Outkast should be respected because they are always the type of group thats willing to go against the grain and put out music that they truly feel. While many rappers are following trends. Outkast continued to push the creative control buttons and the results have been usually innovative to where it stands out in the midst of time. Ive always been a fan of Outkast’s music but it seems that lately they have been over alot of peoples heads, ESPECIALLY Andre 3000 as he’s been trading in his Atlanta Braves Throwbacks for SpaceSuits and blond Wigs.
hey continue to take musical creativity to another level and doing something thats very unheard of in rap. Dropping a double album where both of them are individual solo albums. One whole album by Big Boi and one by Andre. You also get a glimpse of two different personalities and different worlds by these two artists. Big Boi continues to provide the hip hop side, The player anthems, and the country fried ATL style music while Andre goes into the more experimental abstract direction. A mixture of Old School funk, Techno, R&B, and a little bit of hip hop.
Andre’s The Love Below album is kinda of bizarre to say the least. This album further certified Dre’s weirdo direction but it also shows that he’s not afraid of taking chances as a artist and it comes across as more relaxed album of the two. I’ve been skeptical when Artists try to go over bounds and try to go the weirdo route but Andre’s album is surprisingly good.
The album’s first single Hey Ya was currently blowing the airwaves and TV screens all over the country. Mainly because for one that this track isn’t a Hip Hop track, It sounds more like old school Lil Richard record and its very catchy enough to capture the attention from the the newer fans.
I wasn’t a fan of this track when it first came out but Its grown on to me a lil bit. Rose’s is the albums 2nd single and that fairs a tad better better. Andre’s singing is very funny as he talks bad about this chick named Caroline whom was scandalous. It was also pretty cool to hear Big Boi on Andre’s album to show that Outkast still have that creative vibe as a group even though its the only track they would do together.
The rest of The Lov Below are dealing with the concept of Sex, love, freedom of expression and relationships. It comes off sounding more like a hip hop version Prince album than a Andre album but if you’re a true appreciation of good music(Outside of Hip Hop) then you would think this is a great album showcasing Andre’s abstract persona.
While I consider songs such as Prototype, She Lives in my Lap, She’s Alive, and Vibrate pretty dope because it fits the laid back vibe of the album, It’s when Andre picks up a mic and gets back on the hip hop tip is where Andre more than likely suceeds at best.
Tracks such as Happy Valentines Day, Spread, and the album’s best track In a Day of Andre Benjamin proves that Andre is still one of the best emcees in the game. The Day of Andre Benjamin takes us into an autobiographical look at Dre’s everyday life and how he dealt with everything from his relationships with Erikah Badu, The birth of his son Seven. Dre’s wordplay and flow is a 100% on point proving that bar for bar, He’s one of the best today.
Even though theres instances where the album tends to drag, This was a overall good album from Dre. Even though fans whom are die hard Outkast hip hop fans would be disappointed of the lack of hip hop on there. Its a great album that shows Dre is a serious artist and if it comes to it, Would still embarrass your favorite rapper with a sweet 16
Vic Rating: 8 Outta 10
Big Boi’s side of the album on the other hand is what I found more surprising. I’m starting to enjoy this side more than Andre’s side because not only does Big Boi put out the quality hip hop that we know and love from Outkast, But he also showcases growth as artist a well. The album’s funky first single The Way You Move is a doped out funk jam that were packing dance floors all over the country at the time. Sleepy Brown provides a very cool funky course as well giving it that old school funk feel and Big Boi comes through with a tight performance. GhettoMusik(which can also be heard on NBA Live 2004) is one of the best tracks on the album, It’s a great party jam for those who loved Rosa Parks and B.O.B. I’m also feeling the Patti Labelle sample thats on the course, The track is very well put together as Boi also holds his own as well.
Boi also branches out into different topics on War and Church respectively. War has Boi reflecting on current world events about how the war is wrong and gives his opinion about how the Election was fixed. Church is an attempted spiritual track which sounds more like a Sunday Morning church anthem than a Rap Song. It’s not too bad though but It doesn’t hold any replay value like the other songs.
The Guest appearances are the most out of any Outkast’s albums. Sleepy Brown and Jazzy Pha assists Boi again on Bowtie which is a very mackish and at the same time dope. Konkrete, Big Gipp and Ludacris come nicely on Tomb of the Boom and Killer Mike who lyrically wrecks Bust also appears on the very superb Flip Flop Rock which also features a surprise appearance from JayZ. Out of the collaborations, This is probably the best of them.
Overall aside from numerous interludes, The disappointing Lil Jon cut Last Call, Church, and Knowing. This disc ended up becoming the most enjoyable out of the two and proving that Big Boi is a stellar lyricist. The Bottom line is Outkast has once again one upped the Rap Game and as long as they continue to stay true to themselves and put out quality music. They may reach legendary status.
Vic Rating: 9 outta 10