Living Legends Classic

[Legendary Music; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: underground hip-hop, west-coast hip-hop
Others: Hieroglyphics, Souls of Mischief, Dilated Peoples, Eligh, Murs, Grouch

Please, rappers, don't tell me what you are doing is "classic." I don't care to hear such a proclamation. Nobody wants to hear you stake such a claim. Most importantly, I don't believe you. T.S. Eliot's Objective Correlative -- look into that. Same idea, just a little more abstract and hinged on emotion. Claims of being "classic" don't appeal to me. I need you to prove it to me. I need you to show me what you're doing is classic. Then, at a later date (much later), we'll make a well-thought out decision concerning your status. That said, it irks me to know the Living Legends' new album is titled Classic. That's comparable to LL Cool J titling his album Greatest Of All Time.

Hip-hop is all about bravado and cockiness, I know, I know. But there's really no good reason it has to stay that way. Aren't rappers superstitious? Don't some of them think by bragging in a song that the song itself is "classic" will backfire? You're chasing black cats under ladders here people. It's bad enough the name of the group in question is a prime example of this whole trend anyway (living legends). That one we can let slide, seeing as how it was thought up many years ago, back when this type of cocky behavior was in style.

It's too bad Living Legends waste time and breath bragging their "classic" status. The truth of the matter is that people may decide that on their own, without any blatant nudging in that direction of opinion. Classic is a strong effort from a group that boasts more solo records than diehard fans can make shelf space for. The team of Grouch, Murs, Luckyiam, Scarub and company have significant things to say -- with refreshing candor and personable humor. The production is hit or miss -- whimsical when it hits, grating when it misses. The awfully weak choruses don't help the sentiments expressed during the verses either. But that's a common problem with group projects, so we'll excuse.

So please, Living Legends and rappers all over the globe, don't tell me it's "classic." We'll let you all know.

1. Blast Your Radio
2. Brand New
3. Good Fun
4. It's Us Again
5. Busted
6. Never Falling Down
7. Tears and Pain
8. For Those Times
9. Wise Is the Way
10. Even Though (I Still Love You)
11. Make It Whole
12. Down For Nothin'
13. Man Who Sold the Word Pt. II
14. When I'm Gone

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