Album Review | Outkast – Speakerboxxx / The Love Below

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This album… Or uh… THESE albums were released on September 23rd in 2003. As you can see, it’s marketed as a double album from Outkast, but in reality it’s pretty much just two solo albums; one from Big Boi, and one from Andre 3000. I’m pretty sure they were just going through a lot of artistic differences, so they both kinda wanted to do their own thing. This entire project is THIRTY NINE fucking tracks long. This is gonna be rough… I mean, I’m sure it’ll be good, but… Well… It’s over two fucking hours long. It’s hard enough for me to review albums that are one hour long even when they’re good. Whatever. Lemme just go ahead and start this shit so I can get it outta the way. The first disc is Speakerboxxx by Big Boi.

Track 1: Intro (Prod. Cutmaster Swift)

Oooh shit… This beat is really cool. I’m not crazy about the vocals that keep repeating the word “Speakerboxxx,” but the beat itself sounds really good. I enjoyed this, but I won’t be giving it a rating since it isn’t really a full song.

Track 2: Ghetto Musick (Performed by Outkast) [Prod. Andre 3000]

She Lives In My Lap.jpg

Oh shit… What the hell? This beat is so chaotic. Wow. I was not expecting production like this. This is essentially an Electro Hop beat. Andre’s on the hook. It’s alright. I uh… Huh… Honestly… I’m not really feelin’ this… Oh shit… The way that Patti LaBelle sample came in sounded really fuckin’ good. It’s really random tho. It eventually goes back to the original, chaotic production. This shit is weird as fuck. Big Boi is killin’ this verse tho. “Find my purpose on the surface of this Earth / This planet’s standards trust and the purpose / Campaign in vain for the same lame fame you’ve obtained / You ought to be detained / By the hip hop sheriff; locked up, no possibility / Of getting out ’cause the shit you make is killing me.” His verse was dope af. That’s honestly the only thing I like about this track tho. I’m not really feelin’ the production, and I didn’t like Andre on this track either… It’s an alright track I guess. I definitely won’t be listening to it again tho… 3/5

Track 3: Unhappy (Prod. Mr. DJ)

Holy shit… Okay, here we go. This beat is dope af. The vocals on this hook are smooth as hell too. Woah… I don’t know why, but… This song is really comforting to me for some reason. It’s like Big Boi’s giving advice specifically to me. I hope I’m not the only person with Major Depressive Disorder who felt like this after hearing this song. “Let strangers play while you graduate and move on.” That’s the line that got me. I’m graduating from high school on Sunday, and, to be completely honest, senior year was literally the worst year of my life. I can’t wait for everything to be over, so I can just restart everything in college. Oh man… This second verse is so fucking relatable. It’s like this song was literally written about me. “Had enough to get by, enough to get fly / Only to start the New Year off in debt / Now you forget your happiness came and went like mom and dad’s relationship.” The third verse was fantastic too. Okay, this shit is fucking awesome. I love this track. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 4: Bowtie Feat. Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha (Prod. Big Boi)

Bowtie

Goddamn. Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha are singin’ they motherfuckin’ ass off on this hook. Big Boi’s flow on the first verse was great. The content isn’t really for me, but it’s not too bad. I can still enjoy this. “I got to start by complimenting you on your physique / You unique; you best believe I’m gonna skeet once I speak.” The beat is cool. Big Boi’s flow is really what’s making this track enjoyable for me. Sleepy Brown’s vocals are really fuckin’ good too. It just ended. Yeah, this isn’t too mind blowing for me, but I definitely enjoyed it. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 5: The Way You Move Feat. Sleepy Brown (Prod. Big Boi & Carl Mo)

The Way You Move

Oh God… Is… Is this song what I think it is? I… I didn’t know this was a fucking Outkast song… If the song I’m thinking about right now is what I’m about to hear, this is not gonna be good… It’s starting now. Oh God… No… This beat sounds familiar… It sounds like what I heard when I was five. It’s not bad. Big Boi’s flow is awesome on this first verse. OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. NOOOOOOO. LMAOOOO. THIS FUCKING HOOK. NO. I’m sorry y’all. I just can’t fucking do it. This hook is so goddamn corny to me. Am I the only one who feels that way? Every time I hear it I just imagine a bunch of old people at a wedding dancing. This song came out when I was four, so maybe that was a real thing I experienced or something. I don’t know. The trumpet just sounds so corny to me. I know this is a personal thing tho. I doubt most people find it as corny as I do. I don’t really like party music that much in the first place. Literally the only thing that I like about this track is Big Boi’s flow. I’m about to give this song a blasphemous rating. It just makes me think of middle aged alcoholics drinking champagne and dancing. I’m not feelin’ it. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 6: The Rooster (Prod. Carl Mo & Big Boi)

Oh fuck… Wow. This beat is fucking awesome. It’s really hard hitting and animated. Big Boi’s telling a story about how he woke up and realized that his wife left him and took the kids with her. Well she isn’t his wife. And he never specifically says that she took the kids. He refers to her as his baby mama tho, and he also says “now there’s nobody at home.” The hook is nothing special, but it gets the job done. There are a lot of horns all over this album. The production seems really grandiose. It sounds like they got a whole fuckin’ orchestra to play all these beats. I was wrong about his girl taking his kids because he just called himself a single parent at the beginning of the second verse. The third verse was really dope. This is more music for middle aged people. “My son, he can’t talk, but when I change him he’s peeing / I think he’s pissed; I can’t dismiss the matter of the fact / Because he saw you and me argue, now the energy is coming back / Set an example, a positive pattern, keep life on track.” There’s not anything wrong with that tho. You don’t really hear a lot of rappers talk about family issues like this. I fuck with this track. I really liked the production, and it was nice to hear some less generic content. This is dope. 4/5

Track 7: Bust Feat. Killer Mike (Prod. Big Boi)

Aww shit. Here we go. Oh, this was the same year Killer Mike dropped his first album. I’m glad I coincidentally decided to review these projects around the same time. Woah… This beat is dope af. It sounds like it’s got kind of a Nu Metal influence. In a good way tho. Like, in the way that Killer Mike did it on the hidden track on his album. It doesn’t sound corny like most Nu-Metal. I’m actually kinda surprised by how much I like this considering my idiosyncratic hatred for electric guitars. Is… Is that Big Boi on the first verse? His voice sounds deeper than it usually does. Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe he deliberately made his voice sound deeper so that it would sound better over this kind of production. It doesn’t really matter I guess. It just kinda caught me off guard. His verse was dope af tho. I love these vocals on the hook. Maaan… Killer fucking Mike. His delivery is so fucking monstrous. He just sounds so fucking hard every time he raps like this. He’s fuckin’ rippin’ this shit apart. “I’ll shoelace your face just to learn you better / My ox so sharp it cut through leather / My rap name Killer, my street name Skunk / I mastered the music that was born in the Bronx.” Ooooohooohoooh. Goddamn. This motherfucker can rap. Lmao. Yes. This is definitely gonna be a strong contender for my favorite song on the album. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 8: War (Prod. Mr. DJ)

This beat is pretty dope. Okay, this is a really political track. The first verse was dope. He’s rapping about how Americans’ rights are being infringed upon due to the passing of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act. I’m not really feelin’ this hook. It’s not bad enough to completely ruin the song tho. Oh fuck. The way the beat switched up after the hook was really cool. This is awesome. He’s putting George Bush’s fuckass on blast. “When will we all awake up out this dream / Come here and smell the Folgers, the soldiers are human beings / Man actin’ as if he was the supreme being / Clockin’ the souls of men out like he was G-O-D.” The record scratches after the second verse sound great. He snapped on that last verse. His flow was awesome. This is another great song. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first, but this shit got EXTRA hard when that beat switched up. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 9: Church (Prod. Andre 3000)

OH shit. Lmao. Damn. That scared the shit outta me. Hahahaha. I was not expecting those loud ass, happy ass, joyful ass vocals from Sleepy Brown to come outta nowhere like that. I’m REALLY not feelin’ it. This beat is fucking terrible. What the fuck? What the hell was that weird accent Big Boi had when he said “I can’t move, I can’t eat, I can’t even breathe?” He said “con’t” instead of “can’t.” Whatever it doesn’t matter. I’m not feelin’ ANYTHING about this song. The content isn’t for me. I’m legitimately thinking about converting to Satanism, so I find this song kind of blasphemous. Lmao. I don’t like the hook. This beat is really bad in my opinion. Big Boi’s flow was alright I guess. It wasn’t any more impressive than his flow on any of the other songs. I’m really not feelin’ the female, Gospel inspired vocals on the hook or the outro. The song just ended… Yeah… Nah… I REALLY don’t like this one. This is easily my least favorite song on the album. This is wack af to me. 1/5

Track 10: Bamboo (Interlude) Feat. Bamboo

I think Bamboo is the name of Big Boi’s son. This skit is pointless, but I’m not mad at it. Big Boi took his son into the booth, and he’s letting him rap on this track. I don’t know how old his son was at the time, but he can barely speak. This was a cute skit, but I’m gonna go ahead and slam dunk this shit in the recycle bin.

Track 11: Tomb Of The Boom Feat. Konkrete, Big Gipp & Ludacris (Prod. Big Boi)

I guess this album isn’t too long since there are a lot of skits. It’s still technically over two hours tho. However, there are only 5 actual songs left on Speakerboxxx. This is going a lot faster than I was expecting it to. Anyway, Konkrete is apparently a Hip Hop group consisting of BlackOwned C-Bone, Supa Nate, and Lil Brotha. I think Lil Brotha is Big Boi’s little brother. They share the same last name. Also… His name is Lil Brotha, so… This beat is alright. C-Bone’s on the first verse. Meh… It was alright I guess. Nothing about it really stood out. His flow was underwhelming, and the lyrics were kinda basic. It was severely average. I’m not feelin’ this hook. The more I listen to the beat the less I like it. Lil Brotha did his thing. Big Gipp’s verse was actually really dope. God, I hate this hook. Supa Nate’s verse was decent. Luda’s verse was dope. Big Boi killed it “They say ‘Big Boi, can you pull it off without your nigga Dre?‘ / I say ‘people, stop the madness ’cause me and Dre be okay‘ / Outkast, Cell Therapy to cell division / We done split it down the middle so you can see both the visions / Been spittin it damn near ten years; why the fuck would we be quittin’?” I’m not really fuckin’ with this track. I think it’s a decent song, but it’s not good enough for me to wanna return to it. I wasn’t feelin’ the beat, or the hook, and I really only enjoyed half of the verses. It’s an okay song. 3/5

Track 12: E-Mac (Interlude) [Performed by E-Mac]

This is literally just a pitch-shifted voice spitting four bars. This is pointless, and there’s no reason for me to say anything about it.

Track 13: Knowing (Performed by Outkast) [Prod. Mr. DJ]

This beat is dope. It sounds a lot more serious than almost all the other tracks. Andre’s on the hook. I doubt he rapped on this at all. The hook is cool. Big Boi’s flow on the first verse was dope. He went in about some girl who was stripping and not handling the money well. The second verse was nice. This chick tried to finesse some rich white dude, but he caught her lackin’. That’s how the story ends. You don’t really find out what happens to her. The white guy just says “Ha! Gotcha, bitch!” and then it ends. I enjoyed this song, but it’s definitely not one of my favorites. It’s dope tho. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 14: Flip Flop Rock Feat. Killer Mike & Jay Z (Prod. Big Boi & Mr. DJ)

Okay, this should be good. This beat is dope af. Big Boi’s flow on this first verse is really dope. The hook from Jay Z is nothing special. Big Boi’s goin’ in again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he only got Jay Z for the hook. I wouldn’t be disappointed either because I’m not really into Jay Z like that… Damn. Big Boi fuckin’ snapped on this second verse. His flow is awesome. HOLY FUCK.

YAS 3

The way Killer Mike comes in right after Big Boi is so fucking awesome. The piano that comes in is orgasm-inducing. His verse was great even tho he rhymed a lot of words with themselves. I think he said “rhyme” four times, “mine” twice, and “crime” twice. It was still good tho. The vocals that came in after the second recital of the hook were really dope. Oh shit. Jay’s actually goin’ in now. I liked his verse. His flow was actually really nice on this one. It wasn’t that impressive lyrically, but I still liked it. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 15: Interlude

This is another pointless interlude. It’s just some lady rambling about some shit I don’t care about.

Track 16: Reset Feat. Khujo & Cee-Lo Green (Prod. Big Boi)

There are some uncredited vocals from Debra Killings on this track, and it sounds great. This beat is fucking fantastic. It makes me feel like I’m sitting next to my mom in front of a fire eating soup. It’s smooth as hell. The first verse from Big Boi was really dope. It gave off a very slight pro-life vibe, but I doubt that was intentional. This hook from Debra Killings is amazing. Khujo’s verse was dope. His flow was kinda weird at times, but I really like his aggressive delivery. Cee-Lo killed it. It’s always weird to me when he raps. I’m just not used to it. I really liked his verse here tho. His flow was dope. This is definitely another one of my favorites. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 17: D-Boi (Interlude) [Performed by Henry Welch]

I’m not gonna lie, some of the words were really hard for me to understand in this interlude. Henry Welch has a really strong Southern accent. It’s fine that I couldn’t understand him tho because I didn’t give a fuck what he was saying anyway.

Track 18: Last Call Feat. Slimm Calhoun, Mello & Lil Jon)

Oh man… I really didn’t ever think I would have to talk about Lil Jon on my website… Alright, let’s do this shit. I don’t like the way this song starts. I never like it when artists perform a hook a cappella. I’m really not sure what the purpose of that is. What makes them think that’s a good artistic decision? It always just feels awkward to listen to. The beat’s cool. Mello’s verse was alright… Ehhh… I don’t think I’m gonna end up liking this song. It’s not really my cup of tea. I’ve never been a fan of Crunk Music. I’m not the kinda person you’d see in a club, unless I was high. I’m not feelin’ the hook, but I always find Lil Jon’s ad-libs entertaining. Big Boi did his thing I guess. I liked his flow. Slimm Calhoun’s verse was fine. Mello’s verse at the end was cool. Yeah… Nah… This isn’t for me. I guess it’s a decent track, but I’m never listening to it ever again. 3/5

Track 19: Bowtie (Postlude)

This outro was dumb. I guess I’ll just use this pointless track as an excuse to give my final thoughts on Speakerboxxx before listening to The Love Below. This was a good album. I didn’t really notice how good Big Boi is as a producer until I listened to this album. Most of the songs that are meant to be played at parties didn’t really resonate with me. Aside from that, I really don’t have any consistent gripes with it. If there was a song that I didn’t like that wasn’t made specifically to be played at parties, it was because of some underwhelming production or a weak hook. There’s not a single song on here where I think Big Boi had a completely wack verse. He was killin’ shit on damn near every track. His flow is on point on this project. Oh I almost forgot to mention another problem I have with it… This shit is way too fuckin’ long. You can pare it down to 13 songs if you get rid of all the pointless interludes. That alone would’ve made this album easier to get through. It’s not like skits are difficult to listen to, but having 19 tracks just makes it feel longer than it really is. I think that’s everything I need to say about Speakerboxxx. I enjoyed it. It’s a dope album. Big Boi did a good job. Okay… Let’s get to the weird shit… All of the following tracks are produced by Andre 3000.

Track 20: The Love Below (Intro)

Oh lord. This piano instrumental is gorgeous. Andre’s singin’ about some flower growing… This is a pretty dope track. I’m not really sure if I can give it a rating. It doesn’t feel like a complete song. I enjoyed it tho. I’m not gonna be deleting this one. It’s dope.

Track 21: Love Hater

Woah… This beat is weird as hell. It’s awesome tho. Holy fuuuuck. YESSSS. Wow. Lmao. Okay, I’m gonna fucking love this album. Lmao. I thought this was gonna be a Soul & Funk album, but so far it’s Avant-Garde Jazz. Well, I’m pretty sure there’s supposed to be a variety of different genres on this project. This is fantastic. Andre’s vocals sound so fucking smooth over this shit. Wow. I’m kinda shocked that Andre was able to do all this. This instrumental is gigantic. It sounds like a full fuckin’ orchestra did this shit. “Everybody need to quit actin’ hard and shit / Before you get your ass whooped; I’ll slap the fuck out you.” This is so fucking dope. I definitely fuck with this track. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 22: God (Interlude)

Oh man… This production is so fucking gorgeous. This sounds extremely similar to the instrumental from Flight Of The Navigator by Childish Gambino. If I didn’t know the story of how Flight Of The Navigator was created, I would definitely think it sampled this track. This is kind of a Spoken Word track. Is it still considered Spoken Word if it’s not a cappella? Actually, I don’t think it is… Whatever. This track is a prayer from Andre. He’s speaking to God. God’s a girl according to this track. Oh wooow… “God, I just need a sweet bitch.” Andre… What the fuck is you doin’? I’m shocked that I have to point this out to you, but it’s hard for women to love you when you nonchalantly refer to them as bitches like that. You didn’t think a FEMALE God would have a problem with you saying that shit? Smh… “I mean, I’m not being picky. She doesn’t even have to a have big ol’ ass, you know?” I don’t know why this is annoying me so much. I know it’s irrational for me to expect him to have the same exact attitude as me when it comes to women. I guess it’s just kinda hard for me to relate to him. I love the production on this track, but I wasn’t really into what Andre did on it. The way he ended it by saying “alady” instead of “amen” was corny as fuck. Shouldn’t it be “aladies” instead? Whatever. I’m not gonna delete this track because I loved it sonically. I would really prefer an instrumental version tho.

Track 23: Happy Valentine’s Day

Oh shit. Okay, this is the kinda shit I was expecting from this album. This beat is dope af. I really like the way his vocals sound in the background on this first verse. There’s an uncredited feature from Joi on the hook. It’s alright. The lyrics in this song are kinda weird. I like it tho. Andre’s speaking from the perspective of Cupid. He’s basically talking about how nobody believes in him and love. You can tell it’s frustrating to him, but he’s tryna play it cool. Ooooh fuuuuuck… The way the beat switches up after the third verse is crazy. OH FUCK. HE’S RAPPING. HAHAHAHA. I didn’t think he’d be rapping at all on this album. I’m not really sure why. I guess it’s because when Awaken, My Love! came out people kept comparing it to this album. He killed that verse. Man, this is fucking awesome. Okay, this album is really nothing like what I was expecting. I love this track. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 24: Spread

Andre’s vocals on this hook are pretty dope. The subject matter doesn’t really appeal to me, but this shit sounds pretty good. He’s singing about wanting this girl to “spread” her legs for him. Andre’s kinda rapping on this first verse. Well, it’s like half Spoken Word, half Rap. He’s technically rapping, but he’s got a really passive, conversational flow. Oh shit. Okay, now he’s really rapping for real. What the hell? I was really not expecting there to be this much rapping on the album. I mean, this is technically only the second rap verse, but I wasn’t expecting ANY rapping. I’m not complaining tho. This is awesome. He killed that verse. “Fuck the rhythm; tuck the rhythm under your bosom / You’re the prism; Shirley Chisholm was the first / Let’s rehearse making a baby; put in your order / I want a baby daughter.” His flow was awesome. I really fuck with this track. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 25: Where Are My Panties? (Interlude)

Okay, this is the first real skit on the album. No. I don’t like this shit. It made me really uncomfortable.

Track 26: Prototype

Prototype

Oh fuuuuck. This production is smooth as FUCK. Okay, this is a full blown R&B track. “I hope that you’re the one / If not, you are the prototype.” Love songs are generally extremely hit or miss with me, but this is a really well written track. Man… It’s gonna be really hard to choose a favorite song. This shit is smooth as hell. Fuck. This is making me depressed. Lmao. I’m pathetic. I don’t know why this song is reminding me of Tyler The Creator so much. I feel like this is the kinda sound he was trying to go for on Cherry Bomb, but it just didn’t really work. Anyway, I really love this song. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 27: She Lives In My Lap Feat. Rosario Dawson

…Rosario Dawson? Isn’t she just an actress? What the hell is she gonna be doing on this track? Oh. I guess she’s literally just acting on this track. She’s not performing any music. She’s just speaking. OH MY FUCK. THIS PRODUCTION IS FUCKING AMAZING. Andre’s singin’ his fuckin’ ass off. Gotdamn. Fuuuck. Lmao. This album is SO much better than I was expecting. Seriously, this really caught me off guard. I’m sorry if I’m not really saying much about the actual music. I guess now you see why I choose to only write about Hip Hop. I really don’t know enough about R&B to give a review I’m satisfied with. I love the production tho, and the vocals from Andre were great. Actually, it kinda sounds like Rosario had some background vocals on this track too. That’s cool. This is one of my favorite tracks so far. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 28: Hey Ya!

Hey Ya!

Oh fuck here we go. Guys… This is gonna be one of my “controversial” reviews. I know. Lmao. Just lemme explain. Well… Honestly, I really don’t know how controversial this’ll be because I do like the song. This song literally has one of the catchiest melodies I’ve ever heard in my life. The production is incredible, and Andre’s vocals are great. I even like the lyrics. If you don’t like this song even a little bit, you don’t have a soul. Just kidding. Seriously tho, I don’t see how anyone could completely hate this song. It’s one of the most iconic hit songs of all time. My only problem with this song… Is the bridge… Yeah… I know that might seem like a dumb nitpick to y’all, but that “shake it like a polaroid picture” line is corny as hell to me. I can thankfully edit it out with GarageBand easily. Anyway, it really pains me to not give this song a perfect score. I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this would do just that. I gotta be honest tho. I really don’t like that bridge, so… The song is just dope. REALLY dope tho. Like, this is as dope as a song could possibly be before I called it “dope af.” I fuck with this shit. 4/5

Track 29: Roses (Performed by Outkast)

Roses

This beat is great. Jesus. The melodies on this album are unrealistically catchy. The hook is dope af. Andre’s singing about some girl who’s really attractive, but is a piece of shit. Gotdamn. Big Boi fuckin’ killed that verse. His flow was crazy, and the rhyme scheme he used was awesome. This is another fantastic song. I don’t really have much to say about it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 30: Good Day, Good Sir Feat. Fonzworth Bentley

Where the hell has Fonzworth Bentley been at? Is that motherfucker still alive? He really just disappeared off the face of the planet. I just found his Twitter page. His latest tweet is from March 21st. He’s chillin’ in France with Akon & Chris Tucker at the Cannes Film Festival. Huh. Good for him I guess. Anyway, this track is just a terrible skit with atrocious fake British accents.

Track 31: Behold, A Lady

This beat isn’t that good… It’s definitely the most Hip Hop sounding beat on the album so far. This hook is alright I guess. I’m not crazy about it to be honest. His voice sounds oddly robotic. This is pretty much a New Jack Swing song. Or maybe this would be considered Boogie Music. It’s got kind of a Post-Disco sounding beat. This is definitely the wackest song so far. Jesus. The more I listen to the hook the less I like it. It’s really bad… It just ended. Yeah… Nah… I’m not feelin’ this one. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 32: Pink & Blue

This beat is cool. I really like the percussion. It’s got some dark synths too. The intro to this song feels like it goes on forever, but once Andre finally starts singing the hook it’s pretty dope. Wow. His vocals sound even better on the actual verse. The content is kinda weird… I’m not sure how I feel about this… He’s singing about how he’s trying to get with an older woman. I don’t know. Oh wow. Of course this song was co-written by R. Kelly. I’m not surprised at all. Eh… Honestly… I don’t think I’m gonna be coming back to this. It’s kinda cool on the first listen—especially when the additional instrumentation comes in towards the end—but it’s just way too slow for me. The content is also weird… So yeah. This one didn’t do much for me. It’s decent tho. 3/5

Track 33: Love In War

This beat is cool. I’m not really feelin’ this hook. It’s alright I guess. Eugh… Yuck. Andre’s vocals don’t sound very good on this first verse to be honest. The lyrics are inoffensive. I don’t really have much to say about this track. I don’t like it, but I don’t think it’s that bad. The production is nice. That’s pretty much it tho. I didn’t like the way Andre’s vocals sounded here. It’s cool tho. I won’t be playin’ this shit again, but it’s decent. 3/5

Track 34: She’s Alive

Oh fuck. This production is amazing. Andre’s vocals on this hook are alright. He’s tryin’ to hit some high notes, and the melody is nice, but his voice honestly sounds a little flat. I really like the way he sounds on this first verse tho. He’s singing about a single mother. This is pretty sad. “A boy to raise at a young age / No help from him, but she’s alive.” It just ended. There’s just one verse, and then a sample of a woman talking about raising a child by herself, and then the hook repeats a few times. I fuck with this song. It’s really sad, and it’s got an unorthodox structure, and Andre’s vocals could be better, but it’s still really dope. 4/5

Track 35: Dracula’s Wedding Feat. Kelis

The way Andre’s singing on this track kinda reminds me of Have Some Love by Childish Gambino. I like this more than that song tho. The beat’s cool. I’m pretty sure this song is about the anxiety that comes with engagement and marriage. “You’re all I’ve ever wanted, but I’m terrified of you.” I even liked Kelis’ verse on this song. Although that line about peanut butter & jelly sandwiches was kinda strange… I fuck with this track. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 36: My Favorite Things

This is just a fast paced instrumental jazz track. It’s dope af. I definitely fuck with this track, but it’s pretty much just an interlude, so I don’t think I should rate it. Wow. Andre 3000 apparently did this cover all by himself. He played every instrument in this song. That’s really impressive.

Track 37: Take Off Your Cool Feat. Norah Jones

This instrumental is really nice. Well, it’s really just an acoustic guitar. Norah Jones sounds pretty good on this first verse. Man… This instrumental is heavenly. This is a really simplistic track lyrically—there are literally only 16 separate words—but I really fuckin’ enjoyed it. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 38: Vibrate

Holy shit. This beat is incredible. It’s really soulful. It sounds like it’s got some slight Electronic influences sprinkled in there too. All the percussion is reversed, so it sounds really cool. Andre’s vocals are pretty good. The hook is nice. The first verse was decent. His singing was a little shaky to me. I kinda wish he didn’t repeat the hook so much. This song is much longer than it needed to be. The little poem he recited towards the end was alright I guess. “When I say ‘motherfucker,‘ I do mean ‘motherfucker‘ / because Mother Earth is dying, and we continue to fuck her to death.” This song is really dope to me. The lyrics weren’t that great to me, but the production was fantastic. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 39: A Life In The Day Of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)

Okay, he’s rapping on this track. The beat is really dope. Andre’s telling a story about his relationship with a girl. Goddamn. He’s killin’ this shit. Damn… This beat is so fucking dope. Lmao. This is awesome. I don’t even know what to say. The way he’s ending this album kinda reminds me of the way Kendrick ended DAMN. It’s just a long ass story about the evolution of Andre’s relationship with this girl as his life progresses. He’s just spittin’ his ass off over an amazing beat. There’s no hook or anything. Damn. He didn’t finish the story. I guess that’s why this is the incomplete version. I doubt we’ll ever get the whole story. This is fucking awesome tho. I definitely fuck with this track. This is dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

Holy fuck. It’s finally over. Goddamn. That was exhausting. Lmao. Jesus. Okay, let’s wrap this shit up. The Love Below was great. Honestly, the entire first half is nearly flawless to me. The jazzy, grandiose production is super impressive, and the melodies of each track are absurdly catchy. Shit got a little rough in the second half of the album, but none of those songs were completely terrible. They were just less impressive than the previous ones in my opinion. There’s really no other rapper that could make an album like this, and have it turn out like this. Well, Kid Cudi would try, and it’d be fuckin’ terrible. I guess Childish Gambino kinda did it. Kendrick might be able to do it. I kinda doubt that it would be this good tho. Well actually, none of them could do this because they can’t produce these kinds of beats. This project is an amalgamation of Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B, Electronic, Soul, and Funk, and it’s a miracle that it turned out so well. It’s fuckin’ great. Alright… Now let’s talk about this entire project. Andre easily had the better album in my opinion. It’s kinda hard to be objective about something like this tho because they’re so different. Big Boi made a traditional Southern Hip Hop album. It honestly kinda just sounded like an Outkast album without Andre. On the other hand, The Love Below is more creative than any of Outkast’s prior work. Big Boi couldn’t have been on that album. It wouldn’t have worked. As a whole, I think this project is great. It’s not the kinda thing you can listen to in one sitting tho. This shit will wear you the fuck out. It’s an exhausting album. It’s dope tho.

Favorite Song: Prototype

Least Favorite Song: Church

Verdict:

80%

80-89

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One comment

  1. The thing is with this album(s) structure, is that Speakerboxx is an album, The Love Below is a story in of itself. For example after the “God” skit is where the story begins and “She Lives In My Lap” is the end of the first half of the story, then Andre meets an older woman in “Good Day” and then in “Love In War” is where that relationship starts to crumble. (She’s Alive is a dedication to Andre’s mother and really has no impact over the narrative). And in “My Favorite Things” is what you could consider an emotional breakdown due to the rapid and almost confused pace. And thus the story ends with Andre in a state of perhaps realizing that maybe he’s better off alone. (That’s just my personal interpretation)

    Now Speakerboxx again an album as Big takes a look at our world in 2003. With club joints to add levity to the album. While also proclaiming for Southern Hip Hop unity.

    I love both album’s as they’re two different pieces of art for two different settings. (One for contemplative listening, the other to bump in the whip while trying to holla at the honey’s.)

    Fun Fact: Bust! Was included in the 2004 in the Fighting video game Def Jam Fight For NY. (A personal favorite)

    Good job Nick!

    Liked by 1 person

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