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This album was released on September 29th in 1998. Out of all of Outkast’s albums, I think I’ve been anticipating this one the most. As far as I know, I’ve only heard one song from this album, but I fucking love it. Wow, I am really tired right now. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that this is a lot of people’s favorite Outkast album. I kinda always assumed that it was their best album, but now that I think about it… I don’t really know why. I only know one song from this album. I know more shit from Stankonia than I do from this one. That album cover is dope af tho… Honestly, that probably had something to do with it. Whatever. Nobody cares about my dumbass assumptions. Lemme just get into this album to see if it’s as good as I think it is.
Track 1: Hold On, Be Strong
This track is dope af. It’s not really a full song, but I still really enjoyed it. It’s just a really calm, simple, relaxing intro. It’s kinda like the intro to ATLiens, except it’s even more minimalistic. I fuck with this. This is dope af.
Track 2: Return Of The G (Prod. Organized Noize)
This beat is crazy. Organized Noize really doesn’t get the credit they deserve. I don’t even think I’d ever heard of them before I started this marathon. That’s probably just me being an ignorant Millennial tho. Well, technically I’m from Generation Z, but you know what I mean. Anyway, Andre’s goin’ in now. Goddamn. He fuckin’ snapped on that first verse. That’s one of the best verses I’ve heard during this whole marathon. He went off. Big Boi’s goin’ in now. His verse was great too, but Andre definitely controlled this shit. I definitely fuck with this track. Everything about it is extraordinary. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 3: Rosa Parks (Prod. Outkast)
Rosa Parks was the first single from this album. It was released on July 25th in 1998. It’s starting now. The hook is cool. The beat’s alright. The first verse from Big Boi was dope. Andre’s verse was great. I… I don’t like this song. I don’t think it’s bad, but I’m not personally feelin’ it. I was kinda enjoying it until the third recital of the hook ended. There’s like an instrumental interlude before the song closes, and it’s just really unappealing to me. I don’t like guitars. This song sounds like it has a lot of Country music influence, and I can’t stand country music. I feel like I’m in some dusty old bar surrounded by a bunch of old white people who’re square dancing and just so happen to be in the KKK. I probably wouldn’t have been in love with this song even if that solo wasn’t there tho. It’s just… Nah. I don’t like this. I don’t think it’s a bad song, but I can’t fuck with it. This isn’t for me. It’s alright tho. I guess. 3/5
Track 4: Skew It On The Bar-B Feat. Raekwon (Prod. Organized Noize)
Okay, this should be good. This was the second single for the album. It was released on August 23rd in ’98. It’s starting now. This beat isn’t bad. The hook’s nothing special. Andre’s verse was dope. His flow was great. Raekwon’s on the second verse. Goddamn. He fuckin’ killed that shit. That was crazy. His flow & rhyme scheme were both on point. His verse was dope af. Damn. Big Boi ripped this shit too. Honestly, Andre probably had the weakest verse on this song in my opinion. His verse wasn’t bad either. It’s just that Rae & Big Boi really stood out here. The beat and hook didn’t amaze me or anything, but each MC was spittin’ like a motherfucker. I definitely fuck with this shit. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 5: Aquemini (Prod. Outkast)
Hmmm… This beat sounds really familiar. I probably heard this before without knowing that it was an Outkast song. Or maybe I just heard it sampled in something. The first verse from Big Boi was good. This beat is dope af by the way. I never actually gave my opinion on it. Andre had the second verse. It was incredible. “Let’s walk to the bridge now; meet me halfway / Now you may see some children dead off in the pathway / It’s them poor babies walkin’ slowly to the candy lady.” Oh shit… The beat just switched up. Big Boi’s spittin’ again. His verse was great. Wow. Andre really put his ass in that last verse. He fuckin’ killed that shit. The way he stretched that rhyme scheme was crazy. Yes. I definitely fuck with this track. Every verse on this song is great. I fuck with Big Boi; he did his thing on this song. Andre 3000 REALLY fuckin’ killed this shit tho. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 6: Synthesizer Feat. George Clinton (Prod. Outkast)
I’m not really sure how I feel about this intro. George Clinton sounds good, but Andre’s singing over him, and it sounds like his vocals are slightly pitch shifted up. It doesn’t sound that bad, but I don’t really think it sounds good either. Big Boi’s verse was cool. Oh… Um… I don’t know how I feel about this bridge from George Clinton right after Big Boi’s verse. Well, it’s preceded by a short—and slightly corny tbh—interlude with some fake female news reporter questioning whether the “computer age, scientists, and doctors” have gone too far. I guess I can understand how people at the time would be unsure about computers and technology and shit, but… How did doctors go too far? Were they saving too many people’s lives? And what about scientists? Were they going too far by teaching science to religious people’s children? I didn’t really like George Clinton’s vocals on the bridge, but the little Spoken Word interlude that he did before Andre’s verse was dope. Speaking of Andre, he killed his verse, but the background vocals from George Clinton were just really distracting. It made it damn near impossible to focus on Andre’s lyrics. It might not have been that much of a problem if I wasn’t listening with headphones. I really wasn’t feelin’ that long winded outro either; it was just awkward to listen to… Wow, I really don’t like this song. I liked the verses from Big Boi & Andre, but I disliked pretty much everything else. I’m not feelin’ this song. This is wack to me. 2/5
Track 7: Slump (Prod. Outkast)
Who is this rapping right now? He spits the whole first verse, but his feature is completely uncredited. Apparently it’s a guy named Backbone. His verse was cool I guess. It definitely wasn’t really bad. Lmao. They yelled “HOOOOTIE HOOOOOOOOOOO” during the hook, which is obviously a callback to a song on their first album called Hootie Hoo. Am I the only one who can’t take that shit seriously? Yell “HOOTIE HOOOOOOOO” as loud as you can right now. I don’t care where you are. Just do it. It’s dumb isn’t it? I yell “HOOTIE HOOO” all the time. It’s hilarious to me for some reason. Did they think that that was a cool term when they made it up? It’s so fucking dumb. I love it tho. I mean, I don’t really like it when THEY say it, but I love yelling it myself because of how dumb it is. You have to really pronounce the T when you yell it. HOOTIE HOOOOO. You don’t think it’s funny? Really? Well, fuck me then. Anyway, the beat doesn’t really do much for me. It’s definitely not bad, but I’m not really impressed by it. Big Boi’s verse was dope. Haha. I’m sorry, but I REALLY can’t take it seriously when they say “HOOTIE HOO.” Who is this on the third verse? It’s another uncredited feature… Oh, it’s Cool Breeze. He was on my least favorite song from ATLiens. His verse here was fine tho. Meh… I’m not really fuckin’ with this track. I don’t think it’s bad, but it doesn’t really stand out that much. Andre 3000 is nowhere to be found. I don’t really like hearing this more aggressive, gangsta shit from Outkast. I know that Big Boi is a G, but this shit just isn’t that interesting to me. It’s a decent song tho. It’s just not one that I’ll be returning to personally. It’s okay. 3/5
Track 8: West Savannah (Prod. Organized Noize)
Apparently this song was made back when they were still doing their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. This beat is dope. The first verse from Big Boi was really dope. It’s pretty much just an autobiography of Big Boi in the form of a Hip Hop verse. It’s great. This hook is dope af. The second verse was dope too. I think that was Big Boi again. It kinda sounded like two people rapping at the same time. Maybe Andre 3000 was in the background too. As far as I can tell this is a Big Boi solo track. It’s dope tho. The hook is smooth as hell, and the verses—particularly the first one—from Big Boi are very good. I fuck with this song. It’s dope. 4/5
Track 9: Da Art Of Storytellin’, Pt. 1 (Prod. Mr. DJ)
Alright here we go. This is the only song from this album that I already knew before starting this review. It was released as the third single for Aquemini on May 25th in 1999 with an additional verse from the legendary Slick Rick. I’m obviously reviewing the album version, but I’ll probably give my quick thoughts on Slick Rick’s verse anyway. Okay, it’s starting now. First of all, this beat is fucking incredible. Hmm… Actually, now that I think about it, I think I’ve ONLY heard the beat from this track. I don’t think I’ve ever actually listened to the full song. The production is dope af, but everything else about this track is new to me. I think I may have heard the hook too. The first verse from Big Boi was great. He rapped about how he was cheatin’ on his baby mama with some random chick named Suzy who had a lot of sex. There are definitely some misogynistic vibes, but it’s not like the entire verse is focused on slut shaming. The hook is dope af. Andre’s goin’ in now. Wow. What the fuck… Andre’s verse is fucking incredible. Goddamn. That shit was fucked up. It was great tho. It really makes Big Boi’s verse seem relatively shallow. He rapped about Suzy’s friend, Sasha. I’m not gonna describe everything he said in the verse, but, long story short, Sasha wound up dead with a needle in her arm. She was 7 months pregnant with the child of her abusive boyfriend when she OD’d. This song is fucking incredible. Oh shit. I have a Hip Hop Theory. What if Big Boi was the abusive boyfriend, and he was cheating on Sasha with Suzy! Nah, that doesn’t make sense. He says that he already has a daughter with someone else… Well, I guess that theory could still hold up even if he already does have a daughter, but it makes it a lot less believable. Whatever, that shit doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that this song is dope af. Lemme check out this Slick Rick verse… God damnit. I can’t find an uncensored version. Fuck, man. Okay, I found an uncensored version, but it’s slightly sped up unfortunately. This’ll have to do. Oh hell yes. I’m so excited for this shit. “Uncle Ricky?” “Yes?” “Can you tell us a story?” The only song I know by Slick Rick is Children’s Story, but I fucking love it. Oh… God… Wow. His verse was REALLY misogynistic. “Learned more and more, they’re just shit to dump sperm in.” Yeah. It’s pretty bad. I still kinda enjoyed his verse tho. I mean, the misogyny was definitely intolerable, but he sounded good. His voice is perfect for this beat. Ya know, after hearing his verse on this song, you can really hear the influence he had on Nas. He kinda just sounds like Nas with a softer, higher voice and a British accent on this song. I really wish the lyrics weren’t so misogynistic. It really just seems like he hates women… Whatever. His verse was disappointing, but the original song is dope af. I definitely fuck with this shit. 5/5
Track 10: Da Art Of Storytelling, Pt. 2 (Prod. Mr. DJ)
This beat is cool, but it’s nowhere near as good as that of the previous song. This vocal effect on Andre’s voice is annoying as hell. His verse was fine, but the last few lines were needlessly vulgar. I also had a huge problem with this line: “Raping her heavenly body like a ho.” Is he saying that most women who get raped are “hoes?” Maybe I’m missing something… That’s really what it seems like tho. I actually wasn’t feelin’ Andre’s verse if I’m being honest. The subject matter in this song isn’t really doing it for me. He’s rapping about the end of the world I guess. As an atheist, I think I’m being objective when I say that Kendrick did a better job with this idea on untitled unmastered. Andre seems to be more focused on actual damage to the environment rather than God just killing everyone for no reason, but the way Kendrick was rapping about it was just way more interesting to me. Big Boi’s verse was cool. I don’t know. This track just isn’t really doing it for me to be honest. The production wasn’t that impressive to me, and the verses just didn’t really grab me either. Nothing about this track stands out. I didn’t really care for the subject matter. I didn’t like the effect on their vocals. This just isn’t that good to me. I wouldn’t really say that it’s wack or anything. I’m just not really into it personally. It’s alright I guess. 3/5
Track 11: Mamacita (Prod. Organized Noize)
This beat’s not bad. What the hell? What is with all these uncredited features? The first verse is from someone named Masada. Her verse was fine I guess. I don’t think it was terrible, but it wasn’t really that good. This hook is pretty bad. Andre’s on the second verse. Um… Nah. I’m not feelin’ his verse. It seemed pretty homophobic. He tells a story in second person about a girl who just broke up with her boyfriend. She’s talking to her female friend about the whole situation, and then her friend basically tries to bang her. “Don’t let her have her way with you; she’s gonna have a fit / You’re the candy apple of her eye, and ’bout to get bit / Here’s what you do: you grab her by her neck / Throw her on the wall.” Even if I wasn’t getting the homophobia from his verse, it’s just not an interesting story. This hook is really bad. There’s ANOTHER uncredited feature for the third verse. This time it’s from Witchdoctor again. I’m not feelin’ his flow. Nah. Nah, this isn’t a good song. There’s no way a verse from Big Boi can save this. He’s goin’ in now. Nah. I wasn’t feelin’ his verse. He basically just told a story in which he and his friends pick up some prostitutes. That’s it. This… What is the point of this song? Everything about this track is forgettable. The production was basic, the verses were lyrically uninteresting, their flows were boring… It’s just not a good song. This is wack to me. 2/5
Track 12: SpottieOttieDopaliscious (Prod. Outkast)
Well, the title of the song is corny as hell. I know this is one of their more popular tracks tho. It’s starting now. This beat is dope. This uncredited intro verse from Sleepy Brown is smooth as hell. The horns in this instrumental are fantastic. Andre’s about to go in now. Uh… Oh. Ummm… Never mind. He just does a Spoken Word piece. Is that it? He’s not gonna rap? I might not have a problem with this if he said something really interesting. He was just kinda rambling about a scene at a club. The hook is dope, but… Is Andre not gonna rap? Oh God… Big Boi’s not rapping either. His verse didn’t really do much for me either. It was more interesting than Andre’s part, but… I don’t know. I don’t think I like this song. I’m really surprised by how much of this album I haven’t liked so far. This track isn’t bad to me. I just wouldn’t ever have the desire to listen to them just speak. The only thing that REALLY stood out to me that much in this song was the uncredited feature from Sleepy Brown. He sounded great on here. Other than that, this shit didn’t really do it for me. It’s alright. 3/5
Track 13: Y’all Scared Feat. T-Mo, Big Gipp & Khujo (Prod. Mr. DJ)
This beat is dope. The intro verse from T-Mo was pretty good. Big Gipp’s goin’ in now. I actually really liked his verse. I don’t think it was anything special lyrically, but I really liked his calm delivery. He sounded great. Andre’s verse was dope. He rapped about how crack entered the communities of black and latino people, but nobody started talking about it until white people started fuckin’ around with it. Big Boi did his thing, and Khujo’s verse wasn’t bad; although I wasn’t in love with his flow and dramatic delivery, which was reminiscent of his performance on ATLiens. This is a good track tho. I enjoyed this one. It’s dope. 4/5
Track 14: Nathaniel (Prod. Outkast)
I’m not gonna rate this one since it’s not really a song. It’s an a cappella verse from a guy named Nathaniel who’s in prison. They just recorded his verse through the phone. I wonder if he’s still in jail. There’s no way it’s the same Nathaniel from Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow album. Anyway, his verse was dope as hell, and it made me really sad.
Track 15: Liberation Feat. Cee-Lo Green (Prod. Outkast)
This beat is dope af. I love the leading piano loop. This is another track in which Big Boi & Andre don’t actually rap. They’re singing here. I don’t really mind it tho. They actually sound pretty good when they sing. Cee-Lo sang his fuckin’ ass off on this shit. He sounded great. Woah. There’s a whole uncredited verse from Erykah Badu. She killed it too. Why the hell didn’t they credit her? Why wouldn’t you want people to know that you had Erykah Badu on your album? Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Big Rube closed this song out with a fantastic Spoken Word verse. I can enjoy Spoken Word from Big Rube because it’s actually well written poetry. When Andre & Big Boi did they were just talking. I really like this song. Yeah, I would’ve preferred if Andre & Big Boi actually rapped on this shit, but it’s not like I didn’t get any enjoyment out of what they did here. Everybody sounded great on this, and I love the production. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 16: Chonkyfire (Prod. Outkast)
This is definitely one of the most aggressive tracks on the album. I’m not really feelin’ that electric guitar in the beat. The first verse from Andre was dope tho. Big Boi’s verse was great. The hook is cool. There’s not much to say about this track. It has a very simple structure, but I enjoyed it. I don’t know that this track justifies it’s 6 minute length, but that’s just a nitpick. This is dope to me. 4/5
I think this is a good album. I’m pretty goddamn disappointed, but shit like this happens sometimes tho. Even some of the most highly regarded albums of all time aren’t gonna be amazing to every person. I wouldn’t even call this a great album personally. This is easily my least favorite Outkast album. I know. I’m sure everyone’s surprised by that. Even I’M surprised. I really wish I liked this album more than I do. In terms of cover art, this is my favorite Outkast album. In terms of the actual music, this is my least favorite Outkast album. I can definitely appreciate the experimentation on this album. It’s just that some of it didn’t go over that well with me personally. I’m really shocked by how much of this album I disliked. It’s mostly due to the experimentation not going well for me personally tho. I’m obviously an Outkast fan. I thought both of their first two albums were great, and it’s not like they weren’t rapping well on this album. I don’t think there are any consistent flaws with it. Each problem I have is specific to it’s own track. I guess some of the subject matter didn’t really do it for me. I don’t know. It just feels like somethings missing. This album never really clicked with me the way it should. I like it tho. I just don’t really like it as much as their other work. I’m definitely looking forward to Stankonia even more than I originally was now. Maybe I just had my expectations too high. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. This album’s dope.
Favorite Song: Aquemini
Least Favorite Song: Mamacita
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This is spot on imo.
Was meaning to drop a comment on this review.
It’s a great outing from Dre and Big, solid from start to finish. Personal favorite joints are “Skew It”, “Slump” “Aquemini”, both parts of “Art Of…..”
Concerning “Synthesizer” oddly enough if you wanna get real deep into this shit is oddly prophetic at how much technology has taken control of our lives when in 1997-98, Virtual Reality was still in its infancy, the internet boom was starting and all of a sudden the world starts getting TOO accessible know what I mean?