"We can’t just enjoy rap albums now, we must anoint them. There are no more personal favorites, no lost masterpieces, no solid efforts, no promising-but-under-executed debuts. There are classics and then there is everything else. The word implies the highest level of craft and permanence, but too often rap listeners assume the latter in the presence of the former. Or vice versa. These miscalculations are not only making it increasingly difficult to have rational conversations about rap, they’re shifting the historical perceptions and actual execution of the genre."

— In light of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Andrew Nosnitsky dissects the very idea of “classic” rap albums and explains how they can promote a limiting and regressive view of hip-hop in his latest Hall of Game column.



Introducing Ordinary Machines, a new column by Lindsay Zoladz about the bizarre and fantastic ways music, technology, and identity intersect in the 21st century.

Introducing Ordinary Machines, a new column by Lindsay Zoladz about the bizarre and fantastic ways music, technology, and identity intersect in the 21st century.



"Rockism is clearly pretty useless as a totalizing way of looking at the world, but what about the possibility that it also works as a sort of… passing urge? I mean, if there’s music out there that magically thrills the soul of the rockist, that creates actual pleasure in the gut of this horrible stinky villain, then it stands to reason that there’s a hole— however small or particular or unadaptable to different-shaped pegs— somewhere in that rockist’s heart. And if that hunger exists, then certain pieces of music can be brilliant at sating it. This is true of every musical genre, I think."

Nitsuh Abebe defends rockism in his latest Why We Fight column.