Album Review | Outkast – Idlewild

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This album was released on August 22nd in the year of our Lord 2006. From what I’ve gathered, this seems to be the only dud in Outkast’s discography. I don’t know if it’s actually bad or just not nearly as good as their other material, but either way I’m not really looking forward to this. It’s also the soundtrack for a movie of the same name, which I’d never even heard of before hearing about this album. Was it a good movie? I think I remember Andre 3000 saying it was really good, but… I mean… That’s like Dr. Dre saying Encore is a great album. I don’t think I’m gonna like this. I didn’t even love any of their good albums as much as everyone else seems to, so I’ll be shocked if I end up thinking this is better than the general public does. Also, it’s 25 fucking tracks. Smh… Anyway, every song is produced by Andre 3000, except where noted.

Track 1: Intro

Okay, this production is really fuckin’ cool so far. Oh God… Ehhhhh… Lmao. Okay… This is weird as fuck. Andre’s pretending to be Laurence Olivier. He has a fake ass British accent. This is fucking bizarre. Oh, I’m sorry, he’s not Laurence Olivier, he’s LARRY Olivier. I’m assuming that’s the character he played in the movie. He really sounds like a white dude. Like, if I didn’t know that was Andre, I would be sure it was some random white guy. So Larry is like, “I think rappers shouldn’t act because it’s disrespectful,” and then Big Boi was like, “what the motherfuck are you talking about? And why is you talkin’ like that? You’re from Bankhead, you fake ass bitch.” I’m glad he called Larry out. I already hate that character. Janelle Monae is talking now. Her and Big Boi are both shitting on Larry. I feel like their Southern accents are really exaggerated. It sounds kinda fake to me… Anyway, I can’t really say I enjoyed this. I rarely enjoy skits tho. I’m just gonna move on. Obviously this intro won’t affect my overall rating of the album.

Track 2: Mighty O (Prod. Organized Noize)

Mighty O

This beat is pretty nice. The hook’s not bad. Andre killed that first verse. Okay, I think I’m gonna like this album. I know I’m only on the first track, but I really just can’t see them putting out a wack album. Sure, it may not be as good as their classic material, but I still think I’m gonna be glad I listened to it. The first verse was really fuckin’ good.

Look, I’ll get you hooked; y’all crooks might even move / To Atlanta, Georgia, get a wife and daughter / Start a new life, and all that wrong you do? You’ll make it right / But hell, all a dream, I wear the crown, I’m king / Respect is mandatory, end of the story, go fly a kite / Category, ain’t got none, you know I’m right.

The second verse from Big Boi was great too. I like the way his delivery and flow started off kinda quiet and slow, and got more and more energetic as the verse progressed. His flow is really dope.

You’re trash; I’m taking out the trash / And all trash get mashed and compacted / Because it’s no longer valid / Go ‘head recycle, repackage, then put it back in my cabinet / Boy, that’s germs; I’m fresh up out the store every time / That nigga the B-I-G go hard every rhyme.

I really don’t have any problems with this song at all. I love this track. This is dope af to me.

Track 3: Peaches Feat. Sleepy Brown & Scar (Prod. Organized Noize)

Oh fuck. This beat is fucking incredible. These vocals from Scar on the hook are really fuckin’ great too. Big Boi’s verse was dope. His flow was smooth as hell. He’s basically rapping about a guy who has a wife & kids, and is sleeping with other women. Man, this is really good. This album’s a lot better than I was expecting it to be so far. Big Boi’s also on the second verse. It switches to a first person perspective here, and he goes into more detail about how great their marriage used to be. This is Hip Hop for old motherfuckers. I mean, I’m definitely enjoying it, but there’s no way I could ever relate to this. I don’t really have to relate to it at all in order to enjoy it tho. This is a Big Boi solo track. Aside from the features of course. The bridge where Sleepy Brown was harmonizing with Scar was great. The song just ended. Sonically, I like this song more than the previous one, but lyrically I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. However, overall, I think both tracks are dope af. This is great.

Track 4: Idlewild Blue (Don’tchu Worry ‘Bout Me)

Idlewild

This beat is nice. It’s got an old school Blues vibe. Oh. Okay, that’s actually what the entire song is. This isn’t Hip Hop. It’s really good tho. So I guess this album is gonna be like a more condensed version of Speakerboxxx / The Love Below. The hook is nothing special, but the first verse was really great. The lyrics aren’t super impressive or anything; he just sounds really good singing this shit. The second verse was cool too. The third verse was the only one that really resonated with me lyrically.

Don’t worry ’bout me I’ll be fine / Well that’s what I tell ’em maybe, but I’m lying.

It’s not super poetic or lyrically intricate, but it’s relatable for me and a lot of other people. Probably most people honestly. Anyway, I like this song. It’s easily my least favorite track so far just because I’ve never really been super into Blues like that, but I definitely enjoyed it. This is dope.

Track 5: Infatuation (Interlude)

This skit is just a super strange, one-sided conversation in which some guy is like “I wanna be with you bad, so I’ll do literally whatever you want.” He’s SUPER southern. It’s almost hard for me to understand what he’s saying. I’m technically from the South, but most people I grew up around didn’t really sound like that. In fact, a lot of people have told me that I sound more Southern than most of the people my age in North Carolina, which I really don’t see. That’d be like saying Donald Glover sounds really Southern. He’s from Atlanta, but he talks just like me, and I talk just like anyone else. Anyway, this skit was stupid to me.

Track 6: N2U Feat. Khujo (Prod. Organized Noize)

I really love this beat. Big Boi’s delivery on this first verse sounds fantastic too. The subject matter definitely isn’t for me tho. He’s basically describing how he used to get his dick sucked in high school & had no respect towards whoever was doing it.

The only thing you do is tap that throat and wear protection / And only when she spit it out is when you feel rejection / Evidence & DNA drop down stainin’ her dress / She’s making a great big mess; can I get something off your chest?

So this song is about wanting to have sex with someone and not actually caring about them. Again, not my cup of tea. It’s really good sonically tho, so I can still enjoy it. The hook from Khujo is alright. This is another solo Big Boi song. Oh God… Umm… I… I think he just confessed to being a predatory rapist? Umm… Well… Maybe I’m misinterpreting it, but… I don’t know. I don’t know how else to interpret this…

Now that I’m a graduate, she still gotta have it / School days are over, spike the punch, and you can stab it.

Spike the punch? So he’s basically Bill Cosbying women? Did he get any backlash for that line, or am I the only one who noticed this shit? Ugh… I’m uh… I’m not really feelin’ that second verse. Man… This song really took a dark turn… It’s only one line, but I can’t tolerate that kinda shit. I don’t mind when Horrorcore artists rap about shit like that because it’s obviously intended to shock audiences, but the way Big Boi just nonchalantly bragged about it like a stereotypical frat bro is disgusting. I’m not feelin’ this shit. It’s wack to me.

Track 7: Morris Brown Feat. Scar & Sleepy Brown

This song was apparently supposed to be on Stankonia. I’m not really sure why it never made the final cut. Woah… Holy fuckin’ shit. This beat is fucking awesome. Andre sampled a marching band, and it sounds really cool. Ehhhh… The first verse kinda sucked honestly. I didn’t really like the way Sleepy Brown came in to sing the same four bars two separate times in the middle of the verse. I’m also not crazy about Big Boi’s flow on this one to be honest. I really like the hook tho. Scar did a great job with that. Uuuh… The second verse was better than the first one, but I’m still not crazy about it. The barking ad-libs sounded really cool tho. Scar really sang his motherfuckin’ ass off on this shit. He killed that final verse. Man… Honestly, if this was a solo track from Scar I’d love it. I didn’t like Big Boi or Sleepy Brown on this shit tho. The production and vocals from Scar are really good, but aside from that it’s not very good to me. It’s decent tho.

Track 8: Chronomentrophobia

Okay, I’m starting to see why this album is universally looked at as Outkast’s only dud. Again, it’s not really bad, but it’s pretty disappointing when you compare it with their previous work, and this is coming from someone who thought Aquemini & Stankonia were very flawed albums. Also… I’m already on the 8th track, and so far Andre has only had two vocal appearances. Well, three if you actually count this one. This production is really somber. Sonically, this would fit in pretty well with the songs from The Love Below. The content doesn’t really fit tho. The first verse was fine. The hook is cool. The best facet of this song so far is the production. I really love this beat. Okay he’s actually rapping now. Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks. This song seems to be more about the fear of wasting time tho. He killed that verse. I love the way he ended it.

Hope that when I’m gone y’all remember this / What we stood for; fuck that fame and that glitz / It’s beginning to look a lot like the ending / And got to be more careful know what corners you be bending / Revelations getting impatient, and now I’m dead / Remember what I said; I’m gone, bow ya heads.

This is definitely one of the best songs so far. It’s probably my second favorite track. I love the production, and that second verse was amazing. This is dope af to me.

Track 9: The Train Feat. Sleepy Brown & Scar (Prod. Big Boi)

This beat is cool. Okay, it’s pretty clear from this track as well as the previous song that this is supposed to be their last album. I think anyone who still believes we’re ever gonna get another Outkast album is either in severe denial, or just never heard this album. Big Boi’s rapping about taking time to be a father instead of being a rapper, and if that wasn’t enough to convince you, just take a look at Sleepy Brown’s lyrics on the hook…

It’s been a good long road / Now its time for me to go / I say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye / Time to spread my wings / So high up in the sky / I can fly, I fly, I fly, so high.

The hook’s decent. Big Boi killed that second verse. This is a really personal track. The bridge from Sleepy Brown was great, and I loved Big Boi’s final verse too. This is a really good song. This is another standout track. Both of the featured artists sang their fuckin’ asses off, and Big Boi’s flow was great. This is dope af.

Track 10: Life Is Like a Musical

I fucking love this beat. It sounds so happy. It reminds me of Christmas for some reason. It reminds me of snow and the color pink. I feel like I’m walking down a snowy trail surrounded by pink flowers holding hands with my future wife. Andre sounds really great on this first verse. Man… This is definitely gonna be a strong contender for my favorite song on the album. I love the hook too. He’s singing about Big Boi & his efforts to not be changed by their fame. This is a pretty short song. It’s a little over two minutes long, and there’s only one verse. I really don’t mind that at all. I fucking love this track. This is amazing to me honestly.

Track 11: No Bootleg DVDs (Interlude)

This is a pointless skit in which some fuckboi tries to sell another fuckboi a bootleg copy of the Idlewild movie. There’s no reason for me to say anything about this track.

Track 12: Hollywood Divorce Feat. Lil Wayne & Snoop Dogg

Hollywood Divorce

Okay, this should be interesting. I’m honestly not that familiar with Wayne’s career, but I’m pretty sure this song was made when he was still a good rapper. Yeah, Tha Carter III came out in 2008, so this should be dope. This beat is nothing special. I fuck with this hook from Andre. Wayne sounds great on this beat. Yes. Okay. Yes. Lmao. Wayne killed that verse. That was awesome. Goddamn. Hearing old Wayne verses is really bittersweet. He used to be such an amazing rapper. There aren’t many artists who fell off harder than he did. Don’t get me wrong; he still comes through with a great verse every now and then, but he’s unfortunately super inconsistent. Comparing the average Wayne verse from his prime to the average Wayne verse today is like switching from Eminem to Bizarre.

I’m the creator of the term; I just straightened the perm / Ain’t let it sit too long, they just makin’ it burn / And make a movie of our lifestyle, but they earn / Like a dead body burned on a mantlepiece / That’s why I try not to lie on wax like this candle grease / And I be’s the little nigga, cooler than anti-freeze.

He fucking slaughtered this shit. That’s honestly one of the best verses on the whole album. Andre killed the second verse too. I still think Wayne’s was a little better, but they both did a really great job. Big Boi’s verse was dope af too. He shitted on nerds like me who criticize Outkast on the internet, but wouldn’t say shit to their face. There are probably a few things I wouldn’t say directly to any of them, but I think I’d be able to be honest for the most part. Snoop’s verse was actually pretty fuckin’ dope too. He personified Hollywood and fame as his wife. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but it honestly took me a while to get what he was going for. If I had to rank all the verses, I’d definitely say Wayne was my favorite, then probably Big Boi, then maybe Andre, and then Snoop. Honestly, Wayne is the only one I’m really sure about. I feel like Snoop could probably take third place. Anyway, in case you can’t already tell, I fucking loved this song. I’m honestly kinda surprised I haven’t heard it before. This is another highlight, and it’s probably gonna end up being my favorite track on the album. It’s dope af.

Track 13: Zora (Interlude)

Okay, this album’s starting to make a comeback. Hopefully this positive trend doesn’t end any time soon. I’ve got 10 songs to do tho, so anything could happen. Anyway, this track was another pointless skit. It’d probably make more sense to me if I watched the actual movie, but I don’t give enough fucks to look into it.

Track 14: Call the Law Feat. Janelle Monáe (Prod. Rocket, Chuck Lightning, Janelle Monáe & Big Boi)

This song kinda has an old school Swing vibe. Not really my cup of tea… The first verse from Janelle Monáe is fine. I guess. She actually sounds pretty fuckin’ good honestly. I’m not really sure how I feel about this tho. I don’t know if this is the kinda song I’d come back to. I think Janelle’s doing it well tho. She’s actually killing this first verse. This sounds like something I’d hear during a play. I feel like this is a really good song, but it’s still not something I’d come back to personally. It’s really well done tho. Big Boi’s verse was nice too. Yeah. Nah. It’s a good song, but not for me.

Track 15: Bamboo & Cross (Interlude)

This is just an interlude in which Big Boi’s two sons whom the track is named after spit some struggle freestyles. There’s no need for me to provide any comment on this track.

Track 16: Buggface (Prod. Jeminesse Smith & Mr. DJ)

This beat is decent. Big Boi’s flow is so fucking smooth. He has a lot of charisma. It’s just really fun to hear him rap. He killed that first verse. I’m not crazy about the hook tho. It’s thankfully not bad enough to ruin the song. The second verse was cool. I don’t really have much to say about this one. I enjoyed it, but it’s definitely far from my favorite track on the album. Big Boi’s actual verses were the only parts of the song that stood out. I wasn’t really feelin’ the hook, and the beat wasn’t anything special either. I like this song tho. It’s dope.

Track 17: Makes No Sense at All

This production is pretty cool. Lyrically, this song might as well be gibberish, hence the title. It’s just Andre singing random shit like “ABC, 123, Do-re-mi, out of key” over a super old-timey beat. I guess it’s meant to be enjoyed strictly for the sonics. I think it’s kinda cool, but I’d be completely full of shit if I told y’all I’d ever be interested in hearing this again. This is honestly the definition of filler. This is absolutely pointless. It’s not really bad tho. I just don’t really like it…

Track 18: In Your Dreams Feat. Killer Mike, Sleepy Brown & Janelle Monáe (Prod. Organized Noize)

This beat is fucking awesome. The hook from Sleepy Brown & Janelle Monáe is alright. The first verse from Big Boi was hard as fuck. Mike’s verse was kinda underwhelming to be honest. His flow was nothing special, and he only spit like 12 bars. It was fine tho. The bridge from Sleepy Brown was great. I just listened to the whole song. Uuuuuugh… I don’t know, man. I kinda enjoyed this, but… It’s just not that good. This album is waaay longer than it needed to be. A lot of these songs should’ve been left on the cutting room floor. This song isn’t bad at all, but it’s just not sticking with me for some reason. I really like the production. Eh. Nah. It’s an okay song, but I won’t be coming back to it.

Track 19: PJ & Rooster

This beat is fine. Andre’s vocals on this first verse are nice. The hook isn’t bad. Umm… Why… Why the fuck would I ever wanna listen to this again? I mean… It’s not really bad, but it’s not what I want from Andre. It’s really not what I want from ANYONE if I’m bein’ real. It’s pretty much just a generic Swing song. I don’t really listen to Swing music, and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who does. There’s actually a verse from Big Boi. I think this is only the 4th song on the entire album to actually contain vocal contributions from both members of the group. Big Boi’s verse was definitely the highlight of this track for me. I wasn’t crazy about the delivery tho. This shit isn’t for me. I don’t really think it’s bad, but I’d never ever wanna listen to it again.

Track 20: Mutron Angel Feat. Whild Peach (Prod. Whild Peach)

This is a Soul song performed by Whild Peach—she referred to herself as “Peaches” on the first Outkast album—and it’s really fuckin’ good. The production is really nice. The female background vocals have a weird effect on them that kinda make them sound like they’re being performed by a ghost. Peaches is singing her ass off. This probably would’ve been one of my favorite songs on the entire album if it wasn’t as long as it is. It kinda overstays its welcome. Neither of the Outkast members are anywhere to be found. I think Big Boi wrote some of it tho. I don’t know. Anyway, I really fuckin’ like this track. It’s dope af to me.

Track 21: Greatest Show on Earth Feat. Macy Gray

This beat is incredible, and Macy Gray’s vocals on this first verse are absolutely fantastic. Okay, this is more like it. Hmm… This seems to be another solo track from a featured artist. You can kinda hear Andre in the background, but he doesn’t do much. Actually that’s definitely him singing the hook. Macy Gray has an interesting voice. She sounds like a fuckin’ cat. Her voice is really raspy. This song is REALLY fuckin’ good. This is even better than the previous song. I love this shit. It’s dope af.

Track 22: You’re Beautiful (Interlude)

This sounds like an audio clip from the movie. It’s clearly just meant to lead into the next track. It didn’t need to be here.

Track 23: When I Look in Your Eyes (Prod. Kevin Kendricks)

This is another old-timey Jazz song. I’m not feelin’ it. I don’t like the production. The lyrics are pretty standard as far as love songs go, especially those by Andre. It’s like listening to a song from the 1920s. I don’t even know what else to say about this. There’s nothing appealing about this to me. It sounds more like the background music for an old play than for a movie. I guess it was a period piece to be fair tho. This shit isn’t for me.

Track 24: Dyin’ to Live

I really like this melancholy, piano-driven production. The vocals from Andre aren’t really doin’ much for me. They feel kinda sluggish. It’s kinda boring. It’s too slow for me. It’s only two minutes long, but it feels a lot longer than that to me if I’m bein’ real. I know for a fact I’m never gonna wanna hear this again. It’s not bad tho. Just not my cup of tea.

Track 25: A Bad Note

Okay, finally. The last Outkast song. Well, it’s technically just an Andre 3000 song, but it’s the last song on the last Outkast album. The production is really dark. It’s fucking fantastic. This is the first time any of the music has actually sounded like a traditional movie soundtrack. It’s the longest song on the album. It’s got a noticeably more grim atmosphere than any other track. It’s almost entirely an instrumental track. There aren’t any vocals from Andre until after about 6 and a half minutes, and even then, the vocals are pitch shifted so low that Andre’s almost vocally unrecognizable. I really enjoyed this tho. I don’t have any problems with it aside from the fact that it’s a little too long for me. He could’ve shortened it to 6 minutes rather than 8 minutes and 47 seconds. It’s not that big of a deal tho. There’s not much to dive into lyrically. It’s cool tho. I like it.

Final Thoughts:

This is a good album. Yeah. I think it’s good. It’s heavily flawed, but I don’t think it’s bad at all. I see why people consider it kind of a dud tho. As a whole, the sonic landscape of this project is far less ambitious and impressive. Honestly, if I’m being objective, I think this is definitely their worst album. It feels really sloppy compared to all of their other work. It’s way too fucking long, and most of what’s here isn’t even really Hip Hop music. There are technically only like 4 Outkast songs here. I’m not really crazy about the super old school Jazz vibe they had on this shit. It’s kind of a weird way to end Outkast’s discography. I highly doubt they’ll ever drop any more work too. I understand the lukewarm reception. It’s really different from a lot of their work. There’s some good shit here tho. It’s worth listening to if you’re a big fan. Just keep low expectations. There’s a reason it gets so little attention. I kind of enjoyed it, but it’s 25 fucking tracks. I’m not gonna pretend this wasn’t a chore to get through. This review took me months just because I couldn’t bring myself to sit through it. I was really bored a lot of times. It’s cool tho. It’s just way too fucking long.

Favorite Song: Hollywood Divorce

Least Favorite Song: N2U

Verdict:

B-

70-79

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