Straight Off The Dome With Shane Scott

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Straight Off The Dome With Shane Scott


In my endless perusing of the wonder that is the internet and all the new music that it has to offer me weekly I have noticed and alarming trend, albums that are not classic being labelled classic. An album can have been released for a week or not even that long and people are talking it up as a classic, get the fuck out of here with that shit. A classic is an album that stands the test of time, it’s an album that you play start to end without searching for skip, it’s a perfect mesh of beats and rhymes, it’s something that would of got 5 mics in The Source before it too sold its soul to the devil. Quite often a classic either changes the hip hop sound-scape or perfectly personifies ‘the’ sound of the moment. Now I agree that classic albums can be different things to different people as musical taste is subjective, but most classic albums face little argument from fans.

One of the most controversial artists of our time is Kanye West, many hate him for his public persona, for the way his media antics make you feel, but fact is he has made two classic albums. Start to end The College Dropout and Late Registration are classics. He redefined the mainstream American hip hop sound twice in only a few years, first taking pitched up soul samples to a whole new level, then brining the live orchestral instrumentation in and creating another level of mainstream hip hop music.

Many people talk of classic Australian albums and many are happy to label any release from ‘their mates who rap’ a classic, for mine there are very few. One album which should never be questioned is Knights of the Underground Table, the 1992 classic from Def Wish Cast. These guys took on all the pre-conceptions in the world and made hip hop music that was truly Australian; if this album never existed there would be no Hilltop Hoods, no Bliss N Eso, and no Drapht making a name for themselves in the pop charts. There would be no pure emcees like Delta, Dialect or Fatty Phew making classic hip hop bangers every year. Aside from the DWC release Australian classics are probably quite debatable due to the youth of our scene.

For mine albums such as Stage Is Set, The Lostralian, The Greatest Hit, Art of Wars, The First Chapter and The Hilltop Hoods’ Left Foot Right Foot are out and out classics, but I’m sure industry debate could rage on these for days. In particular many would question my choice of LFRF as the Hoods best release but for me this is where the group truly discovered itself and its niche. While many will suggestThe Calling or The Hard Road as classics, for mine they are the evolution of a sound founded on LFRF, in fact if you put The Calling onto this album arguably they blow up earlier and the scene in Australia advances quicker. Moving onto The Lostralian this for me is pure hip hop done perfectly, an emcee in Delta who travelled the globe linked with established international stars built relationships and built a classic album. It’s short, sharp and shiny leaving no filler and establishing Delta as one of, if not THE finest emcee in Australia. For The Greatest Hit again it’s about the group establishing itself and producing their first truly cohesive album. From start to end it is the personification of the party lifestyle they purvey and the beats finally gelled and as a result thumped through the speakers as Trials & Sesta honed their skills on the boards to a truly brilliant level. As for the Art of War release people forget how brilliant this album is, start to end raw rugged Melbourne hip hop from three super talented emcees, it’s music I still put on when I need to get amped up and it is technically sharp throughout.

The one album on this list that will get little to no argument is Lyrical Commission’s Stage Is Set. Three of the best emcee’s in the country, J-Red on the cuts, this is music you cannot fuck with, grimy, raw Melbourne street shit. You know you’re a legendary group when the only questions ever asked of you are when can we get some more music. Whilst we have a slew of new acts who have the potential for a classic album in them for mine these are the truly classic releases in Australia’s short history. My point is this, not every album is a classic, in fact maybe four albums globally each year warrant the term and even then not until years after release, if you’re a fan of hip hop you are smarter than most, don’t let false proclamations of greatness bring you down.