Jordan Hayles is a videographer and sole writer of one of our favourite blogs, The STiXXclusive. He’s introspective, well-versed, unafraid to speak the truth and he’s pretty hilarious too. That’s why we’ve invited Jordan to be our resident male writer. Consider his pieces your monthly dose of testosterone.
- Of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art.
- Exemplary of a particular style.
- Exhibiting timeless quality.
- A perfect and/or early example of a particular style.
- An artistic work of lasting worth
This word has been around since “Jesus was in short pants” – to quote my mother – and through the years, there have been many great examples of classic, historical art. The universal word is used to describe what is the upper echelon of art through all forms, and when the word is used by higher ups, it’s supposed to stand out and strike the audience as being an untouchable, timeless prized possession of art. So why is it, and how is it that this word has been so overused by the likes of so many media outlets like those who review music? It seems to be the common trend that once a high profiled artist (or any profile artist for that matter) releases music, it’s labeled a classic within a week (I’m being generous). Like film and painted/sculpted art, music is critiqued at a high level (or it’s supposed to be) and the term ‘classic’ usually doesn’t come out until significant years have passed.
How social media has lessened the general public’s attention span has been insane (depending on who you are), because there’s music being released all over the place, all the time. It’s rare to sit onto an album and listen to it consistently for a period of time especially if you’re someone who reviews music on a regular basis. When we turn our attention to Hip Hop, that’s where the controversy behind the ‘C’ word is used at an alarming rate, because the rule is that if the album can stand the test of time, is it a classic? And what makes an album a classic? Is there a new criteria? A new classic?
The new age is more digital, it’s more electronic, and because it seems like everything has been done already, there’s not a lot of originality. There’s just a lot of comparisons to the past and people wanting to live up to the past’s expectations instead of focusing forward on new heights and new possibilities. The only way you’re able to allow new legends and new plateaus to be conquered is to let go of the past, which is the problem that a lot of people seem to have. Unfortunately, expectations of what is deemed a classic is lessened because of the lack of full on quality that’s put out for a massive audience to hear. The overlooked are the ones that usually have the most talent, but that’s not an excuse as to why there could be, and should be better product out there to help sustain the high praise that Hip Hop receives as a genre.
So what does that entail? How can new classics be made? Be original; have an acquired taste in a broad perspective and most importantly, do it for the love of the art with technical proficiency. There’s no right or wrong way to make great art, but the problem is that the mentality that a lot of artists go about their next albums is that it’s already a classic. That’s not the problem – the problem is that the expectations are so high, and when you put it out there that it’s going to be an instant classic, what is the public supposed to receive? Nothing but great. There’s been a lot of ‘good’ and ‘okay,’ but not a ton of ‘greats’ and a fraction of ‘classics’ over the past few years. The criteria of what a classic is, goes as the dictionary provides: are you unique? Does your work have an everlasting impression that will be talked about for generations? Or is it something that’s just in the heat of the moment?
Hip Hop fans have been treated to great music over the years, and the nostalgia seems to have them in a headlock to refuse anything newer when there’s great music still being made. The crowd is finicky, and the music overall will probably never match the strength of what was, but it’s more important to focus on the what is and what will be. The tip of the surface has yet to be scratched for what can be achieved, and art is always developing and changing – some for better, some for worse, but in order to allow art to progress, the people need to progress and appreciate what they have now in order for the next generations to appreciate the classics that will be provided in our time – keyword: Time.
That’s My Word & It STiXX