A number of people make the misconception that Outkast are a relatively new group, in actual fact they have been around since 1994 when they released their first album ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmusik‘.
Since then, their debut album has been heralded as one of the greatest albums of all time. The secret to their universal appeal is their wide range of influences, which together combine into a cohesive style. The style, like that of the Dirty South in general, contains the best elements of New York and Los Angeles rap.
1994 – ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmusik’ brought us some original beats, with some ill rhymes from the Dre/Big Boi duo. The title track and others such as ‘Funky Ride’ showed us that Outkast were always going to be different.
The scratching and the jazz influences are quite reminiscent of groups like ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ or ‘The Roots’ whilst the instrumental feel and the groovy bass lines are pure g-funk era. In fact Organized Noize, Outkast’s production team, school other rap groups on how to use a wide variety of instrumentation. Check out the electric guitar on ‘Funky Ride’, the organs on the title track and the bass on “Ain’t No Thang” from the Southernplayalisticadillacmusik album. This style still continues with ‘Stankonia.’ The tunes created on Stankonia are generally far funkier, with a quicker, in yer face beat. The highly under-rated ‘Bombs Over Baghdad (B.O.B.)’ is a perfect example of this. However they still have a couple of mellow chill tracks such as the massive ‘Miss. Jackson’. The Atlanta based crew, also produce some highly original lyrics, deterring immensely from the traditional ‘Gangsta Rap’ to simply rapping about life, love and losses, and they pull it off without the help of other big artists featuring in the tracks. 1996 – ‘ATliens‘ was a much less known affair, with the title track ‘ATliens’ probably the only known track on it. However, the duo did manage to maintain the funky tunes from their last album.
1998 – Outkast once again found success with this album, Aquemini, hitting no. 2 in the US Billboard 200 chart. Whilst not exactly famous worldwide, Outkast were staying in the public eye.
Outkast are renowned for their original and creative style of rap and this album certainly reeks of it. To any fan, their highly unique style will be instantly recognisable and listeners of ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmusik’, ‘ATliens’, and ‘Aquemini’ will feel right at home. ‘Stankonia‘ makes a great change to the current samey, tedious tunes being released by commercially seduced artists and breaths life into the genre. Innovative, intelligent and inspirational.
2000 – Stankonia has already brought the duo unprecendented worldwide success, and has shown that over the years, they have always kept us listening.
Reviewed By Hip Hop Network for HipHopHotSpot.Com