Let me start off by saying I know music affects us all in different ways, but lets face it sometimes we take it too far when saying things like “This album is a classic” after one listen or my personal favorite “this album changed my life”. Actually the “life changing” album is what spurred this topic. I saw an article about how Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange got some poor sap through a rough time in his life, so I went back to give it a listen after not hearing it for a while and I’m still searching for the life altering messages in the lyrics. Again, I fully understand that music can be interpreted differently by different sets of ears BUT these 6 ears over here at KWC agree that, although it’s a good album, it is most definitely overrated. So, that being said, Ron, Eb and I have compiled a list, in no particular order, of the Most Overrated Albums and no this is not a “Classic/Trash” debate we’re just simply saying that these particular albums aren’t worth the hype they receive.
1. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
Frank Ocean’s much-anticipated debut album dropped in the summer of 2012 to waves of fanfare and praise. The album brought home the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album and a few other awards no one cares about. The lead single “Thinkin’ Bout You” was a smash and is still one of my favorite songs by him. Here’s why this album is overrated, the album was released after Frank Ocean announced he was bisexual which automatically gave it added significance to where even if this project was lackluster it would place on a pedestal due to him being one of the first major black artists to “come out”. Also this album appeals to the hipster cool kids who think “deep” over your head yrics make you a great artist. There is no reason to ever use the words “Allahu Akbar” in a song about falling in love with a person who doesn’t love you back.
2. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Ask anybody you know what their favorite Kanye album is and they’ll undoubtedly tell you either College Dropout or MBDTF. At first glance these albums are excellent choices but if you just look a little deeper MBDTF is a fraud. As Ron put it, if Kanye had released this as an instrumental album then it’s probably the greatest compilation of music ever. It’s his Magnum Opus from a production standpoint but thats where it stops. This album has no direction. The songs are just thrown together randomly so it doesn’t flow at all. The great line-up of features make up for the lack of substance. That being said, it’s still a good album but only because the beats won’t allow you to pay attention to everything else.
3. Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience
I think this one upsets me more than any other album on this list. He made us wait 7 entire years for an album filled with throwaways. I understand getting away from music for a while to focus on other things but when you decide to come back and bless us with an album, especially when your last one was a beautiful work of art we, or should I say I, expect you to pour your entire soul into your next project. I guess when you’re as big as Justin Timberlake you can mail it in and people will still praise it because of who you are. People wanted music from him so bad that they were willing to accept anything and this is what we got, an overproduced collection of filler. He went to the well one too many times when he got Timberland to produce the entire album again. It has no real replay value whatsoever and I’m pissed about it.
4. Lauryn Hill: Miseducation of Lauryn HIll
Ron checking in here. First, I’d like to co-sign the selection of Channel Orange. That album was cold booty. And 20/20 Experience…yea…yall can stop pretending to like two albums.
But let me give you my picks.
No, this pic isn’t up here by mistake. Wait, I can explain. I actually think this album is dope. It’s a classic. But that still doesn’t mean it can’t be overrated. Jim Kelly is a Hall of Fame QB but I will have to get you out of here if you ever say he’s the greatest of all time. Instead of being looked at as a great album in a great year in music, it’s somehow been elevated to the gold standard of hip hop.
Let’s take look at a few other albums that came out in 98:
- Outkast – Aquemini (This is over already)
- Jay-Z – Vol. 2, Hard Knock Life
- DMX – It’s Dark and Hell is Hot/Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
- Juvenile – 400 Degreez
- Mos Def & Talib Kweli – BlackStar
- Gang Starr – Moment of Truth
- Devin the Dude – The Dude
- Big Pun – Capital Punishment
- Redman – Doc’s Da Name 2000
- Noreage – N.O.R.E.
Not saying that Miseducation isn’t better than some of these albums listed, but this was an incredibly deep year.
Not to mention, this joint came out in 98. You really gonna sit your raggedy ass here and tell me that there’s a song on this album better than this?
But even more than the music itself (I reiterate, it’s a great album) I just really hate the long leash it gave Ms. Hill. She continues to tug at the nostalgic heartstrings of her fans and shake their pockets whenever she’s ready.
We’ll see a headline that says
Lauryn Hill Shows Up Two Days Late for Concert – Plays To Zion on Harmonica Then Flies Off On Broomstick
and someone will emerge from the shadows and say “Naw, boo boo, that’s QUEEN Lauryn Hill to you!”
Seriously, what has she done since then to earn reprieve? She looks like she smells like old grits now anyway. Get her outta here. The album is dope but damn, let it breathe.
5. Kanye West: Yeezus
You might wanna sit down for this one. Do you have time to spare? This may take a minute *rolls out scroll* where do I start? Hmmm….
Remember when we were teenagers, we read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and felt a new sense of enlightenment? Remember when we were in high school and we first heard Lupe? We attacked Wayne fans for not being “smart enough to understand real hip hop”. Well that’s what mostly every fan of this damn album does. Sheesh! I’ve never seen a steaming sack of shit get defended so honorable. If this was Yeezus by Tyga, nobody would listen to the shit. People like it because Kanye made something so abstract, so insensible, that NO ONE (not even himself) understands it so they try to pass it off as some groundbreaking album. It was completed in a week and it sure as hell sounds like it. For what it’s worth, I think this was a genius troll (because it is). He put his all into My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and regardless of your feelings, it didn’t receive the acclaim it deserved. So why not make some bullshit immediately after? He knows his stature and his god-like, genius, level in the game, so the classic label was applied before this album was even pressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand if you mess with this album. It’s entertaining. It’s ridiculous. But really, don’t try to act like lines such as this are deep:
“One cold night in October, pussy had me floating, felt like Deepak Chopra”
“In this French ass restaurant, hurry up with my damn croissants”.
Seriously, as a Kanye fan since pink polos were hot, it was incredibly hard to listen to this album. Especially knowing that Kanye is a great musician. But nonetheless, he tried something new and failed.
This album has like 3 good songs and even those 3 ain’t that damn tight. Seriously folks, it’s ok to call this album shit. You’re not buying your way into heaven by pretending to like this album.
(PS. I was foaming at the mouth while typing this, I hate this album that much)
6. Beyonce: Beyonce
I’m kinda scared to type this because i fear that we’ll all be beheaded and the Beyhive combined with the Illuminati will make sure we will never have anything in life, but here goes( We need you BasedGod).
I like Beyonce, I really do but the hype is too much. I don’t even think she hypes herself that much. Like the other day, she was spotted in Stride Rite buying her daughter some Oskosh B’gosh no lace shoes and now adults everywhere are wearing them ambidextrous, slip resistance shits cause ‘Yonce and Blue did it. This woman can do no wrong. But a non-gender specific kamikaze? fan base, who love things like Mac makeup, online boutiques and men will get you out of here if you say anything bad about Beyus. It’s so bad, you now have to encrypt the spelling of her name on social media so that your soul will remain in your body. But I digress.
What made this album classic I believe is the pop-up unexpected release, features and productions from heavy hitters like Jay-Z, The Dream, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, and 17 videos. And while this is all very very impressive-it just makes for a great marketing and to drive sells. What it does not make-is a classic album.
We are all fans of the artists (well I don’t care for beyonce but that’s neither here nor there) featured on this list but sometimes those artists need to be called on their shit. Kanye has 2 albums on here, one sounds amazing but lacks in several areas and the other is down right awful, but yet they are both held in such high esteem. If you can’t see the problem in that then you’re probably the person who feeds the hype machine.
And that concludes our list of Most Overrated Albums. By all means, we accept criticism because frankly, we don’t care anyway. Agree? Disagree? Let us know.