Do We Care About ‘Top 10’ Lists, and If So, Why?

I have a real love/hate relationship with any kind of ‘The Greatest 100 Albums of All Time’ type of list, especially when it’s authoredby a bunch of complete nobodies with an opinion and a keyboard, like this one.

Part of me accepts that, like all art (and many other facets of the human experience), it’s all subjective and I need not take any of it on board. But another part of me sees the numbers counting down, and the pithy throwaway comments made about these pieces of work that artists have put their heart and soul into, and wants to slap the shit out of any music-scene-fanboy who has the audacity to reduce the art to a pile of numbers in such a self-satisfied manner.

ANYWAY, as regards this particular list (The Top 100 Albums of 1990s), you lose if you don’t include any Ice Cube or Jay-Z albums on your list, and if the highest ranking Rap album is Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet (at # 17, if you must know). Ice Cube Death Certificate was quite literally the soundtrack for the L.A. riots, and all of Jay Z’s late ’90s efforts (most notably Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life) set the template and trend for much of what is still going on in the now-ubiquitous “Urban Music” category.

Biggie’s rhymes being characterised as ‘sensational and vitriolic’ (FLOW, motherfuckers, Biggie was all about flow), and Nas Illmatic only managing a # 33 ranking are two more reasons why I want to pee on all of the good folk at Pitchfork media (at least all those involved in this list).

And yes, I’m aware that much of the above renders me a pot next to some kind of charred water-boiling device.


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