The Underrated: Outkast- Stankonia

By @TrueGodImmortal 

1. Intro
2. Gasoline Dreams
3. I'm Cool(Interlude)
4. So Fresh, So Clean
5. Ms. Jackson
6. Snappin & Trappin
7. D.F.(Interlude)
8. Spaghetti Junction
9. Kim and Cookie(Interlude)
10. I'll Call Before I Come
11. B.O.B. 
12. Xplosion
13. Good Hair(Interlude)
14. We Luv Deez Hoez
15. Humble Mumble
16. Drinkin Again(Interlude)
17. ?
18. Red Velvet
19. Cruisin' in the ATL
20. Gangsta Shit
21. Toliet Tisha
22. Slum Beautiful
23. Pre-Nump(Interlude)
24. Stankonia (Stanklove)

After releasing two consecutive classics(some would say three... I agree), Outkast returned in the fall of 2000 with their fourth album "Stankonia". The album, unlike the first three, was more of a mixture of a creative challenge than anything else that the group had released. Aquemini hinted at the direction that the group might take in the future, but this was the true manifestation. The album starts off on a high energy level, as the heavy "Gasoline Dreams" jumpstarts the listening experience and leads into the smooth anthem "So Fresh, So Clean". "So Fresh, So Clean" is one of my favorite Outkast songs, and without a doubt one of the most fluid on Stankonia. As the sounds of the baby-mama drama anthem "Ms. Jackson" begins, you learn that this album will be nothing like the previous. There lies the beauty of Outkast: every album sounds different, with the same artist integrity still in tact. The sinister sounds of "Snappin & Trappin" introduces the true first coming of Killer Mike to the mainstream eye.

The closest thing to a signature Outkast sound can be heard on "Spaghetti Junction" with Sleepy Brown handling the hook over a near boom bap brass driven track. Both MCs bring the fire on this track verse wise, but the entertaining "I'll Call B4 I Cum", which seemed to discuss the topic of being a side nigga/chick or friend with benefits with no true commitment. Gangsta Boo hops on the beat and spazzed, while the female rapper Eco does her thing as well(what happened to her?). The aggression and fast paced feel of "B.O.B." remains one of the most risky singles from the group, as it didn't sound like anything we were used to at the time.

One of the funnier songs on the album "We Luv Deez Hoez", shows Big Boi in full comedy mode, dropping some game on his verse. The album starts to hit the apex once we arrive at "Humble Mumble", where the duo is assisted by the lovely Erykah Badu over a funky, bouncy beat. One of my favorite songs on the album "Red Velvet" is one of those laid back, yet turned up tracks, where both Andre and Big bring their dopest.

As the album nears the close, we get one of Andre's best verses on the murderous "Gangsta Shit", then he channels his inner Prince on the electric "Toilet Tisha", which sounds like it could have even been used on "The Love Below". The song is carried by the smooth, electric beat with guitar riffs. The soulful sound of "Slum Beautiful" hits next, with Andre, Big, and Cee-Lo creating a tremendously dope song about the apple of their eyes. This is another favorite of mine, as the beat is definitely dope, along with an extremely infectious hook.

As the album reaches the final song, "Stankonia(Stanklove)", which is once again dark yet electric, we see that this album was merely the next evolution in Outkast, as they would create a different sound for themselves to be identified with, making sure they weren't boxed in. Stankonia as an album is daring, experimental, creative, different, and to me, a classic. It can be seen as Outkast's true breakthrough album, as it sold over 5 million copies(although ATLiens and Aquemini are both double platinum), but it's more than that now: it remains the last true Outkast album, as the final two releases were just combined solo projects with maybe two or three collabs. When all is said and done, I feel this album will be remembered as a landmark moment in Outkast's hip hop history.



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