Throwback Thursday: Outkast and “Stankonia”
Earlier in the week, Big Boi of Outkast revealed to us that partner in rhyme, Andre 3000 used to work at Footaction when the duo was first formed. He also killed the stage in honor of the holidays and the annual Footaction Get Gifted show. So it’s only right we pay proper respect to a couple of Southern legends with a Throwback Thursday celebrating their signature southerplayalistcadillacmuzik. Jointly, Outkast’s style is effortless. Big Boi is the perfect yin to ‘Dre’s yang. They compete with one another; pushing each other forth into the upper echelons of hip hop history. Throughout their 20+ years together, they’ve rarely slipped or stumbled. And at times, they’ve been the best on Earth at what they do.
One of those times was the spring of 1999. Big Boi and ‘Dre were sill reeling from the success of their critically and commercially acclaimed Aquemini when they got to work on their follow up project, Stankonia. It would release fall of the next year; but its influence rings clearly today in a modern soundscape hinging on individualism. Named after the studio they purchased, once owned by hit-maker Bobby Brown, Stankonia would catapult Outkast from hip hop stardom to national adoration, earning them two Grammys and platinum plaques in the process. The lead single, “B.O.B” drew people in with a completely off-the-wall sound and chant-sing chorus. The follow up, “Ms. Jackson,” would go on to set the tone for radio throughout late 2000 and most of 2001. However, the greatness of this album doesn’t rely on catchy singles or commercial success. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the track- list with 16 brilliant or near-brilliant songs complimented by ATLien styled skits. The end result is a hip hop classic, celebrated today for pushing boundaries and stretching genres.