Why You Can’t Trust Rolling Stone Reviews

(“Lovable” Snoopy on the cover of Rolling Stone just before he got busted for coke, weed, and weapons)

I’ve been meaning to write on this for quite some time now, and now’s a good a time as any.

I’ve been noticing that Rolling Stone almost never gives 5 star “classic” ratings to classic albums (at least initially), even ones you really think they would, like Thriller.

Whenever I read a Rolling Stone (I almost never read its articles; just the reviews), I’m always wary of how often they are just plain wrong about an album.

Here’s a partial list of straight classics that Rolling Stone didn’t give 5 stars their first go:

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Illmatic by Nas

Purple Rain by Prince

1999 by Prince

The Chronic by Dr. Dre

The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem

Fishscale by Ghostface Killah

Ready to Die by The Notorious B.I.G.

Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G.

Run-DMC by Run-DMC

Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys

Doggystyle by Snoop Doggy Dogg

The Great Adventures of Slick Rick by Slick Rick

3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul

The Blueprint by Jay-Z (although it’s highly questionable if this is a classic; I put this on here only out of its relevance to Jay fans)

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu Tang Clan

Capital Punishment by Big Pun

The Infamous by Mobb Deep

O.G. Original Gangster by Ice-T

Amerikkka’s Most Wanted by Ice Cube

Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest

Cypress Hill by Cypress Hill


And many, many, more hip-hop and R&B classics denied the classic rating. In fact, I couldn’t think of one hip-hop classic reviewed by Rolling Stone which was given a classic rating its first time through.

Can you?


1 Response to “Why You Can’t Trust Rolling Stone Reviews”

  1. 1 ugh.
    September 7, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Yeah, I noticed that purple rain is one of the best albums but go to their website now and it has a 4 5 star rating. What website reviews should I trust?, there all different.

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