This is one of those pretentious things magazines let artists do from time to time, except I’m not mad at Hov’s definition whatsoever. I really got to agree with him that a great track can bring you to a specific time and place.
A great song doesn’t attempt to be anything — it just is.
When you hear a great song, you can think of where you were when you first heard it, the sounds, the smells. It takes the emotions of a moment and holds it for years to come. It transcends time. A great song has all the key elements — melody; emotion; a strong statement that becomes part of the lexicon; and great production. Think of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen. That song had everything — different melodies, opera, R&B, rock — and it explored all of those different genres in an authentic way, where it felt natural.