood growth into a teenager while living in Compton, California. This is a widely popular album that includes compositions such as "Swimming Pools (Drank)" and "B*t*h, Don't Kill My Vibe" and it has become a modern classic that does not discriminate between the backgrounds of the listeners.

Future's 'Dirty Sprite 2': A trap music phenomenon

Future - Rapper
Future Birthday Celebration Hosted By Metro Boomin & Friends / Prince Williams/GettyImages

In the sphere of trap music, Future's 'Dirty Sprite 2' suppresses all the competition. The album came out in 2015 and it reveals the character of Future's music style with its electrical techno and melody. The album, entitled 'Dirty Sprite 2' had tracks like "Trap N****s" and "Where Ya At" which automatically became instant favorite among listeners and critics, which put Future's name firmly into the list of the most influential figures ever in the genre.

Playboi Carti's 'Die Lit': A new wave of sound

Playboi Carti
Playboi Carti Arrested / Handout/GettyImages

'Die Lit' being released in 2018 by Playboi Carti, a hip-hop scene rising star, can be considered as a turning point since it introduced a new wave of sound powerfully influenced by infectious ad-libs and melodies that have stuck in the minds of the audience. The album proven to be a success especially because of the tracks ‘Magnolia’ and ‘Shoota’ which had earned the artist wide recognition creating a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

The music industry has been forever shaped by the contributions of artists like Beyonce, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Future, and Playboi Carti. With their recent recognition of 'Classic Album' status by Spotify, these talented individuals have solidified their place in music history.

As their timeless works continue to inspire and captivate audiences, their influence will undoubtedly be felt for generations to come. Let us celebrate their achievements and eagerly anticipate the future masterpieces they have yet to grace us with.

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