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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
Remembering G. Fred Wickman: Journalist, Professor and Mentor
Melissa Reeves, Guest Writer • May 16, 2024

On April 27, 2024, former Kansas City Star columnist, UMKC professor and U-News (now called Roo News) advisor G. Fred Wickman passed away after...

Kansas City has a chance to advance to the Summit League Championship for the first time since 2011.
Roos Softball Advances to Championship Semifinal
Zach Gunter, Sports Editor • May 10, 2024

  Kansas City has thrilled viewers in the first three games of the Summit League Softball Championship.   Entering as the third seed,...

A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
UMKC Students Received University Pushback at Pro-Palestine Protest
Aurora Wilson and Maisy Blanton April 29, 2024

  Over 150 students showed up to participate in a protest in solidarity with Palestine and other protests across the nation on Monday.   Around...

Amidst the festive spirit of St. Patricks Day, the iconic symbol of luck, the clover, reminds us of the rich traditions and celebrations honoring Irish heritage.
Exploring St. Patrick's Day Alternatives in Kansas City
Aydan Stigler and Grace Beshore March 14, 2024

  The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration is just around the corner, and with celebration comes large crowds.    The annual city parade...

Visit the City Market to explore local vendors.
Smart Saving Strategies for a Wallet-Friendly Spring Break
Emily Wheeler, Staff Writer • March 14, 2024

  UMKC students are ready for the upcoming week-long spring break, but are their wallets?   From travel adventures to staycations, spring...

Rolling Stone 500 greatest albums list gets a much-needed refresh

Rolling+Stone+500+greatest+albums+list+gets+a+much-needed+refresh

When Rolling Stone published their first “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list in 2003, it was a pretty contentious piece of writing. The list remains as Rolling Stone’s most viewed and debated article ever featured. Their website states that just last year, the list received over 63 million views. Rolling Stone updated the list slightly in 2012, but this is the year the original music canon got a major upheaval. 

Rolling Stone’s new “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” is still largely packed with the same so-called staples of popular music: singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, rock bands The Beatles and Radiohead and various other white guys. And maybe those classics are classics for a reason – they were, in one way or another, important to music history. Those might never change. But Rolling Stone’s newest list includes 186 new albums and an awful lot of reshuffling. 

The new list’s top 50 spots now include 24 albums by Black artists, as opposed to the original list’s pitiful 11 inclusions. However, only seven albums made by women reached the top 50. Some important women’s albums that cracked the list: singer Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” and Lauryn Hill’s eponymous “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

 Still, it seems awfully dubious how few there are. 

The real diversity achieved in Rolling Stone’s updated list was in its contributors. The magazine’s staff writers first put the newest list together, and then an outside 300 voters made up of musicians, songwriters, industry insiders and other music journalists made lists of their top 50 albums. Among the top names who gave their input were Beyoncé, composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, singer Taylor Swift and singer-songwriters H.E.R. and Billie Eilish. The musicians and music journalists polled are finally starting to accurately depict the diversity of the music industry at large. 

Listeners should still take “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” with a grain of salt. It impacts music listeners very little to know what albums they consider as “classics,” particularly in the era of streaming, where any person who loves music can carve out their own niche taste. But there is still value in disrupting and chipping away at the old music canon until it represents the incredible contributions of artists of all races, genders and sexualities. The Rolling Stone list is still lacking in many areas, but it is also more wholly inclusive of the albums that inspire other great music and shape the human experience through sound. 

If nothing else, rest assured that from the old “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” to the new one, hip-hop duo Outkast’s “Aquemini” jumped an extreme 450 spots from number 500 on the list to number 50.

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